To further the celebrations for our 15th Anniversary, we held our first major fundraising gala this spring with two goals: to raise at least $25,000 to support our unique programs, and to do it in true GWN style — no podiums, no hotel ballrooms, and no boring food! Thanks to the incredible generosity of our sponsors and guests, as well as the hard work of our Board, staff, and volunteers, we sold out three weeks in advance — and raised more than $57,000!
With the tremendous support of our Board of Directors, led by Chair Kamy Wicoff, we created the Girls Write Now Awards, to honor the women whose lives and work inspire girls every day to find their voices and tell their stories. The Girls Write Now Awards were chaired by GWN Board member Unyi Agba and our friend Suzzy Roche, who together harnessed the power of our Spring Event Task Force. In this inaugural year, we honored three outstanding women: Tamra Davis, a producer, director, and author who has found success in male-dominated fields thanks to her refusal to listen to anyone who said “no”; Emma Cookson, Chairman of award-winning advertising agency BBH, who is committed to helping women take leadership roles in her creative industry; and Tayari Jones, novelist and former Girls Write Now Vice Chair, who has won an astounding number of prestigious awards for her writing.
Our guests were in love with the food (courtesy of Noah Cain & Gen Sato), from the cheese & truffle mini-quiches to the steak crostini to the fresh oyster bar manned by a charming oyster shucker. Before and after the Awards presentation, guests circulated around the venue, 632 on Hudson, taking in the sights from the art deco room to the flowering roof deck. During the program, we were treated to a performance of a song written by GWN mentees Priscilla Guo and Najaya Royal about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen activist fighting for education for girls. Tinderbox singer/songwriter Denitia Odigie had the entire crowd singing along with her for the rousing chorus.
The evening would not have been a success without our amazing sponsors:
Lead Sponsor: Paul Saunders
Sustaining Sponsors: SJL Attorney Search and BBH
Sponsors: Baird, EILEEN FISHER, and Palisade Capital Management
Media Sponsor: BUST Magazine
In-Kind Sponsor: 632 on Hudson
- To see more of the festivities, explore our photo gallery online.