GREENWICH, Conn., Thursday, March 9, 2017 — Sole Sisters, a Greenwich United Way women’s initiative, announced Gretchen Carlson as the 2017 Luncheon keynote in an email to event Patrons last week. The fundraising event will take place on Tuesday, April 25, at Greenwich Country Club and includes a vendor boutique. This year’s sponsors include TD Bank, Acxiom Corporation, Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits and Moffly Media.
“From a young age, Gretchen Carlson was reaching for the stars!” said Diane Viton. She continued, “From her academic career at Stanford, to being crowned Miss America as a classic violinist and her rise through the competitive world of news media, Gretchen has excelled and thrived”. Viton is co-chairing this year’s luncheon with Jamie Eisenberg and believes Carlson’s message to promote safe working environments for women is important for Sole Sisters supporters and the programs supported by the Greenwich United Way. “Her strong determination for all working women is both encouraging and inspiring,” said Eisenberg. “Boosting the self-esteem and confidence of young women will have a lasting impact in their communities and is one of the key messages behind the Sole Sisters initiative. We couldn’t be more proud to have Gretchen at this year’s luncheon”.
Carlson has mentored dozens of young women throughout her career and in 2017 she created the Gift of Courage Fund (www.gretchencarlson.com/phila
nthropy/) to empower young girls. An honors graduate of Stanford University, Carlson was valedictorian of her high school class and studied at Oxford University in England. Carlson grew up as a child prodigy on the violin, performed as a soloist with the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra at age 13, and, in 1989, became the first classical violinist ever to win the Miss America crown. “For 12 consecutive years Sole Sisters has celebrated women who inspire all of us. We are all really looking forward to this year’s event with Gretchen and we are happy to support her work” said David Rabin, Greenwich United Way CEO. He continued, “The Sole Sisters mission of ‘stepping up to help others step forward’ dovetails perfectly with her philanthropic beliefs and we’re grateful for the opportunity to support the Gift of Courage Fund”. As a thank you for being this year’s Luncheon Keynote the Greenwich United Way has made a donation in Gretchen’s name to the Gift of Courage Fund.
Carlson serves as a national Trustee for the March of Dimes, is a member of the Board of Directors for the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary in Newtown, Connecticut, and is a Trustee of Greenwich Academy, an all-girls preparatory day school in Greenwich, Connecticut. She is an active volunteer and teacher at her church and, in 2016, hosted the “Miss You Can Do It” pageant in Illinois to celebrate the achievements of courageous girls and young women with disabilities. Carlson is married to sports agent Casey Close and mom to their two children, 11 and 13.
About Gretchen Carlson
Gretchen Carlson is one of the nation’s most successful and recognized news anchors and a tireless advocate for workplace equality and the empowerment of women. She most recently hosted “The Real Story” on Fox News for three years, and prior to that co-hosted the #1 rated cable morning news show, “Fox and Friends,” for more than seven years. Carlson started her television career in Richmond, Virginia, as a political reporter, and later served as an anchor and reporter in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dallas. She moved to the national scene as the co-host of “The Saturday Early Show” on CBS in 2000 where she also served as a CBS News correspondent covering the G-8 Summit in Genoa, Italy, 9-11 from the World Trade Center, the Bush-Gore election, and many other national and international stories. She reported and produced a 30-part series on domestic violence that won several national awards. In 2015, Carlson’s first book, Getting Real, became a national best-seller. In January 2017, Carlson was tapped as a columnist for TIME magazine’s online Motto newsletter, focusing on women and empowerment issues.
About The Greenwich United Way Sole Sisters
The Greenwich United Way Sole Sisters is a woman’s initiative that raises money to serve a specific unmet human service need in the community. In the past, those services have supported children and youth, individuals in crisis, families, and a general increased demand for basic human services in Greenwich.
2017 Luncheon Co-Chairs
Jaime Eisenberg & Diane Viton
2017 Luncheon Committee Leaders
Sara Allard, Travis Azous, Hillary Grogan, Kimberly Johnson, Karen Keegan, Cricket Lockhart, Jan Marchand, Jean Moore, Sarah Muir, Maria Murphy, Courtney Weil, Jill Weiner
Lifetime Sole Sisters
Maxine K. Armstrong, Philippa Whalen Burke, Patricia Burns, Keri Cameron, Amy Carbone, Laura Cunningham, Diane Darst*, Amanda Davis, Karen Keegan, Robbie Kestnbaum, Leslie Lee, Cricket Lockhart, Lisa Lori, Giovanna Miller, Kimberly Miller, Anne Sherrerd, Victoria Thorman, Susan Weis, Carol Winklevoss, Susan Wohlforth, Allison Wolowitz. *deceased
About Greenwich United Way
The Greenwich United Way shares a name with approximately 1,400 other similar organizations across the nation, although the Greenwich, Connecticut division is a privately incorporated, locally governed, nonprofit agency. As a volunteer driven organization, the Greenwich United Way exists to help identify and address the human service needs specific to its local community and to create and affect meaningful solutions. Through various fundraising efforts, the organization is able to directly allocate the funds necessary to accomplish this goal. The Greenwich United Way also invests in and conducts collaborative efforts to address broad based community needs with partnering nonprofit agencies.