Angels Among Us Raises Funds For Girls Inc. of Winter Haven
by James Coulter
Last year, Dr. Nanette Rodgers was honored with the Judy Pope Award from Girls Inc. of Winter Haven for her work as both a former educator and a healthy living advocate.
As a local woman whose local community of Winter Haven has allowed her to excel in her life, Dr. Rodgers does everything she can to help give back to her community to ensure that other young girls and women have the same opportunity.
One way she does that is through volunteer work with the same organization that honored her last year with her award, Girls Inc. of Winter Haven—the local branch of a national non-profit organization which, according to its website, is “dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.”
Dr. Rodgers has a personal connection with the organization. Not only did it honor her with her award last year, but she is also close friends with the organization’s Executive Director, Peggy Threlkel.
“Peggy was my next-door neighbor for years,” Dr. Rodgers said. “I have watched her grow up, and I just think she is a wonderful director. I support her. I love to be around the girls because they are bold and they are smart. It is just a wonderful experience for them when they grow up.”
For the past several years, Dr. Rodgers has helped to give back to the organization, as well as the local community, through Girl’s Inc. annual fall fundraiser, Angels Among Us, hosted last Thursday evening.
She attends the annual fundraiser whenever she can, and she gives as much as she can through her donations whenever she can. As a local woman whose community allowed her to achieve great things, she was to offer other local girls and women the same opportunity through her donations, she explained.
“The more you bid, the more you give to help the girls,” she said. “I always want to give, and I had a lot of people give and support me, and it is a wonderful thing to be a part of the Angels.”
Ever since it first started several years ago, Angels Among Us has helped raise money for Girls Inc. of Winter Haven and their educational and tutoring programs for young girls. Their overall success has no doubt been the result of the attendees and sponsors who attend year after year, Threlkel explained.
During its annual fall fundraiser, Angels Among Us, Girls Inc. of Winter Haven allows participants to offer donations to their organization by bidding on various items during live and silent auctions.
This year’s event was hosted at Venue 650 in Winter Haven. Previous events had been hosted at Arabella’s in the downtown area. The new venue this year offers a more spacious setting that permitted a much larger turnout, Threlkel said.
Throughout the evening, attendees could enjoy appetizers and drinks as served by The Catering Company, with items including barbecue sandwiches, chocolate-covered bacon, and miniature quiches.
What has allowed the event to grow exponentially each and every year has been the overall camaraderie of the event. Attendees love being able to socialize with other guests and utilize their time there to give back to a great organization, she said.
“We have grown in attendance as well as having items and ideas for new inventive ways to raise money,” she said. “It has exceeded expectations. We had more sponsors this year than in previous years. We also have more attendees. So it is wonderful. We are hoping that we continue to grow.”
Amanda Jo Nicholson, Vice President of Member Services at the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, has been serving with Girls Inc. for the past nine years, and currently sits as their Chair on the Board of Directors.
As a local leader within the Winter Haven community, Nicholson appreciates how the organization inspires young girls and women alike to become similar leaders within their community through tutoring programs and other community services.
“I love this event because it helps bring people together,” she said. “We are blessed with many great sponsors who helped put this together. Great partners who help work it. It has been bigger than any event that has ever been held.”
For more information about Girls Inc. of Winter Haven, visit their website at: https://www.girlsincwinterhaven.org/