‘We Are United’ Luncheon Features Lisa Ling

United Way raises $480K at annual luncheon event

Approximately 1,200 attended the “We Are United” Luncheon on May 8. The event at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn was hosted by Valley of the Sun United Way’s Women United and featured journalist, author and television host Lisa Ling. Ling, who currently hosts CNN’s This is Life with Lisa Ling, served as the keynote for the event, sharing stories of her experiences around the globe.

Before Ling’s presentation, Dr. Frank Lomeli, principal of Academia del Pueblo Charter School, spoke passionately about his students and programs in the K-8 school, which is associated with Friendly House. In a poignant speech, he related how his students described to him what it feels like to be hungry.

Auctioneer Letitia Frye then conducted the ask, with generous guests generating $480,000 to directly benefit the Valley of the Sun United Way’s efforts to eradicate hunger in the classroom, helping fund efforts that include the Breakfast in the Classroom program and the WeekEnd Hunger Backpacks campaign, which provides underserved students with nourishing food for the weekend.

Last year’s event, which featured keynote speaker Vanessa Williams, raised more than $300,000and to date, the fundraiser has raised funds to help more than 67,000 students in Maricopa County each year.

Jenny Holsman-Tetreault and Latasha Causey co-chaired the luncheon.

PHOTOS COURTESY VALLEY OF THE SUN UNITED WAY

Merl Waschler, president and CEO of Valley of the Sun United Way, center, with VSUW Women United

Enthusiastic giving generates $480,000

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