On June 20, the YWCA of the City of New York (YW) hosted their 10th Annual Summer Soiree at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. The Summer Soiree is a premiere YW event featuring dancing, cocktails, a Silent Auction, and an award ceremony honoring dynamic and influential women.
This year’s event topped a long line of successful Summer Soirees that have honored women like Editor-in-Chief of Prevention Magazine Diane Salvatore and Director of East Coast Accounts at BET Shamika Lee. We were delighted to honor a new batch of dynamic and innovative women.
The evening began with a cocktail hour and the opening of our Silent Auction. Multiple vendors and charitable donors contributed items to this year’s Silent Auction including a signed Bruce Springsteen guitar, several tropical vacations, and relaxing spa trips. While bidders made their way around the room, many guests networked and enjoyed a signature persimmon cocktail called the Y-tini.
Once the floors and tables were open to the guests, the presentation of the evening began.
PIX11 Reporter Lisa Mateo was the Mistress of Ceremonies who introduced the evening’s awards and speakers. First up, she presented the W Award, which honors an individual that embodies the YW mission and acts as a visionary, to ESSENCE Magazine Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Bush. Throughout her career, Bush has worked hard and been dedicated to giving a media platform to women of color.
The Community Award, which honors a woman dedicated to the progress of a civil issue for girls and women, was presented to the Founder of Girls Who Code Reshma Saujani. During her acceptance speech, Saujani noted her dedication to getting girls involved in STEM and quipped that there needed to be better representation of women and people of color in the new show “Silicon Valley.”
The final accolade was the One to Watch Award, which honors a woman under 30 that exemplifies the YW’s mission, presented to Activist and Poet Aja Monet. Monet’s poetry and music empowers and encourages youth development and diversity. During her acceptance speech, she recited original poetry that moved and inspired the crowd.
Following the presentation of awards, CEO Dr. Danielle Moss Lee took the stage to talk about the YW’s progression under her leadership. To exemplify the work of the YW, a YW student named Njeri Peters moved the crowd with her story about her time in the YW’s after school program. Peters learned to code, developed her own app, and even has accepting admission into a university to study STEM-related fields.
After inspiring speeches and honoring dynamic women, the dance floor was opened and immediately filled with most of the evening’s guests.
The 10th Annual Summer Soiree’s success signifies the YW’s resurgence in girls and women’s initiatives. By honoring dynamic women and hosting a successful event, the Summer Soiree demonstrates the YW’s commitment to gender equity.
Want to recap the evening in photos? Check out our Flickr Album here!