More than 500 business and community-minded attendees enjoyed an evening of fashion and philanthropy at the 12th Annual 'A Night Out,' sponsored by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP. The event, held on Nov. 15 at the Westin Galleria, raised $137,580 to help Dress for Success® Houston purchase 500 suits to outfit economically disadvantaged women as they transition into the workforce. Funds generated will also support valuable career development programs and scholarships for 5,000 women in 2013.
For the eighth consecutive year, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP served as presenting platinum sponsor for the benefit. Rachel Powitzky Steely, a labor and employment partner in Gardere's Houston office, presided as chair for the event that hosted a full crowd, including community leaders and senior-level female professionals from Houston-area companies. The evening's festivities, emceed by KPRC Local 2 News Anchor Rachel McNeill, included boutique shopping, a fashion show and style presentation by image consultants Cathy Fitzpatrick Cleary and Holly Thompson, who shared timeless fashion tips and trends for a professional wardrobe.
Each year, 'A Night Out' maintains its role as an integral fundraiser for Dress for Success Houston, and is organized through the combined efforts of Dress for Success Houston and the Gardere Women's Council, a business networking and professional development organization established by the Firm to support its female attorneys and clients. Members of the Gardere Women's Council, which include this year's event chair, Rachel Powitzky Steely, are leaders within the Firm and legal community and are also active contributors to other civic and community initiatives.
"The Women's Council is proud to contribute to 'A Night Out' each year and elevate awareness of Dress for Success Houston's mission to provide life-changing services to women transitioning into employment," Ms. Steely said. "'A Night Out' is a wonderful celebration of the successes that women can achieve in their lives and in the workplace with the help of simple, yet much-needed resources such as business attire, education and emotional support, which collectively give them the confidence they need to conquer the working world."
In addition to its support of 'A Night Out,' Gardere assists Dress for Success Houston with mentoring programs through its Corporate Guild as well as other networking and special events.
"We are pleased to partner with Gardere once again for 'A Night Out' and to be aligned with a group of women within the Firm so dedicated to helping others find success in their own careers," said Nancy Levicki, Dress for Success Houston president and co-founder. "The funds from compassionate donors, like those who attended the well-planned event, start by shaping our clients into professionals through their wardrobe. However, these women are impacted far beyond this, gaining life-changing confidence that can help them secure a dream job, escape difficult life situations, and learn how to be self-sufficient."