Power of the Purse Celebrates Inspirational Women in Stark County

(Canton, OH) September 17, 2019 – United Way of Greater Stark County’s Women United celebrated an inspiring leadership appreciation event at Gervasi Vineyards on September 10.

Diane Pete, a member of both Women United and United Way’s 2019 campaign cabinet, hosted the Power of the Purse gathering.

The networking event featured five local women who spoke about never giving up and shared their inspirational stories of success with attendees.

Karen Volzer: Karen is the founder and owner of The Hair Shoppe and Spa. She opened the shop when she was 21, and forty years later now employs fifty women and is one of the largest salons in Ohio. Karen takes great pride in helping her employees build confidence as young professional women. Karen and her husband will soon be launching an ice cream and pastry shop called Fairport Harbor Creamery on the shore of Lake Erie.

Alyssa Brady: As Alyssa was taking care of her ailing grandmother, Dee, she was also pursuing her real estate license. Dee gave her the strength to become the person she is today and Alyssa closed her very first transaction on the day Dee passed away. Alyssa helped co-found Canton Girl Gang, a professional networking organization for women, and continues her real estate practice.

Angela Fach: Seven years ago, Angela lost all her material possessions in a divorce. Through the generosity of friends and the community, she managed bit by bit to reclaim her life and win custody of her children after a long, drawn out legal battle. During this time, Angela created the Universal Architect apparel line and the nonprofit You Can You Will Foundation.  Since then, she has also expanded her photography business and co-founded Canton Girl Gang.

Annette Swindin: Annette’ husband passed away twenty-four years ago, and she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s in 2005. She persevered through chemotherapy and many surgeries over the next few years. Through the advice of her doctor and nurse, Annette started to eat healthier and give cooking demos on how to adjust to a plant-based diet. She started The Green Vegetarian, a catering and delivery business, then a few years later purchased a food truck and named it Vegan A Go-Go.

Kim Ryan: Kim found herself in and out of homeless shelters over a period of a few years after her mother passed away and she earned minimum wage at her jobs. With support from United Way’s partner agency Alliance for Children and Families, Kim was able to reset her life and get into an apartment. She now volunteers in the community and would like to become a case manager.

“This was a special event,” said Tonya Wright, Co-Chair of the 2019 United Way fundraising campaign. “It is important to hear the stories of local women and support each other. Wonderful things happen when we lift each other up and celebrate each other’s successes. Everyone deserves an opportunity to pursue their dreams.”

Admission to the event was a purse filled with personal care items. More than 110 purses were collected and will go to local women in need throughout the community.

“Via raffle donations, the event raised $1,570 for United Way’s 2019 campaign,” said Amy Mast, Chair of the Steering Committee for Women United. “We are so proud to empower local women; neighbors who need lifted up in their time of need. Together, we can make sure women have the resources they need in order to succeed, for themselves and their families.”

Fourteen local women who persevered submitted their stories of achievement to United Way. Their full stories are available at uwstark.org/women-united.

Pictures from the event are available at facebook.com/unitedwayofgreaterstarkcounty

About Women United
In each community they serve, Women United tackles the issues that matter most to the people who call it home. They are a community of like-minded women who contribute their personal passions, inspired ideas, and unique strengths to the mission of building stronger communities. They create opportu­nities to network and collaborate with key business and community leaders at exclusive events. Learn more about the key issues impacting our community, advocate at the local and state level and become part of meaningful, global progress with Women United. Advocate for key community issues at the local and state level. More information is available at www.uwstark.org/women-united

About United Way of Greater Stark County
United Way of Greater Stark County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. We win by living United. By forging unlikely partnerships. By finding new solutions to old problems. By mobilizing the best resources. And by inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crisis. Our mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities in Greater Stark County. In order to live better, we must live United. For more information about United Way of Greater Stark County visit www.uwstark.org. Offices are at 401 Market Avenue North, Suite 300, Canton, Ohio 44702. (330) 491-0445.