Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to assist with a fundraising event for Girls on the Run of the Triangle – their fifth annual LUNAFEST at the Durham Arts Council! The event organizers describe LUNAFEST as a “traveling film festival of award-winning short films by, for, and about women.” The idea is to connect women through film by screening nine short films which are focused on reflection, hope, and humor. This year’s films ranged from a piece on the life of a low-income nanny, to a story about a comedy group for women released from prison, to a film about a synchronized swim team for seniors. What did they all have in common? They highlighted the individual and collective power of women. And for Girls on the Run, which aims to inspire and empower girls, it was the perfect fundraising event.
As a side bar, if you’re interested in how women continue to be marginalized in the film industry – men outnumber women on-screen 3 to 1, and the statistic is worse behind the camera – check out this TED Talk on “the data behind Hollywood’s sexism.” It is truly illuminating and underscores the need for more events like LUNAFEST.
The event itself was really fun to work – but as you can imagine, it was all hands on deck! I assisted in everything from packing up materials at the office, setting up the raffle, manning the registration table, and mingling with guests. If you’ve ever attended a fundraising event for a small nonprofit, you might be aware of all the work that goes into making it a success. GOTR Triangle’s development manager, Mia Xavier, put in so much hard work planning, organizing, and executing this event. I am just thrilled that I had the opportunity to assist her, even if it was just in a small way. It was also a great learning experience for me! I’ve worked fundraising events before, but in different capacities (think: preparing and implementing large silent and live auctions). Development is such a huge part of working in the nonprofit sector, so any experience I can gather continues to build my professional portfolio!
This week, I’ve chosen to focus on the GOTR value of embracing our differences and finding strength in our connectedness. LUNAFEST really prompted me to think about women who have incredibly diverse stories. The remarkable thing is, though, that every woman in attendance reacted and related to those stories. We all come from different backgrounds which influence who we are (or should I say, influence our “mental models” – shout out to you, Professor Jacobson!). At the same time, by relating to others and becoming naturally connected, there is a strength that no one could muster up alone. Imagine the sheer power of simply acknowledging variances between individuals and then intentionally coming together to build stronger teams. Call me naÏve, but I really think we could change the world.
The opinions expressed here are solely my opinions. Content published here is not read or approved by Girls on the Run International® and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Girls on the Run International®.