On Sunday May 14, 2017 members of New England NACE volunteered at Boston’s Women’s Lunch Place (WLP) to host a beautiful Mother’s Day Brunch for ladies and their children in need. With the assistance of friends, family & the staff of WLP the brunch was a stunning success and touched not only the women which we impacted but all of our volunteers as well.
Women’s Lunch Place is located on Boston’s Newbury Street in the basement of the Church of the Covenant and serves women in the community breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday of each week, welcoming anyone in need of support, friendship and/or a meal. This amazing location was started in November of 1982 by two friends, Eileen Reilly and Jane Alexander, who volunteered at Pine Street Inn and noticed the extreme need for services for homeless women who lacked a safe place and support system in their daily lives. They noted that some of the women would even pose as men in order to access a shelter; a huge safety risk to their well-being. It was then that they decided to create a safe space where women felt taken care of, offering seated meals at tables with florals instead of making them stand in a line waiting to be served. “Dignity is Everything at WLP. [This organization] restores the dignity and empowers personal decision-making by placing the individual needs, preferences and aspirations of our guests at the center of [their] model of care.” Fast forward to today and Women’s Lunch Place not only offers a delicious meal, but also a place to revamp a women’s self-care – offering laundry, showers, medical care and classes “to empower them to pursue their dreams.”
The night before Mother’s Day, our NACE volunteers arrived at Women’s Lunch Place excited and ready to ensure a special and memorable day for the ladies who would enter through those same doors the following day. Complimentary linens from XO The Girls & PEAK Events, design by Tasha McQueen Bracken from SD Events, fresh flowers from Stapleton Floral Design, Jimmy Guzman’s JNG Event Consulting & LoLo Event Design, along with printed menus from Lynn Graham’s Lynn Graham Designs flowed in from our generous sponsors. With the help of the above team and Naomi Raiselle of GENERATIONS cinemastories, and other NACE members tables and chairs were set, linens were laid and napkins folded to create the perfect setting topped by invitations & floral centerpieces.
In the morning final touches were laid – Jimmy Guzman from JNG Event Consulting with the help of Ashley Kirouac & Michelle Fabiano of Hyatt Regency Cambridge created an enticing entryway for the ladies using fresh flowers set inside of the cracks of stone surrounding the entry path & staircase. Ashley Gambee of Wedding Wire ensured that each place setting was set with perfecting, finishing off the place setting with fresh orchids from JNG Event Consulting. Kristin O’Connor of Caper’s Catering arrived with Caper’s delicious cake pops, sure to put a fabulous stamp on the end of a great meal.
Once the room was set & the music by Alissa Musto of Entertainment Specialists began, it was time for the doors to open. The ladies were greeted and welcomed to their seats by Lyndsay Picciano of Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston along with her daughter, and New England NACE President Maria Panaggio-Phillips of Brian Phillips Photography with her family, topping off the perfect family-fun atmosphere filled with love.
Last but certainly by no means least - from the start of day one through until the final guest departed, our New England NACE volunteer team leader Dana Siles of Dana Siles Photography documented each and every precious moment which occurred along the way - see here for a wonderful slideshow. Dana was impressive in coordinating the moving parts of volunteers and sponsors - all in all our sponsors donated a total value of $8,650.00 – the day could not have been such a success without their generosity and ultimately created smiles all around from un-expecting attendees.
Mother’s Day can be a very challenging day for some of the guests who attended the brunch this past May, and we at New England NACE chapter can only hope that we made even just the slightest impact to ensure that their day was better than if they had decided to go anywhere else. New England NACE is so grateful to Women’s Lunch Place to have welcomed us to be a part of such a wonderfully special day and we hope to continue to participate in such moving events in the future.
We at NACE would love to hear from you. In the comments below, let us know if you have any thoughts on our time at Women’s Lunch Place. Thank you for sharing!
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Ashley Kirouac has been an Event Sales Manager at Hyatt Regency Cambridge for three years, primarily selling and planning weddings along with other social events. She won Manager of the Year and was one of 100 Hyatt Hyachievers in Event Sales & Planning for 2016. A NACE member for 1 year, Ashley is now a proud Social Media Committee Member for NACE and enjoys blogging by uncovering knowledge and experiences from other NACE members. When not working she enjoys traveling and spending time with her friends and family. Contact Ashley with ideas for upcoming blog posts!