Dedicated to supporting the cause of social and economic justice for women and girls, the gathering featured a live and silent auction, cocktails, hors d'œuvres -- and plenty of excitement as, one by one, chic designer handbags went to the highest bidder.
The BMW showroom, with its soaring glass walls and gleaming surfaces, provided a stylish venue for the catered affair, a $100-per-person event that drew professionals from all vocations.
Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of New Jersey, Michelle Tuck-Ponder called the event “A celebration of women’s philanthropy,” -- one that would raise money for women’s and girls’ training programs, with the ultimate goal of teaching them make changes in public policy.
“If you can change laws, you can change the world,” she said. “One talks a lot about the war against women, in state legislature and Congress. Well, this is a way to fight back.”
“This is a different kind of fundraiser. It’s very creative,” observed Roslyn Rogers-Collins, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metroplitan New Jersey. “I’m very committed to women’s issues and causes that will empower women. At Planned Parenthood, we have a great education program. We employ high school students as team peer educators. They go out into the community and talk about issues that are relevant to teenagers.”
Tuck-Ponder described two of the programs sponsored by The Women’s Fund of New Jersey: Tweet-2-Eat and The Women’s Policy Institute.
“Tweet-2-Eat teaches girls who live in underserved areas – “food deserts” – how to advocate for fresh and healthy food,” she said. “The Women’s Policy Institute teaches women who work for non-profits to lobby for policies and laws to improve the status of women in New Jersey.”
But on Friday night, the only mission of the organization was to have fun.
“We call this the party of the year for a reason,” smiled Greg Holloway, the General Manager of BMW of Bloomfield, who called the event “a great opportunity to feature our facility and our township.”
“Women love purses and they love to talk, and this is an opportunity to talk about philanthropy,” said Tuck-Ponder. “There is a lot of excitement here. It’s a great night.”
The Women’s Fund of Jersey has invested more than $1.6 million since 1995, in organizations that provide housing and health care, counseling and education, and job and life-skills training to women and girls in diverse communities across the state.
The organization also created a Women's Policy Institute in 1998 to train grass-roots women leaders in the art of advocacy and help bring positive social change and improve the overall health and well-being of women and their families.
For more information contact The Women's Fund of New Jersey
145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618