By TAYLOR HARTZ
The Leading Ladies organization will host their annual luncheon on Friday, Oct. 16, bringing local women together for an afternoon of recognition and encouragement.
Now in its 15th year, the luncheon began as a way to empower women who are active in the Southington community.
Each year, the group sets aside an afternoon to honor female business owners, politicians, and volunteers to celebrate the idea that “women bring really great gifts, skills, and contributions to our community,” said Donna Ayer, a founder of the event.
This year, the group will recognize Patty Boissonneault as their “Leading Lady” and will hear from author Diane Smith in the event’s keynote address.
Smith will discuss her book, “Obsessed: America’s Food Addition—and My Own,” and share her personal journey toward a healthy lifestyle.
Featuring a signature cocktail, lunch, and desserts at the Aqua Turf club at noon, the $40 ticket to the event will directly benefit the Leading Ladies Emergency Response Fund.
This program, in its fifth year, provides $200 grants to women in town who are experiencing immediate financial need.
Housed at the Main Street Community Foundation, the fund can be accessed by expressing need to local counseling centers, churches, Southington Community Services, or Bread for Life, and the fund provides women with assistance within 24-hours of reporting.
Recently, the fund has granted help to women who need to purchase school clothes for their children, have high medical bills, or need new tires to ensure that their vehicle is safe.
All proceeds from this event will go directly to the fund, including any tips collected by the “celebrity waiters.”
Serving the guests will be notable men from the community, including Town Manager Garry Brumback, State Rep. Rob Sampson (R-Conn.) and Town Councilor Tom Lombardi (R).
The men will volunteer for the afternoon, dressed in black tie formal attire, as they serve lunch and drinks to the women in attendance, and try to earn tips for the emergency fund.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Hartz, email her at THartz@SouthingtonObserver.com.