Women from the Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leaders gathered on Nov. 17 for a reception at the Levine Museum of the New South. Joining Tiffany Circle members were Red Cross volunteers, board members and staff.
Iris Horton, Greater Carolinas Tiffany Circle member and vice chair of the board, welcomed the women after some time for drinks and mingling. Pamela Jefsen, regional executive officer of the Carolina Piedmont Region of the American Red Cross, introduced Pam Brynarsky, who spoke to guests about her experiences volunteering with the Red Cross.
“Thank you for doing what you do as donors, so I can do what I do as a volunteer,” Brynarsky said.
Julia Bianchi was the keynote speaker of the evening. Bianchi serves as a national co-chair of the Tiffany Circle, alongside Elaine Lyerly, a co-founder of the Tiffany group in Charlotte.
Bianchi spoke about her commitment to the Tiffany Circle – which started when she was a Red Cross representative in elementary school.
“The Tiffany Circle is an important initiative because women today are an incredibly powerful philanthropic resource,” Bianchi said, noting that female firms are growing at twice the rate of all U.S. businesses and faster than male owned firms. She added that women control 72 percent of the dollars spent in the United States. “Isn’t this wonderful news, ladies? As women we know we have a choice of where to invest our philanthropic dollars, and we choose carefully.”
Bianchi announced that in the Carolinas Peidmont Region, Tiffany Circle women have an amazing Challenge Grant opportunity with six matches of $5,000 each available to new Tiffany Circle members. In other words, each gift of $5,000 will be matched by the Challenge Grant, and that woman will become a Tiffany Circle member
Renee Brown, co-chair of the Greater Carolinas Chapter Tiffany Circle, closed the evening by noting her experience as both a Tiffany Circle member and a Greater Carolinas Chapter Board of Directors member.
“All of us have people in our lives who are always there for you when you need them, when you are losing hope and when we are in need,” Brown said. “Having lived in New Orleans, I saw how Katrina affected my friends. For my family, it was the hurricane a month later – Rita – that affected my folks. In both instances, when the cameras were long gone, the Red Cross was still there to help when no one else remained.”