Police officers, educators, health care professionals and other public servants filled the runway Tuesday evening at WomenSource’s annual Power of the Purse fundraiser at the Chattahoochee Country Club.
Because the 11th annual Power of the Purse fashion show was held on Sept. 11, the event honored women who serve the community. Funds from the event, WomenSource’s largest fundraiser, help the nonprofit host educational programming to empower women and girls.
WomenSource’s executive director, Elizabeth Burnette, said when she was growing up, she was surrounded by female role models. These women “made it look so easy,” she said, but she later realized that the women in her life were working hard to be successful. The goal of WomenSource is to support women and help women empower each other, she said.
“Women make things look easy, but we know it’s not,” Burnette said. “We know that it takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication and grit and courage and inner strength to make our lives as successful and enjoyable and as wonderful as they are, and that is why WomenSource exists. … We are in this together as women, and that is no small thing.”
Models, who were dressed in outfits from local businesses, included:
- Anslee Wilson, owner of A Helping Hand Home Care
- Julie Battle, department chair and professor of psychology at Brenau University
- Angela Middleton, retired educator who now teaches GED courses
- Brandee Thomas, executive director of My Sister’s Place
- Kay Hall, nurse manager with the emergency department at Northeast Georgia Medical Center
- Melissa Begley, investigator with the Gainesville Police Department
- Ava White, founder of the Academy of Innovation
- Ashley Corwin, investigator with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office
- Danielle Perkins, chief operating officer of Murray Plastics
- Melissa Coursin, school resource officer in Forsyth County
WomenSource also selected three participants from the Girl Power program for middle and high school girls:
- Mary Kate Cimarossa, Georgia Cyber Academy student who enjoys playing piano, fishing and fundraising for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
- Jamia Lewis, Gainesville High School student, who enjoys writing poetry and volunteering
- Angelica Krubeck, student at Veritas Classical School and founder of Super Science Kids, a nonprofit that engages at-risk students in science activities
Kay Hall, nurse manager at Northeast Georgia Medical Center and one of the models, said WomenSource helps women find mentors and learn from each other.
“Hearing the stories, the stories of where women come from and the strength that they’ve shown and the steps that they’ve taken, is amazing, and so to be a part of that is pretty humbling,” Hall said.
Wilson said she supports WomenSource because she has a teenage daughter and has benefited from having female mentors as a business owner.
“They provide programs like Girl Power and have different programs for all walks of life that support women in all aspects of their life. … It’s just a way for women to empower each other,” Wilson said.