COVID-19 couldn’t stop Texas Women’s Foundation from raising close to $1M at 35th annual luncheon

More than 2,000 guests attended Texas Women’s Foundation’s 35th annual luncheon, which was a virtual event due to COVID-19. In the 24 hours that followed the luncheon, another 11,000 watched a recording of the event, which brought together influential business and philanthropic leaders for a conversation with award-winning actress and bestselling author America Ferrera and Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief external engagement officer for retail giant Target.

Toyota and the Dallas Mavericks sponsored the organization’s principal fundraiser. Toyota VP Bonnie Clinton and Mavs CEO Cynt Marshall co-chaired the event, which raised more than $926,000.

At Texas Women's Foundation's virtual fundraiser in late September, award-winning actress and bestselling author America Ferrera and Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief external engagement officer for retail giant Target, talked about sisterhood and superpowers.
At Texas Women’s Foundation’s virtual fundraiser in late September, award-winning actress and bestselling author America Ferrera and Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief external engagement officer for retail giant Target, talked about sisterhood and superpowers.(Texas Women’s Foundation)

The Texas Women’s Foundation mission is to advance the lives of women, girls and their families in Texas. Foundation President and CEO Roslyn Dawson Thompson told attendees, “The foundation chose the theme ‘Texas for All’ to reinforce the need to build more inclusive and equitable communities. This was beautifully stated in the conversation with America Ferrera and Laysha Ward, as well as in the statements given by our luncheon co-chairs, who spoke to the power of equity and diversity, and how important they are to creating a Texas for All.”

Ferrera’s comments focused on:

  • The need within all people, of all races and backgrounds, to be seen
  • Each person’s unique identity is a superpower, not an obstacle
  • Getting comfortable with uncomfortable situations in order to reach understanding
  • Recognizing that talent is universal, but opportunity is not
Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Cynt Marshall, Bonnie Clinton and A. Shonn Brown hosted the Texas Women's Foundation 35th annual luncheon.
Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Cynt Marshall, Bonnie Clinton and A. Shonn Brown hosted the Texas Women’s Foundation 35th annual luncheon.(Alex Maxwell / Texas Women’s Foundation)

Dawson Thompson and board chairwoman A. Shonn Brown, along with Clinton and Marshall, challenged guests to:

  • Educate themselves about the issues
  • Activate networks and influence
  • Advocate for change
  • Donate to Texas Women’s Foundation to continue supporting transformative work

One of the world’s largest women’s foundations, Texas Women’s Foundation has invested $43 million since 2011 to make life better for women and girls. For more information or to donate, go to txwf.org.

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