United to Empower Holds First Rainbow Brunch – Smithfield Times

United to Empower (UTE) sponsored its first Rainbow Brunch on Saturday June 4th at Surry County Parks and Recreation Centre.

The theme of the event was “The Power of Self Love; A party for women with a purpose. Over 169 guests attended, including women, youth and young adult volunteers, and care coordinators. The purpose of the event was not only to raise funds for the next June 19 event scheduled for June 19 at the Surry County Parks and Recreation Center, but also “to inject intergenerational hope into the community“.

The premise of the event was based on the colors of the rainbow representing blessings, hope, promise and new beginnings. The event provided a host of “assertiveness activities” including an empowerment icebreaker hosted by Lawanda Warren. The master of ceremonies was Barbara Wiggins, who kept the audience engaged and laughing with her quick wit.

Several Care Coordinators provided the client with self care goods and services: Deeply Frooted, District 19, Final Touch Health & Beauty, James House, KapturedbyKy, KD Mobile Foot & Nail Care, Mary Kay, Massage Just 4U, True Self Life Coaching and the Virginia Department of Health.

The keynote speaker was Dorothy Blunt. The musicians were Raven Powell and Donavan Davis, and the Ruffin Dancers performed.

Food was provided by the caterer Blessed and very fragrant. The highlight of the event was a multi-generational hat show with upbeat music provided by DJ Stanley, where young and old modeled hats and hairstyles.

UTE strategically created content for the event by fostering strong community collaboration.

“This is just the beginning for us to deliver empowerment programs to the six communities we serve,” said Sophenia Pierce, UTE Executive Director. “We are committed to our mission to educate, improve and empower communities and youth. Young people are not only our future, but our today.

Volunteers included UTE members Felicia Bailey, Lorraine Brown, Aulinda Byrd, Leaca Clarly, Sheila Harrison, Joyce Knight, Roxanne Marr-Shears, Carol Marsh, Judy Meekins, Sophenia Pierce, Paquita Spratley, Lawanda Warren and Ronica Wynn-Harris, young volunteers from Surry County High School Year 2 through the upper grades, and 10 young adults who helped greet the women for the day.

“This event was directly aligned with UTE’s goal to unite organizations and create endless opportunities that will improve the physical, mental, social and cultural well-being of all,” said Marr-Shears, President of UTE. “It may sound ambitious, but UTE is and will continue to be a driving force for community empowerment. The main objective of UTE is to teach and empower young people so that they can lead the way.

For more information about joining or volunteering for the organization, visit the United to Empower page on Facebook.

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