Girls Inc of Northern Alberta, Women of Inspiration

Press release: Women of Inspiration Gala raises more than $45K

Girls Inc of Northern Alberta, Women of Inspiration Gala 2020
Attendees enjoying the Women of Inspiration Gala. Photo: Muhammad Alam.

First Women of Inspiration Gala a Success

Fort McMurray (March 12, 2020) — Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta is humbled to announce that its very first Women of Inspiration Gala honoured five incredible local women and raised more than $45,000 for the organization.

Thank you to every sponsor, local business that donated items to our silent and live auctions, volunteers and event organizers that made this event such a success. We couldn’t do it without you.

Karla Buffalo, Purva Sharma, Shannon Noble, Michelle Farrow and Caitlin Downie were all awarded for their efforts to break gender stereotypes and create change in our community. They join 72 other women who have been nominated since the program started in 2012 with Syncrude.

On the eve of International Women’s Day, we were grateful to have Mandy Harvey, America’s Got Talent, Golden Buzzer Winner shared her inspiring story and music with everyone in attendance. Harvey lost her residual hearing at the age of 19 but worked to overcame many obstacles that faced her. She left the audience with an important message instead of asking “What’s the worst that can happen?” Consider “What’s the best that can happen? Everything.”

Girls Inc of Northern Alberta, Women of Inspiration Gala 2020
Mandy Harvey sharing her music with attendees. Photo: Muhammad Alam.

“From initiating this opportunity to being in the moment, every step of the way has made me re-realize just how powerful this community is, why we do what we do at Girls Inc. and what we can be. Struggles, barriers, walls, ceilings… these may not always be visible. The word ‘see’ can be interpreted and experienced in so many ways. But together, we can find them, break them and unleash the potentials hidden by them, irrespective of our background. Thank you to all who made this inspirational event come true, and we just cannot wait to start planning the next year’s event so that more girls can be strong, smart and bold,” said Nanase Tonda, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta.

All proceeds raised from the gala will support Girls Inc. deliver free programming to girls 6-18 years old across the Wood Buffalo Region.

Nominations for the 2020-2021 Women of Inspiration Series is now open. The first nominee will be announced near the end of May. Application deadline for the first nominee is April 30th, 2020.

Watch the videos of our Women of Inspiration on our YouTube channel:

About the Women of Inspiration Series

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta (Girls Inc.) inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through direct service and advocacy. Our comprehensive approach to whole girl development equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and grow up healthy, educated, and independent. Girls Inc. and Bouchier entered a five-year partnership with a funding commitment of $25,000 a year going toward the Women of Inspiration program, Bouchier and Girls Inc. is committed to recognizing excellence in female leadership in Wood Buffalo.

Syncrude Canada has made a three year commitment to Girls Inc. to award three, $3000 Women of Inspiration Scholarships. The awards are given based on financial need, academic achievement, extracurricular and community involvement.

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