More than 700 women marked Women’s History Month at the 6th annual Women’s Empowerment Luncheon on March 19.
The historic and community-focused St. John’s Congregational Church in Springfield hosted the event at Chez Josef in Agawam. The guest speaker was Mt. Holyoke College alum and nationally-acclaimed speaker and author Judge Glenda Hatchett of the Hatchett Firm in Atlanta, Georgia. Hatchett is also the star of the syndicated television show, “Judge Hatchett.”
The theme for this year’s event was “One Woman Can Make a Difference.” DeBerry Elementary School teacher Catherine Kabochi was also honored for her work with “The Pencil Project.”
“These women come every year to be inspired by the keynote speaker, gain valuable information that will improve the quality of their lives and those around them, fellowship with other women, and raise funds for community organizations that serve women and/or children,” said Jamina Scippio-McFadden, the luncheon chairwoman, in a statement. “This year we will be reminded of how one person’s individual contributions can have a significant impact. The women will also have a chance to make a statement about their health by scheduling a mammogram, thanks to Baystate Health.”
The mistress of ceremony was local news personality Shakala Alvaranga of Western Mass News, the television partner to The Republican and MassLive.com. Also during the luncheon, Springfield native Crystal Copeland was recognized for her grassroots movement, the “United for Flint” Campaign.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will also benefit “The Pencil Project,” Girl Scouts, the MLK Black College Tour, the A.S.C.E.N.D. Program for High School Students and the SJCC Educational Foundation. To date, the grassroots luncheon has raised more $12,000 for community organizations, according to organizers.