Empowerment Through Philanthropy: WRP’s Broader Vision
Rochelle Shucart and Jenny Haire, Junior Chairs of the popular December 2022 Women Rock Philanthropy (WRP) event, share a goal to help expand the base of those who are aware of, involved in, and financially supporting the Women’s Foundation of Collier County (WFCC) programs addressing the needs of at-risk young girls and senior women.
“The WRP event has done an amazing job of giving notoriety—well-deserved recognition—to women who are making a difference,” said Shucart, a professional photographer born and raised in Naples. “I was incredibly impressed when I attended for the first time. I liked the process of how it is done – how women are selected for awards and celebrated at the annual event.”
“In my involvement with WRP, I learned so much about women’s issues, including the growing number of senior women who are facing homelessness. I feel a personal responsibility to educate the next generation of women, and we can do that by personally inviting and involving women in our circles of friends to this and other WFCC events.”
Shucart’s goals include selling tables for the WRP event and engaging new faces. “While attendees are encouraged to attend each year, I really want to include women who weren’t there last year,” she said.
Haire, an office and marketing manager for Stofft Cooney, an architectural firm, was also born and raised in Naples. She makes time for volunteering even while juggling a demanding job and raising two active and busy sons.
“I am absolutely passionate about making my community better,” said Haire. “Through WRP, I have had the privilege to work with and learn from women who are longstanding, successful business and community leaders.”
Haire and Shucart have a history of working well together on event committees, and they are excited to be leading a team that is committed to ensuring the next generation becomes involved in WRP.
“Last year, our role was to support the chairs by securing table sponsorships, planning the decorations, and setting up the room on the day of the event,” said Haire. “More strategically, we wanted to make sure we had the right people in the room to learn about timely and critical issues impacting girls, young women and senior women in our community, with the goal to have them become supporters of the Women’s Foundation and its programs. That goal is carrying forward to this year, too.”
As chairs for this year’s event along with Brenda O’Connor and Vicki Tracy, Haire and Shucart have redesigned the sponsorship package and are inviting younger women who may be new to WRP and WFCC. To broaden the base, they are using their personal networks to cover a range of local industries to ensure they can achieve the higher fundraising goal of $250,000.
As they shared at the recent WRP kick-off event, Haire and Shucart are confident this is one event you’ll not want to miss. Some sponsors and attendees may be drawn to November’s WRP as it will be the first event at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, after its major remodeling—and then rebuild following Hurricane Ian. Because the venue will be smaller than in the past two years, attendance is limited, creating a more intimate environment.
As Waterside Shops celebrates 30 years in the community, it remains as an engaged and active community supporter. As the Women Rock Philanthropy (WRP) event continues to evolve, Waterside Shops continues its premier sponsorship of the event auction. In addition, since 2011, contributions from the upscale shopping venue will have raised over $275,000 for the Foundation by the end of 2023.
Waterside Shops General Manager, Anne Fleming, has been a dedicated Women’s Foundation board member for five years. Over her term, she has served on the executive committee and as chair of the marketing and grants committees.
“It has been a privilege and honor to participate on the Women’s Foundation board,” said Fleming. “The work of the foundation aligns perfectly with Waterside Shop’s focus: women and children.”
As the auction sponsor, Fleming works with her shops to secure a select few items and experiences for the event, which provides exposure for the merchants to the attendees, primarily women. Her goal this year is to help create five or six exclusive and unique packages, with a total value of $20,000 or more, for the silent auction.
Fleming believes the streamlined and simplified WRP event is a powerful tool for honoring incredible women in our community and helping to educate attendees about local issues impacting girls and women. “I am so proud of the role the Women’s Foundation plays in addressing those issues. Funding from the WRP event is critical to support foundation programs that are making a positive difference in the lives of young and senior women. Waterside Shops is honored to be a part of this special event and this important organization.”