United Way of Broward County's Women United Hosts 7th Annual Magnolia Luncheon on March 15th

Kathleen Cannon, President/CEO of United Way of Broward County; and Leigh Anne Tuohy, Keynote Speaker of The 7th Annual Magnolia Luncheon Kathleen Cannon, President/CEO of United Way of Broward County; and Leigh Anne Tuohy, Keynote Speaker of The 7th Annual Magnolia Luncheon Photo Courtesy of Downtown Photo

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – The 7th Annual Magnolia Luncheon, hosted by United Way of Broward County’s Women United, was held on Thursday, March 15th at Pier 66 Hotel & Marina in Fort Lauderdale. Each year, the Magnolia Luncheon recognizes women of dignity, strength and perseverance.

This year, United Way of Broward County honored two deserving women with awards. Maureen Shea, CEO and Co-founder of Right Management for the Florida/Caribbean Region, received the Magnolia Woman of Inspiration Award for her role as a strong and leader in both her profession and in the community where she serves as an inspiration to her peers. Ashley Shea, Director of Brand and Retail Development for AutoNation, received the Woman of Promise Award, for her outstanding philanthropic efforts and community service initiatives.

Leigh Anne Tuohy served as the Luncheon’s keynote speaker. Leigh Anne and her family inspired the world with their story about adopting Michael Oher, a homeless seventeen-year-old boy who later became a NFL Super Bowl Champion. The Tuohy family’s journey was documented in Michael Lewis’ New York Times best-selling story The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, which was later adapted into the beloved film The Blind Side.  Leigh Anne spoke about how each person can make a difference, even if in just one person’s life. She and her family continue to inspire hope, ignite generosity and create opportunity for the deserving.

“Our Annual Magnolia Luncheon hosted by Women United allows us the opportunity to honor and recognize the strong women we are proud to have in our community who make it their mission to confront head-on the most critical issues our community is facing,” said Kathleen Cannon, President/CEO of United Way of Broward County. “Having Leigh Anne as our keynote speaker was the perfect fit as she aligns with our mission and shares the same message of the importance of building leaders and fostering a commitment to philanthropy in our society.”

United Way of Broward County’s Women’s Initiative was formed in 2003 to encourage women leaders within the community to pledge a commitment to their community. Each year, Women United focuses their efforts on specific priority United Way projects.  Sasha Moon, Manager, Corporate Philanthropy JM Family Enterprises, is the current Chair of Women United.

This year’s Magnolia Luncheon title sponsor was Consolidated Credit and the presenting sponsor was Nova Southeastern University. Event co-chairs were Cathy Donnelly, Director of Community Relations at Castle Group, and Carin Porras, Partner at Brydger and Porras LLP.

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