Women of Distinction

The 29th Annual Women of Distinction Luncheon and Awards was held on May 3rd at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott. The luncheon organized by the Montgomery County Women’s Council of Organizations, celebrates the outstanding volunteer and leadership contributions of women in Montgomery County.  Member organizations select and honor an individual volunteer who has made a significant impact to the organization through their outstanding volunteer efforts.

The sold-out luncheon featured Ms. Gigi Woodruff, Senior Leadership Development Manager at YMCA and Owner of Gigi Woodruff and Associates as the keynote speaker. Ms. Woodruff inspired the crowd as she spoke of overcoming low self-esteem as a child and becoming a force for good. She encouraged and challenged both the guests and honorees to embrace the differences we encounter, to thank our mentors and become mentors for the next generation.

United Way of Greater Houston -“Women Who Rock” Luncheon

United Way of Greater Houston -“WOMEN WHO ROCK” Luncheon Raises Funds For Young Mothers Childcare Scholarships

A crowd of nearly 800 United Way supporters listened and laughed as Texas native Melissa Radke shared her story of connecting with women across the country through social media, ultimately leading her to write her first book. Held at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel, the 6th annual United Way “Women Who Rock” luncheon raises funds to support Young Mothers Childcare Scholarships which allow young women who are committed to pursuing secondary education to provide their children with quality childcare while they attend school.

 

“We believe education is one of the best ways to break cycles and create new legacies that can be passed on for generations,” said Anna M. Babin, president, and CEO of United Way of Greater Houston. “The United Way Women Who Rock luncheon is a fun and inspiring way to rally the community around the important cause of helping young mothers pursue their education goals.”

 

Funds raised from last year’s luncheon provided scholarships to 15 Montgomery County women for the 2018-19 school year. Scholarship recipients attended Lone Star College campuses in Montgomery, Conroe, and Kingwood, along with Sam Houston State University and Chamberlain School of Nursing.

 

“I knew finishing school to get my bachelor’s degree was necessary to give my daughter a better life,” said Taylor Contreras, a scholarship recipient who shared her story at the luncheon.

 

“United Way’s support of young women receiving scholarships goes well beyond paying for childcare,” said Melissa Young, chair of the United Way Montgomery County Regional Council and CEO of Corporate Incentives. “United Way THRIVE offers financial coaching and mentoring that allows these young mothers to make the most use of their degrees and careers.”

 

The application cycle for the 2019-20 school year begins in early April.

 

About United Way of Greater Houston

United Way focuses on strengthening our community by developing children and youth to their full potential, creating strong families and safe neighborhoods, sustaining senior independence and rebuilding people’s lives in times of crisis. Last year, United Way of Greater Houston touched the lives of nearly 2 million of our neighbors in the Bay Area and in Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, and Waller counties. For more information, please visit, www.unitedwayhouston.org.

 

Photos:

Taylor Contreras, Melissa Young

Melissa Radke, Back Row: Melissa Young, Ellie Pfahl, Laura Lea Palmer, Megan Crowl, Courtney Galle, Peg Welbes, Front Row: Jennifer Stefero, Clare Simmons, Jeanne Toth, Michele Kooken, Judy Rhodes

Ms. Kooken, Ellie Pfahl, Peg Welbes, Michele Kooken

Holly Gruy, Laura Lea Palmer, Gil Staley, Ashely Byers

Tiffany McLeod,  Bob Earl