FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | March 12, 2018
ABDUCTION SURVIVOR ELIZABETH SMART DISCUSSES HUMAN TRAFFICKING PREVENTION AT
YWCA OF HOUSTON’S 2018 OUTSTANDING WOMEN’S LUNCHEON
Women on the Rise!: A Legacy of Commitment and Service program recognizes 11 honorees
May 24, 2018 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Royal Sonesta Hotel | Houston
The YWCA of Houston celebrates its mission to empower women by recognizing impactful female community leaders at this year’s Outstanding Women’s Luncheon known as OWL and through a keynote address by abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart.
The 2018 affair will applaud 11 honorees whose work in the Houston area exemplifies the luncheon’s theme: Women on the Rise!: A Legacy of Commitment and Service.
Smart – a human trafficking prevention activist, author and ABC News contributor – received international attention when she was taken from her Utah home at age 14 in 2002 and held for nine months. As the founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, she advocates vigilance by everyone and hope for all missing children – which connects to YWCA of Houston’s strong advocacy of human trafficking awareness and abolition.
The Outstanding Women’s Luncheon will be Thursday, May 24, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the beautiful Royal Sonesta Hotel, 2222 West Loop South, Houston, Texas, 77027.
This year’s esteemed honorees, by category, are:
Education: Ruth Simmons, Ph.D., President, Prairie View A&M University
Business: Edna Meyer-Nelson, Founder, President and CEO, The Richland Companies
Oil and Gas: Shawn E. Simmons, Ph.D., Engineer, Environmental and Permitting Manager, ExxonMobil
Dorothy Height: Edith Irby Jones, M.D., pioneering physician and humanitarian
Art: Beth Merfish, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Houston-Clear Lake
Healthcare: Juliet Breeze, M.D., CEO and Medical Director, Next Level Urgent Care
Law and Government: Jessica Farrar, Houston legislator, Texas House of Representatives
Community Philanthropy: Roxann Chargois, Western Area Director, The Links, Inc.
Outstanding Youth: Lauren Elie and Jordan Fein, Flower Power Gives
STEM: Paula McCann Harris, Engineer and Director of Global Stewardship, Schlumberger
This year’s honorary luncheon chair is Jacqueline W. Bostic, the YWCA of Houston Board Chair Emeritus, and the honorary luncheon co-chair is Jacqueline Bostic McElroy, the YWCA of Houston Board Chair.
Nearly 500 people attend the annual Outstanding Women’s Luncheon, a charitable event that helps the YWCA of Houston increase awareness of its mission and programs. This year’s fundraising affair has heightened importance as the YWCA of Houston – the city’s second-largest provider of senior services – continues to respond to the critical needs of elder community members still recovering from Hurricane Harvey and as the organization plans to open the city’s first and only emergency shelter specifically designated for women who have been trafficked. Connect to #YWCAHOUOWL on social media.
Sponsorship and tickets for the luncheon can be purchased online at www.ywcahoustonevents.org.
Media Contact: Kelly P. Hodges | firstname.lastname@example.org | 832-865-4722
About YWCA of Houston
YWCA of Houston is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are part of one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, which serves more than 2 million women and girls and their families. YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 150 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Visit www.ywcahouston.org to learn more.