Dress for Success is more than just a suit and that was underscored on April 18, 2018. The organization celebrated the 2018 “Be Bold Gala” in New York City at Cipriani Wall Street. The Gala is the organization’s largest fundraiser and most prestigious event. The goal is to raise funds to continue to help nearly 70,000 women annually in 160 cities, as well as bring awareness of our mission for economic independence.
This year, women were celebrated who no longer allow their past stories to define them. Ten women, Success Ambassadors, were selected who sought out Dress for Success in a time of need and overcame various obstacles. These women have authored new chapters in their lives, embracing and embodying a fierce boldness that has allowed them not only to succeed, but to pay it forward to the next woman. They have transformed into leaders in the workforce as well as within their families and their communities. One of the Success Ambassadors and Client Speaker, Kara Burns, moved everyone with her failure-to-triumph story and her depiction of the impact that Dress for Success had on her life.
The “Be Bold Gala” opened with the inspiring powerful ballad from the “Resistance Revival Chorus” performing Rich Man’s House and You Don’t Own Me. Carmen Rita Wong, Dress for Success Worldwide Board Member and CEO of Malecon Productions, LLC, was the Gala Chair.
Three honorees were recognized at the Gala with the Humanitarian Award, the Corporate Citizenship Award and the Impact and Innovation Award. Bethenny Frankel was awarded with the Humanitarian Award for her extraordinary philanthropic efforts over the years and most recently with her B Strong: Find Your Yes disaster relief efforts. B Strong is a crisis intervention initiative that provides real time emergency assistance to women who face crises on their road to success. With the funds raised through B Strong, Bethenny has helped Dress for Success women avoid eviction, maintain sobriety and gain access to affordable legal fees- among other support. Adrianna Papell was awarded with the Corporate Citizenship Award for their longstanding commitment to Dress for Success and mission to make every woman and every moment feel special. Jaynee Berkman, Chief Creative Officer of Adrianna Papell accepted the award on the company’s behalf. Susan Credle was awarded with the Impact and Innovation Award for her status as one of the advertising industry’s leading creatives and an important voice representing women. Susan has made a huge difference in the creative world by opening opportunities and bringing creative solutions to bear that elevate the status quo and spark innovation and impact.
By the end of the night, Dress for Success exceeded their goal of $1.2 million. All donations benefit the women of Dress for Success who receive mock interview training, resume building, job retention and advancement skill building, networking and mentoring opportunities, financial education, health and wellness courses and leadership development.