By Erica Pocs, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist CWCC
Last Thursday I was thrilled to attend my first High Tea, which was also my first CWCC event. With a networking portion to kick it off, delicious finger foods and tea, speaker Dafna Michaelson, and in the beautiful historic setting of Accelerated Schools, I walked away having made new connections and feeling inspired.
After walking up the steps of the Fitzroy Mansion, I immediately felt welcomed, despite my initial nervousness. The Mansion, first of all, was the perfect setting for High Tea. Commissioned by Elizabeth Iliff Warren, widow of John Wesley Iliff, the mansion was her home as she assumed the family responsibilities at 34, with four children, to run her husband’s numerous cattle and land empire, as well as several philanthropic endeavors. Mrs. Warren later used the family wealth to serve as the endowment of two educational institutions, one of which is still Accelerated Schools today.
The history of the mansion was palpable, as almost all of the original furnishings still stood, and beautifully so. I was able to meet with some of the lovely ladies of the Better Business Bureau as we chatted over a glass of champagne or lemonade. We then sat down to a table with delicious sandwiches and scones provided by Y. Lo Epicure, and pots of tea where I met with more women. Donna, the President and CEO of the Chamber introduced Dafna Michaelson, and she began her talk.
I was energized by Dafna’s passion for her 50 in 52 Journey, and it was a joy listening to her stories. Her talk was funny and heartfelt as she relayed the steps of her journey. Out of frustration Dafna experienced when she was just 14 over unsolved social issues, blossomed the idea to visit people solving community problems in all 50 states in just one year. And amazingly enough, she did it all as a single mom—and still managed to drive her kids to school every week! We learned of a man in Texas who gives his time to Community Voice Mail, a program to give voice mail and communication options to the homeless. Dafna also met a woman in Maryland that helps put children in Uganda in boarding schools, and another in Massachusetts who is changing the way people eat by teaching them to grow their own food. She met with governors, millionaires, and homeless people doing inspiring things to help their communities. One interesting fact: 65% of the problem solvers she met were women!
The High Tea event at Accelerated Schools was a fantastic first CWCC experience. I met with smart, interesting, professional women; the drinks and treats were scrumptious; Dafna was a fantastic speaker; and I loved being in the ornate, historic setting of the Fitzroy Mansion. I walked away feeling inspired from Dafna’s talk to take a harder look at the problems that face our Denver community, and further inspired to continue attending CWCC events.
By the way, we enjoyed Dafna so much that we invited her back. So, if you missed her at High Tea, you’ll get another chance to hear her amazing story at a luncheon planned for 2012.