This year’s 12th Annual Hats off Luncheon proved to be another successful event. Tracy Wilson Mourning, founder and visionary of the Honey Shine Mentoring Program, along with hundreds of South Florida’s most influential women and some men, came together in celebration of the young ladies in the program called Honey Bugs and to raise funds in effort to continue the work of empowering young ladies.
This year’s theme was “Architects of Our Future: Imagine. Create. Achieve” and the decor was reminiscent of Miami’s unique style of chic.
The luncheon kicked off with a champagne reception and a silent auction featuring a variety of designer and vintage handbags, vacation stays, unique experiences, jewelry and much more. After the reception, attendees entered the ballroom where they enjoyed a delectable lunch of fish, pasta, chicken, hummus, and a variety of vegetables among others.
Channel 7's Deco Drive host Louie Aguirre returned as the master of ceremonies and did an amazing job introducing the Honey Bugs and guiding guests through many touching moments and the Lady Bug Showcase. The showcase was a fashion show where the attendees learned more about each of the Honey Bugs. Sponsored by Coca Cola, the Honey Bugs were styled by the Melticuleaux Consulting Group and strutted down the runway in clothes provided by variety of name brands.
Each year Honey Shine presents awards to the Honey Bugs and to inspiring leaders in the community who have shown their commitment to the organization. This year 'The Honey Bug of the Year Award' went to Catherine Jenkins, a Honey Bug who witnessed her sister’s death at a very young age. Ms. Jenkins, who is currently a student at Miami Country Day, said that Honey Shine as helped her come out of her shell.
“Ever since my sister passed away I’ve become shy and closed and this program has helped me become more open with people,” Jenkins said. “It’s helped me with creating new friendships and becoming close like sisters. It’s all about sisterhood and this program has helped me with that.”
The Power of One Award which recognizes the power one person has to make a difference went to two special women. The first went to Lauren Book who is the founder of Lauren’s Kids an organization that educates adults and children about sexual abuse topics through an in school curriculum, a 24-hour Crisis Hotline, and speaking engagements around the country.
The Second went to Sister Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ the Headmistress of Carrolton School of the Sacred Heart. She has served on the Boards of Coconut Grove Cares, St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School in Miami, and Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. She now serves on the Florida Council of Independent Schools and Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Houston, TX.
It was and inspiring evening that raised thousands of dollars for the organization and recognized incredible women in the community that are using their talents and resources to helping shape the next generation of women.
About the Charities
The Honey Shine Mentoring Program encourages the balance of mind, body and soul in girls and women by providing nurturing experiences that enlighten their paths and empower their future. For more information on how to become a Corporate Partner or an Individual Lady Bug sponsor, call 305-476-0095 or visit www.HoneyShine.org.
About the Mourning Family Foundation
Since 1997, the Mourning’s have raised more than $10 million for their charity initiatives including, the Overtown Youth Center, a state-‐ of-‐the-‐art facility that serves as a safe haven for children and families to participate in recreational and educational activities from 2nd grade through graduation, and Honey Shine, which provides at-risk young women with positive role models and influences through its enrichment programs, workshops, camps and sisterhood. For more information visit: www.mourningfamilyfoundation.org.