The connection between women, health care, and commerce is a strong one. It is well known that when women have access to accessible, affordable, reliable health care, they are able to care for their families and often support them, too. When women earn money through work, they spend it on themselves, their families and communities. So access to affordable health and reproductive care is an essential component of the economic equation, and the mission of WomanCare Global. A nonprofit which works to begin this chain of events, WomanCare Global recently hosted a duo of receptions at Hedge Gallery to introduce the concept and raise money through a 'Moroccan fashion bazaar.' Called "Women of Style and Substance," the event created a one-day pop-up shop of California designers who donated a portion of their proceeds to the nonprofit. A very chic swath of San Francisco's girl posse showed up to learn about the organization, discover some treasures, and greet their very stylish and substantial cohort.
Presentations were brief and effective. CEO Saundra Pelletier emphasized that the WomanCare Global nonprofit is run with strong accountability and goals, as befits her lengthy experience in the private sector. But her abundant business acumen is now applied to providing access to affordable and reliable care to those who need it most. "A woman dies in childbirth every minute," she said. "Children without mothers are ten times more likely to die prematurely. When we address the contraception question, we address a whole host of social problems." Kathryn Tunstall, founder and chairman of Conceptus, which co-hosted the event, echoed Pelletier's no-nonsense sentiments. "WomanCare Global does what they say they are going to do. In the developing world, that's huge."
The evening reception also included remarks by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, herself a passionate advocate for women's health care and rights. "We have the capacity to fix this problem," she reiterated, emphatically." So we have a moral obligation to do so. These women need, want, and deserve our overwhelming support."
In this case, support came in the form of shopping. Vogue contributing editor Lawren Howell worked to select the group of designers, which included Band of Outsiders, Current Elliott, Dosa, Denis Colomb, Equipment, Newbark, Stevie Howell, and Tom Binns. Irene Neuworth, Juan Carlos Obando, Gregory Parkinson, Kendall Conrad and Jenni Kayne stood by ready to assist with purchases of their own wares, and seemed to enjoy the uncompetitive collegiality. "My bags are well-made here in California," Kendall Conrad enthused, "so it's great to have them sold here for a good cause, as well."
Stylish women included co-chairs Linda Howell, and Ashley Wick, with a powerhouse committee which included Patricia Calfee, Lily Kanter, Ali Pincus, Jan Yanehiro, Palmer Weiss, Google glasses designer Isabelle Olsson, Amaryllis Fox, Ruzwana Bashir, Robin Richards Donohoe, Ara Katz, Jennifer Wick, Anna Richardson, Jennie Nunn, Sabrina Buell, Samantha Traina, Lauren Goodman, Claiborne Swanson Frank, Sharon Wick, Randi Fisher, Anna Richardson, Maggie Rizer Mehran, Kelly Halper, Debbie Messemer, Dorka Keehn, Alice Cahan, Alexis Traina, Gabriella Sarlo, Amy Levins, Erin Martin, Katie Hintz-Zambrano, Sumer Tompkins Walker, Maggie Betts, Elizabeth Yarborough Garth Neil, Catherine Quist Brisbin, Max Boyer Glynn, Elissa Lumley, and Ali Speer. Other guests included Hedge Gallery's Roth Martin and Steven Volpe, Vanessa Getty, Jan D'Allessandro, Lina Kutsovskaya, Debbi Fields, Cathy Podell, ModeWalk's Beatrice Pang, Kelly Halper, Stephen Schubel, Lynn Jurich, Becca Prowda, Alison Sonsini, Dana Blum, Randi Fisher, Carla Emil, Susan Swig, Mike Purvis, Michelle Purvis, adorable newlyweds Anna Roth and David Shearer, Erin Hagstrom and a whole host of women and some brave men who made the effort and expenditure to demonstrate that they do care.
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