|Beverly Beauchamp||Sew and Sew Alterations and More||Hostess|
|Jamie Burns||Working Girl Creative|| Webmaster / Registration / Speaker & Vendor Schedules|
|Robin Hall||Out 2 News||Facebook Photo Editor|
|Ildiko Haidacher||Ildiko Insurance Advisors||Hostess / Door Prizes|
|Benay Hershowitz||3G Delites Gift Baskets||Hostess|
|Anne Warner||Realtor, Waterpointe Realty|| Moderator|
|Debbi Greer||Sensible Solutions Marketing||Hostess / Timekeeper|
|Pat Bigler||Wellbeing Insights||Hostess / Room Set Up|
|Aileen Fortuno||Advertising & Marketing Solutions||Hostess / Facebook Editor|
A History of Women's Power Lunch
It’s no secret that women love to do lunch together and Anne Thompson Schafer frequently called together a group of women to do just that. But in 2000, something happened at one of those luncheons. Anne had recently relocated from Miami Beach where she worked at the South Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce so naturally, when she arrived, got involved with her new local Chamber in Jensen Beach.
She recalls it was around Thanksgiving and she was doing something special for that particular lunch. She expected almost a dozen women and was tying orange ribbons around the napkins for some festivity. It was held on a Monday at 11 Maple Street. The restaurant was closed for business that day but they gave the space to Anne and then suggested she get Jan’s Place to cater it.
During that thanksgiving luncheon, Anne expressed her dismay that there did not exist, as in South Beach, a women only networking opportunity. Then and there the group decided to make lunch a regular monthly occurrence to do just that. The second lunch occurred at newly opened Crawdaddy’s and the owner was shocked when thirty women arrived and had to scramble extra tables together. The third lunch overwhelmed the Dolphin Bar and Shrimp House with 60 women. Clearly, the then named Power Lunch Bunch was on to something big!
It’s important to remember that this was at a time when we didn’t use cell phones, facebook or email for that matter. It was all friends inviting friends and word of mouth. Over the next months and years the lunch moved around town and today, we are back at the Dolphin Bar and Shrimp House, with 80 women in regular attendance.
The original goal of women only networking evolved as Anne recognized a need to help most women overcome their fear of presenting themselves and their product confidently and succinctly in front of an audience. A lunch itinerary developed where women stand before the group with a microphone and have a chance to practice their 20 second infomercial in front of a supportive audience. They exchange business cards, give testimonials for one and other, promote other community events and distribute door prizes because, as we also know, women love free gifts!
The formula for the luncheon was so well received and attended that Anne was approached with a request to start a spin-off group in Palm Beach County. With her blessing, a new team was assembled and became the Palm Beach Lunch Bunch in Jupiter.
The Women’s Power Lunch has always been a group effort, with a core team of women supporting Anne to present the lunch. They shared the many responsibilities of the monthly meetings and spearheaded a number of projects, Expos, fashion shows, workshops and community activism over the years.
The only event that is annually presented by Women’s Power Lunch is their Children’s Christmas Party benefiting Hibiscus House and House of Hope. The Women’s Power Lunch Advisory Board still partners with Jan’s Place in Jensen Beach to host and cater the event that brings Santa, his elves and new toys to disadvantaged children from both these organizations.
In 2016 at the Kane Center in Stuart, Anne Schafer was awarded the very first Sage Award for her many contributions to the benefit of our community. She’ll be the first to tell you that it’s not about her, it’s about you. It’s about a team of women, the Advisory Board, coming together month after month to present the luncheon. It’s about the women who attend the positively charged atmosphere and return month after month because women know best how to support and empower each other. It’s about women helping women succeed.
During the summer of 2016, Anne moved back home to South Beach with every intention of slowing things down but it seems she just can't help herself and is now volunteering with the South Miami Beach Chamber. And of course, she's meeting with women over lunch.
By: Jamie Burns
Our Christmas Story
Since inception, any profits from the Women's Power Lunch is used at the year end to hold a Children's Christmas Party for kids from Hibiscus House. As attendance grew, House of Hope kids were added and in 2017 we included 15 more kids from Felix Williams Elementary in Port Salerno. Always held with our party partner, Jan's Place in Jensen Beach, in 2017 year we served 64 disadvantaged kids.
Everyone who attends our luncheons, plays the 50/50 and joins our directory is directly contributing to the funds we need for our Christmas Kids Party. Planning starts mid-year when our Lunch Director, Rene Grissom, shops the best prices on stocking stuffers and children's toys. Early fall we access our financial situation and decide what we can provide for the kids.
In 2017 the Women's Power Lunch was a sold out luncheon of eighty women EVERY MONTH! We had already accumulated enough toys, so with our extra funds we adopted not one, but three needy families!
YOU MAKE THIS POSSIBLE! YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!