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YWCA’s Salute to Women on Tuesday evening will be virtual – and free

Invite to the 2020 Salute to Women of Achievement

By Maria Saporta

The YWCA of Greater Atlanta decided to hold its Salute to Women of Achievement on April 21 at 7 p.m. – virus or no virus.

Invite to the 2020 Salute to Women of Achievement

But this year’s Salute will be virtual, and it will be free to whoever wants to join in. Folks just have to register online to be able to participate.

Sharmen Gowens, CEO of Atlanta’s YWCA, said the Salute usually accounts for one third of the nonprofit’s annual budget. The organization’s daycare center is closed, and that is impacting another one of its revenue streams.

So, the YWCA made the decision that “the show must go on” because it needs funds so desperately. Its leaders decided to forgo its fancy gala event and to make it a virtual affair.

And it appears the bet is paying off. Already, about 500 people have registered for the event.

This year’s inductees to the YWCA;s Academy of Women of Achievement

“This is a testament to the fact that women love to come together and celebrate other women,” Gowens said. “Salute is an event where women come together and inspire one another.”

The YWCA did its research, and it opted to hold its 2020 Salute with the videoconference platform Zoom.

The 10 honorees will be joining in from the comfort of their own homes. There will be videos to show and sponsors to acknowledge. While attendees don’t have to worry about getting dressed up – they do have to make sure they have good solid WIFI and have decent lighting.

This year’s event is honoring some true change agents in Atlanta from local companies such as Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola, Georgia Power, Southern Company Gas, Citizens Trust Bank and others.

Alicia Philipp, who is retiring as president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, is being honored with the highest recognition as the 2020 Woman of Achievement.

Phlipp has been running the Community Foundation for more than 40 years. During her tenure, the Community Foundation has given away more than $1.7 billion to nonprofit organizations in the Atlanta region and beyond.

The YWCA’s Salute to Women of Achievement honorees in 2018 (Photo by Maria Saporta)

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.


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