Author of “A Thousand Sisters” and founder of the Run For Congo Women organization will be speaking at the 12th Annual Spring Forum hosted by the Willamette Valley Auxiliary of Assistance League of Salem (WVA) and MaPS Credit Union.
“Her dedication to the cause of the women and children in the Congo is inspiring and eye-opening. We hope that the audience will be inspired to be passionate about causes that they feel pulled to, and to see what one woman’s efforts can do,” said Amy Booher, co-chair of the WVA Spring forum.
Shannon was born in Portland and founded the first grassroots effort to raise awareness for women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo through her project, Run for Congo Women. Since then, her group has sponsored over a thousand women who are raising over five thousand children in the war-torn country. She is currently an ambassador for Women for Women International and was recently named one of the twenty most powerful women in the world by O Magazine.
She’ll be speaking on Thursday, May 19 at Smith Auditorium at Willamette University. Tickets are available at the Assistance League Gift Shop, Encore Furniture, and all MaPS Credit Union branches. General admission to the event is $20. A special reception will be held that includes a meet-and-greet with Shannon, hors d’oeuvres and live music. Tickets to the reception are $50 and include reserved seating at the event.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards WVA’s efforts in the community. WVA works on a number of philanthropic programs, like Operation Backpack, which provides school supplies and backpacks to the area’s children. They also work with children exiting the foster care system with their Independent Living Program.
“When children in the foster care system in Oregon turn 18 years of age, their funding ends. This makes for a very trying time at a fragile age. Our Auxiliary members are paired up with teens approaching this deadline, and we are able to take them shopping to help them furnish the next chapter in their life, whether that be a college dorm room, apartment, etc. In addition, through our bike program, we’re often able to supply the recipients with a gently used bicycle, with a new helmet and lock,” said Booher.
For more information on the organization, visit its website at http://bit.ly/lY5dEE.