Pounds: RoaringWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | email@example.com
At the Sept. 13 This Is Me event, the three women in The Rivets sang the latest Katy Perry song with gritty conviction:
“I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire/’Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar/“Louder, louder than a lion/‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar.”
At an event supporting female empowerment, the song set a perfect mood. The inaugural This Is Me, which benefited Girls on the Run (GOTR) of Northwest Ohio, was a rousing success, raising $6,000 according to organizer Jeremy Baumhower. The event featured large portraits of local women without makeup — Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates, Toledo City Councilwoman Lindsay Webb, WTOL-11 news anchor Chrys Peterson, 101.5 The River morning radio host Mary Beth Zolik, Project iAm founder Nicole Khoury, The Josh Project founder Wanda Butts, Hannah’s Socks founder Hannah Turner, two-time cancer survivor and Susan G. Komen for the Cure honoree Kelli Andres and Toledo Police Sgt. Anita Madison of the Toledo Community Initiative to Reduce Violence.
GOTR is a 10-week program that combines running with an interactive curriculum to inspire self-respect and healthy lifestyles in preteen girls. Topics discussed include bullying, peer pressure and healthy body image with a focus on positive physical, emotional, mental and social development.
The organization has chapters in more than 200 cities in the United States and Canada. Northwest Ohio’s chapter started in 2012 and hosted 13 teams of third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at 11 sites during its spring season. More local sites will be added this fall.
The packed event filled The Blarney Event Center with music, chatter and the clear sound of raw female pride.
Toledo Free Press sponsored This Is Me and another big event that night; my group left the GOTR event and drove to Fallen Timbers, where one of the women featured at This Is Me, Khoury, organized a Project iAm concert by George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. Thousands of people watched one of the masters own the stage, waving arms, shaking bottoms and smiling ear to ear. Project iAm, a charity that provides scholarships to children with autism, is driven by Khoury’s vision and energy.
Her efforts, along with those of GOTR and This Is Me, provided a very lucky Friday the 13th with a roar of empowerment that will echo through the lives of many for a long time to come.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.