For 20 years, women in Siouxland have gathered together in early spring in support of a special mission to lend a helping hand. Each year, women leave United Way of Siouxland’s Women’s Power Lunch inspired and ready to face the challenges of the world.
From humble beginnings with an attendance of 340, the event has grown to be revered and enjoyed by over 1,200 people each year.
“Not only is this event a chance for women to be nurtured through education and strengthened through empowerment, it provides an opportunity for women to take the lead in focusing on issues that impact their lives,” said Angie Van Otterloo with Central Bank and Chair of 2020 United Way of Siouxland’s Women’s Power Lunch Committee.
The event was established in 2001 with the intention of focusing on educating women about strategic problems and needs affecting Siouxland. Today, it has grown into a chance for women to create a positive impact through a unified effort.
On April 22, 2020, Erin Gruwell will take the stage and share her impactful story about how she transformed her student’s lives. By valuing and promoting diversity, Gruwell encouraged them to re-think rigid beliefs about themselves and others. She and her students captured their collective journey in The Freedom Writers Diary, which was the basis for the 2007 movie, Freedom Writers, starring Hilary Swank.
Gruwell founded the Freedom Writers Foundation where she teaches educators around the world how to implement her innovative lesson plans into their own classrooms. She created the Freedom Writers Methodology, a progressive teaching philosophy and curricula designed to achieve excellence from all students.
“Erin’s message aligns perfectly with United Way of Siouxland’s mission and credo,” says Heather Hennings, President of United Way of Siouxland. “We are so honored to bring her to Siouxland to share her memorable, impactful story. It’s going to be an inspiring event.”
In years past, speakers at this event have included Delilah, Leigh Ann Touhy, Doris Roberts, Linda Armstrong Kelly, Della Reese, Elizabeth Smart and many others.
United Way of Siouxland’s Women’s Power Lunch will be held on Wednesday April 22, 2020 at the Marriott Center. The luncheon will be preceded by a VIP Reception at 10:00 a.m. where guests will be able to meet Gruwell and have a photo taken with her. The luncheon will begin promptly at 11:30 a.m. and the program will conclude at 1:00 p.m.
Proceeds from the event will provide scholarships and certification grants for single parents in Siouxland to attend local colleges and universities. To date, $468,000 has been awarded to help single parents further their education and increase their earning potential. Applications for the Single Parent Scholarship are now available and can be found at unitedwaysiouxland.com.
The Power of the Purse Raffle will be held at the conclusion of the luncheon with at least 100 purses and several grand prizes up for grabs. Purse donations are currently being accepted.
Table sponsorships, individual tickets and raffle tickets are available at: https://wpl2020.eventbrite.com.
“We cannot wait to celebrate 20 years of this wonderful event,” said Van Otterloo. “Grab a friend, get your tickets and join us on April 22nd at the Marriott Center.”
Women’s Power Lunch tickets available at wpl2020.eventbrite.com. For more information about Women’s Power Lunch contact United Way of Siouxland: 712-255-3551