The public relations cohort at KPU held Works of Art, a fundraiser for Dress for Success Vancouver, at Braid Street Art Studio and Gallery on March 7.
Dress for Success is an international non-profit organization that provides women the opportunity to gain economic independence by giving them the basic tools they need for success. The organization not only provides women with the right professional attire for job interviews, but also assists with resume writing and job searching.
On the night of the fundraiser, the studio was filled with sparkling lights, a delicious variety of wine and cheese, and most importantly, community members enthusiastic about supporting women’s economic stability.
Every year, for the final project in the public relations program, students have the opportunity to plan a fundraiser for a cause of their choosing. One member of the fundraising committee, Maddy Rempel, says that she and her colleagues wanted to prioritize “giving everyone an equal chance to work in the workforce.”
“Because we are a cohort of all women, we felt it’s necessary to support women in our community,” she says.
And support women they did—in part by offering activities like a silent auction filled with donations from local businesses and a photo booth complete with fun accessories.
Enjoying a glass of red wine and a golden beet stuffed with goat cheese, attendee Lindsay Gilbert emphasized that the cohort “did a really good job” with the Works of Art fundraiser. Stephanie Howes, the dean of KPU’s school of business, agreed. Howes also urged attendees to “acknowledge the hard work these students have put in” and to wish them luck in their future careers during her speech.
Another speech by Geraldine Roxas, a Dress for Success client, left the audience with teary eyes and hopeful hearts. After immigrating from the Philippines, Roxas had immense trouble as a single mother finding a job to support her and her son. In part due to support from Dress for Success, she now works as an office manager.
She says that “it’s our journey of empowering women to become … successful in life” that will help change lives all over the world.
Near the end of the night, cohort member Maria Skoczylas said she was happy with how the fundraiser went. Skoczylas explained that it was a happy accident that Works of Art and International Women’s Day nearly coincided.
“We are all females who are very empowered,” said Skoczylas. “We’re just entering the workforce ourselves.”
She believes that this made the fundraiser even more impactful for the PR cohort as they take the next steps in their promising careers as independent, hard working women.