United Way Emerald Coast launches Women United

Special to Gannet / USA TODAY NETWORK

FORT WALTON BEACH — United Way Emerald Coast (UWEC) celebrated the launch of Women United on Saturday, March 5 in Fort Walton Beach.

In honor of Women’s History Month, 118 ladies from across Okaloosa and Walton counties gathered at WaterVue at Brooks Street in Fort Walton Beach to celebrate the launch of UWEC’s Women United chapter. At the event, our community’s most generous ladies were invited to raise their voice for the causes they are passionate about by voting on the first focus of Women United.

Previously vetted by the Women United committee, two options were presented: “education of young girls” and “mental health of women and girls.” After enjoying a delicious brunch, and some bubbly too, the votes were tallied, and by a 65 percent majority, mental health of women and girls was selected.

Women United launch attendees are pictured March 5 in Fort Walton Beach. Membership is open to women in Okaloosa and Walton counties who want to effect positive change for women and girls living there.

This event featured several local female-led businesses as vendors and sponsors, including Corcoran Reverie, Lumi Pod Photo Booth Rentals, Emerald Epicurean, Forget Me Knot Florals, Happy Helium Destin, Emerald Coast Vibe, Tap The Coast, WaterVue at Brooks Street, Emily Bass Music, and Mrs. Jones Cold Brew Coffee.

Women United is a network of female leaders who wish to effect change in their community through philanthropy and service. By investing their time, talents, and treasures, these passionate ladies come together and address some of our area's most pressing issues as they relate to women and girls.

“I am so excited to have launched Women United right here in Okaloosa and Walton counties,” said Carol Rogers, UWEC Board Member and Women United Chair. “I was previously a member of the Women United chapter in Volusia and Flagler counties where I experienced first-hand the difference a passionate group of women can make. The Emerald Coast is home to some of the most caring and generous ladies in the world and I look forward to uniting with them to build a stronger community where women and girls can thrive.”

A woman takes a photo of Women United launch attendees March 5 in Fort Walton Beach. The group's efforts will target effective, positive change to improve females' lives in Walton and Okaloosa counties.

Interested in becoming a member of Women United? You may already qualify! Membership is open to ladies who generously donate a combined household gift of $500+ a year (unrestricted funding) to UWEC. Visit www.united-way.org/womenunited or contact womenunited@united-way.org to learn more.

United Way Emerald Coast is a local, volunteer-governed organization that works with hundreds of partners to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Okaloosa and Walton counties. To drive positive change, United Way Emerald Coast evaluates our community’s diverse needs, mobilizes the caring power of the community, and directs resources to the areas that will have the most positive impact in our community.