What: Fifth annual 4word Gala
Where: Renaissance Dallas Hotel
The 411: Former First Lady Laura W. Bush took the stage as the keynote speaker for the 2020 4word Gala, one of the last big spring fundraisers to take place before dozens were forced to cancel due to COVID-19.
More than 500 attendees, many from across the nation, gathered to support women in the workplace around the world. The evening started with a reception in the foyer featuring classical musical quartet Serenata Strings. Guests had the opportunity to bid on hundreds of auction items, before emcee Karla Baldelli started the program.
Event chair Charity Wallace interviewed Bush on stage — a perfect fit as Wallace has worked with the former first lady for many years, including as the deputy chief of protocol of the United States at the White House.
Bush provided a brief family update and shared stories from her time in the White House. She also discussed her current work as the chair of the Woman’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. The program is working to improve the lives of women and children around the world by equipping women from the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan with the skills to become more effective leaders.
Remarks by 4word founder and executive director Diane Paddison were followed by a performance of the Potter’s House Mass Choir and live auction.
At the end of the night, the gala raised more than $490,000. Proceeds benefit 4word, a community that empowers and inspires women in the workplace through personal connection and mentoring.
The 4word mentoring program has paired 500 women as mentors and mentees. The deadline for applications for the summer mentoring program is May 3. Details are available on the organization's website.
Who: Honorary chair Alva Adams, Bernice Washington, who gave the invocation, Lisa Cooley, Tracy Lange, Heidi Rasmussen, Reid Rasmussen, Majors Jon and Barbara Rich, Amurag Sharma, Emma Sharma, Rafe Baldelli, Jason Brown, Marleigh Merrell, Cyndi Brown, Sharin Herrin, Jim Herrin, and many more.