As you may have noticed, our board at the YWCA hosted our annual Chocolate Carnivale event last Friday. This year's festivities were focused on honoring three amazing young women (ages 35 and under) who have made significant impacts on the SLC community. We had tons of nominations--there are a lot of incredible young women around here!--and were thrilled to honor these three:
A University of Utah student known for her steadfast commitment
to social change and justice, Denise is seen as a role model by
young people, especially young Latina and Chicana students. Her
work is often focused on organizing and fighting for immigrant
rights, never giving up despite the daunting challenges. Denise
has held numerous volunteer positions at the U of U, specializing
in outreach to young ethnic and minority students; co-authored a
publication on immigration given to all Utah legislators; was
awarded multiple scholarships and awards; and was featured in
Salt Lake Magazine as one of five "Wonder Women."
Missy Bird Larsen
Missy is the executive director of the Planned Parenthood Action
Council and has quickly risen through political ranks to become a
respected advocate for Planned Parenthood as well as Equality
Utah. She has a strong working relationship with local government
officials from both political parties and has been instrumental in
developing statewide training curriculums designed to engage the
community in grassroots political activism. Missy has researched,
drafted and successfully advocated for three pieces of legislation
that have been entered into law; published a children's book for
families of all backgrounds; co-authored a report on the state of
child care in Utah; and was honored with awards for her dedication
to social work and volunteerism.
Heidi is a vice president and public relations manager for Zions
Bank and the mother of a nine-month-old boy. She has advanced
financial literacy in Utah and Idaho schools by encouraging
employees to teach money management skills to students; helped
mobilize employees to teach thousands of children about saving
money and avoiding debt; and promoted financial education to
women through the Smart Women, Smart Money conference.
Additionally, Heidi organized a drive for women's professional
clothing to benefit the Junior League's Women Helping Women
Closet; volunteered with the Girl Scouts of America's after-school
program to teach young Title 1 elementary school students about
financial issues; and has written two full-length documentary
scripts broadcast on KUED-Utah's PBS affiliate, receiving a Utah
Broadcasters Association award for "Best Documentary."
The night went off without a hitch, thanks to the hundreds of volunteer hours donated by our board, the YWCA staff, our friends, family members and lots of others.
The purpose of this event is to raise awareness among women in our demographic (ages 18-35) and encourage them to get involved with the Y's many many many generous and important programs.
We had a red carpet, silent auction, fantastic entertainment and loads of delicious chocolate donated by fabulous SLC bakeries and restaurants. We were also hoping to sign up new members, who, by contributing just $35 each year are able to help support the Y's programs including the domestic violence shelter, teen mom home, education programs and community outreach. Members are also able to join in on great networking events, attend educational seminars and attend fun and fabulous luncheons.
If you're interested, you can sign up here.
Thank you so much to my wonderful friends who came out to support the YWCA, it was a great night and I'm so glad so many of you stopped by. You'll be receiving your pictures soon.
Some shots of the evening (don't laugh that I'm in a lot of the red carpet photos, I was placed there against my will):