February 6, 2012
Boston GLOW’s “IGNITE the NITE” Helps Make Youth Dreams Come True
Event Raises Over $25,000 in Funds for Underprivileged Girls
Boston, MA. – February 6, 2012 – On January 12, 2012 local grassroots non-profit, Boston GLOW (Girls’ Leadership, Organized Women) hosted its second annual fundraiser “IGNITE the NITE” to raise scholarship funds for young girls in Boston’s most underfunded schools. And the city took notice. The evening affair featured special guests and supporters, Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Councillor, and Karen Kaplan, President of advertising agency Hill Holliday. With over 100 additional sponsors, including restaurants, hotels, sports teams, spas, boutiques, wineries, breweries, and more, the entirely volunteer-staffed GLOW hosted an evening of food, drink, dance, live music, and silent auction that drew over 250 attendees and most importantly, raised over $25,000 in funds for Boston area female high-school-aged students who aspire toward higher education but lack the resources to achieve their academic dreams.
Held at the Artists for Humanity EpiCenter in Fort Point, Boston, IGNITE the NITE whisked guests into an evening of giving, with all proceeds from ticket and beverage sales to silent auction bids going directly towards scholarship funds, laptops, and other educational support for the finalists of the 2011 IGNITE Change Essay Contest, to be named in April. Emceed by local spokesperson T. Whitlow, decorated gratis by local design firm Exquisite Design Concepts, furnished by Party by Design and New England Country Rentals, and with entertainment provided by local pop-rock band City of Squares, the event was a pure demonstration of what can be achieved when a handful of driven young women come together for a cause with drive, belief, and passion.
Entirely comprised of young working professionals, the Boston GLOW board and team hit the ground running in the fall of 2011 to ensure the second IGNITE the NITE would exceed expectations. “Our inaugural IGNITE the NITE event generated more than $10,000 in 2011,” said Boston GLOW board member and Fundraising Director, Emily Copeman. “The fact that we have already raised $25,000 in our second year, is not only humbling but also electrifying in the sense that we as a group of determined young women are truly igniting change.”
And speaking of change, the central question to the 2nd annual IGNITE Change Essay Contest, posed to high school girls from less privileged local communities is, “What would you change about the role of women in your community, city, or school?” Ten finalists, chosen by published female authors in the Boston area, will be awarded educational scholarships, a byproduct of the IGNITE the NITE fundraising effort. Based on the essays received thus far, there is no doubt that these young girls have the talent, creativity, and heart to succeed as tomorrow’s professional and political women. They need only the opportunity to do so. This year’s submissions cover a wide range of topics – some excerpts from these furtive minds:
“When women and girls work together to complete a task, I believe it can be accomplished. We have incredible power.”
“I was one of those teenage girls in Dorchester that didn't understand my value or what I deserved...I want to help young women realized their worth and build their self esteem.”
“I want to let teenage girls know that there is no such thing as love behind violence.”
“If we can join together in the things we enjoy, we can definitely unite to make a difference--we just need to treat people in our community like family.”
“We were thrilled and overwhelmed by the exponential growth we saw in our first year. We now need to continue our rapid growth and capitalize on the visibility and support we’ve gained in such a short time,” explains Boston GLOW founder, Leah Moschella. “We are determined never to lose momentum or lose sight of our mission - we are a small but mighty team and the more we can achieve as a grassroots organization, the more we can demonstrate to the young women we work with that anything is possible.”
To view photos of IGNITE the NITE, please visit http://www.bostonglow.org/ignite_2012_gallery.
About Boston GLOW
Boston GLOW is a local nonprofit that strives to empower women. Founded in 2010 by East Boston resident Leah Moschella, Boston GLOW fosters opportunities for women of all ages to become empowered community leaders and active world citizens. Through two specific
program areas--Girls’ Leadership (GL) and Organized Women (OW)--GLOW strives to provide pragmatic programming, leadership training, and service-learning opportunities.
About Karen Kaplan, President, Hill Holliday
Karen Kaplan is President of Hill Holliday, the 17th largest advertising agency in the US. Ms. Kaplan joined the firm in 1982 as receptionist. Today, she is a driving force behind Hill Holliday’s growth to more than $1 billion in annual billings. Her firm’s impressive list of premier clients includes Bank of America, Chili’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, John Hancock, Liberty Mutual, Major League Baseball, Merrill Lynch, Novartis, TJX and Verizon Wireless.
In recognition of her career achievements, Ms. Kaplan was selected by Advertising Age for its highly coveted “Women to Watch” special report honoring the nation’s top women in advertising, marketing and media. She was named by Boston Magazine and the Boston Business Journal as one of the 50 most powerful people in Boston, and has been honored with the prestigious Pinnacle Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and inducted into the YWCA Boston’s Academy of Women Achievers.
Ms. Kaplan was elected President of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum and as a Director of the Executive Committee of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. She serves on the Board of Governors of the Chief Executives’ Club of Boston and the Board of the Massachusetts Conference for Women and is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, an action-oriented community of the most effective CEOs, heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, and non-governmental leaders in the world.
Ms. Kaplan is a Trustee of Fidelity Investments and a Director of DSM (dba Delta Dental, Doral and DentaQuest). Ms. Kaplan previously served as a Director of ADVO from 2003 to 2007 and as a Director of Tweeter Home Entertainment Group from 2006 to 2007, until the companies were acquired.
About Ayanna Pressley
Ayanna Pressley was elected to the Boston City Council on November 3, 2009. Pressley, the only woman in a field of 15 candidates, earned one of four At-Large spots on the city’s 13-member council with nearly 42,000 votes. After being sworn in on January 4, 2010 she became the first woman of color to serve in the 100-year history of the Boston City Council.
In keeping with the historic nature of her win, Councilor Pressley formed and is chairing a new standing committee, the Committee on Women & Healthy Communities. The committee is devoted to the causes that she has always been most devoted to: stabilizing families and communities, reducing and preventing violence and trauma, and combating poverty. The committee is primarily concerned with adequate delivery of city services and programming for youth, families, seniors and new Bostonians, with particular focus on girls and women. Some of the issues the committee plans to address over the next two years include domestic and sexual violence, child abuse and neglect, bullying, substance abuse, mentoring, hunger and homelessness.
Councilor Pressley also serves as the Chair of the Arts, Film, Humanities & Tourism Committee as well as the Vice Chair of the Public Safety Committee. She also sits on the following committees: City, Neighborhood Services & Veterans Affairs; Economic Development & Planning; Education; Government Operations; Ways and Means, and; the Special Committee on Census & Redistricting.
Although newly elected, Councilor Pressley is no stranger to public service. Her political career spans more than 16 years, in various behind-the-scene capacities at the federal level of government. Councilor Pressley previously worked as a Senior Aide for Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and United States Senator John Kerry. Immediately prior to her run for office, Pressley was serving as Senator Kerry’s Political Director, responsible for managing his relationships with elected officials at the city, state and federal level and various community leaders.
In addition to her work in government, Councilor Pressley has also been an active leader in the non-profit community on issues related to women and girls, civic engagement and diversifying the political pipeline. She has served in leadership positions with groups such as the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus, the Young Professionals Preventing Child Abuse of the Children's Trust Fund. She also serves on the Boards of several Boston and statewide organizations, including the UMass Boston Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, Emerge Massachusetts, Action for Boston Community Development, Inc., and the Young Black
Women's Society. In addition, she is an active “Big Sister” with the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. Her work with young people on violence prevention has earned her national acclaim and she has been recognized by Ebony Magazine, The Root, the Boston Globe, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, Big Sisters of Greater Boston and others as an emerging leader with vision and values.
Councilor Pressley is passionate about youth mentorship and civic engagement and has launched ABC- Ayanna’s BIG Challenge- a yearlong initiative to recruit mentors for children living in the Boston neighborhoods with the longest waiting lists for adult mentors. She is a resident and homeowner in the Ashmont-Adams area of Dorchester, Boston’s largest neighborhood.