Dress for Success of Northwest Arkansas backers celebrated Roaring Twenties style as the group marked a decade of outfitting area women in need with attire and skills to set them up for the success at the Little Black Dress Gala on Nov. 4 at Thaden School in Bentonville. Andrea Albright, executive vice president Global Sourcing, Walmart, served as honorary event chair.
The nonprofit organization outfits unemployed or underemployed women when they attain job interviews. The women work with an image consultant at the Dress for Success boutiques, then are outfitted with a suit and accessories from the boutique's stock of donated, gently used women's business and business-casual attire, shoes, belts, purses and jewelry.
Along with professional clothing, the group provides career services such as career assessment, resume and cover letter assistance, interview prep, career coaching and mentoring.
Tangel Clinard, one of the group's Success Ambassadors, shared with guests her experience with Dress for Success NWA, which helped provide a path to her current job as a quality associate at Walmart. She encouraged guest support, saying, "It's not just about me. There are more of us."
Since the local chapter's formation in 2013, Dress for Success NWA has served more than 5,100 women by providing more than 6,500 programs and services -- touching nearly 19,000 lives when factoring in their children and families, according to dfsnwa.org.
Light of Hope
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Northwest Arkansas got a $404,000 boost from the Light of Hope presented by General Mills benefit breakfast Nov. 7 at the Rogers Convention Center and luncheon Nov. 14 at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale. The breakfast featured keynote speaker Greg Cathey, senior vice president Transformation and Support - Walmart US and Adam Deckinger, general counsel and secretary - Tyson Foods, provided keynote remarks at the luncheon.
CASA provides trained volunteers to represent children in the jurisdiction of family courts. Volunteers conduct their own investigations and then make recommendations to the court for what is in the best interest of the child. A child's court-appointed special advocate is often the one constant in his life while involved in family court. Proceeds from Light of Hope will help the group train more volunteers.
This past fiscal year, 327 trained volunteers worked on cases for 728 children. There have been 111 adoptions and 105 children reunited with their families.
"The stories shared at Light of Hope this year make up a small fraction of the hundreds of cases of child abuse and neglect each year in Northwest Arkansas," says Crystal Vickmark, executive director. "By supporting CASA of Northwest Arkansas, you ensure every child who enters the foster care system in our community has a volunteer advocate by their side to not only fight for their best interests but also to make them feel seen, heard and cared for."
For more event photos -- nwaonline.com/photos/society.
Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected].
At a Glance
Little Black Dress Dinner Party
Who: Dress for Success Northwest Arkansas
What: Proceeds will help support the groups work to "empower women toward economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and programs to help them thrive in work and in life."
When: Nov. 4
Where: Thaden School in Bentonville
Information: (479) 877-6910 or drsnwa.org
Light of Hope breakfast and luncheon
Who: Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Northwest Arkansas
What: The breakfast and luncheon brought in more than $400,000 to benefit the nonprofit child advocacy organization.
When: Nov. 7 and 14
Where: Rogers Convention Center and
Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale
Next: CASA 101, 10 a.m. or 6 p.m. on Dec. 6 or Dec. 14 in Springdale
Information: (479) 725-2213 or nwacasa.org
The story was updated to correct Greg Cathey spelling.