Kayla Clark | Staff Writer
Utah Valley University’s first lady Paige Holland first hosted a Ladies Night in 2011, and that event has developed into UVU’s annual International Women’s Day celebration. This year’s International Women’s Day celebration was held Thursday, March 12 in the Grand Ballroom.
“Our women students are very important to us,” said Renee Jardine, public relations specialist for the Women’s Success Center, the host of the event. “In fact, creating an event to celebrate international women was actually a student’s idea. We jumped at the chance to coach an international student on how to plan an event. The event has continued because we like providing a unique experience and educating our students and the community about what women from different countries are experiencing. We also enjoy celebrating what our international students are doing and encouraging them to become change agents when they return home.”
The event featured food from around the world, as well as entertainment that showcased dance from India, Samoa, and Mexico.
“As they perform for you, they tell you a story. And the story is about success,” said Victor Narsimulu, Program Director of Cultural Envoy.
The event also included the presentation of the Rainmaker Award – an award given to a community member for their involvement in making a difference for girls and women globally. The award was presented to Ann Lewis – the Director of Utah Days for Girls.
“Ann spends countless hours coordinating service events, educating volunteers about the conditions these girls are in and teaching volunteers how to prepare hygiene kits, along with finding and buying supplies for the kits, plus much more,” said Jardine. “She shows outstanding love and service to young girls around the world.”
A large part of the event centered around a service project for Days for Girls. At the end of the evening, guests were invited to assemble hygiene kits for women in need around the world. The project will continue April 1 from 10 am to 3pm in the Hall of Flags. Volunteers will be assembling hygiene kits as well.