We Are United 2017 Luncheon Raised more than $200,000 May 26th, 2017 by Lynette Carrington We Are United 2017 Luncheon Raised more than $200,000Luncheon with Academy Award®- winning Actor and Advocate Geena Davis benefited the United Way Women’s Leadership Council’s Breakfast in the Classroom initiative. We Are United 2017 Luncheon with Academy Award®- winning Actor and Advocate Geena Davis was held at The Phoenician Resort on April 28. Specifically, the event was presented by the Valley of the Sun United Way Women’s Leadership Council and went to benefit the organization’s Breakfast in the Classroom initiative. In addition to a beautiful lunch, the group of 700 guests heard remarks by honorary chair and First Lady of Arizona, Angela Ducey, and an explanation of the Breakfast in the Classroom initiative from Nancy Dean of the leadership team of the Valley of the Sun United Way. Breakfast in the Classroom seeks to fund healthy breakfasts provided to kids in 130 Title 1 schools in Arizona. By providing a healthy breakfast to children, they learn better, concentrate better and present less behavioral challenges. Having breakfast available to all children in a social setting also removes the stigma some lower socio-economic group children sometimes face when singled out for benefit programs.The luncheon featured a keynote speech by Academy Award®- winning Actor and Advocate Geena Davis. In her own personal foundation, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the accomplished actress and athletes works tirelessly to promote character equality in media. Davis’s engaging speech provided many eye-opening statistics and findings as they relate to women’s roles and representation in media. The institute’s tagline is “If she can see it, she can be it.” The message played nicely into the Breakfast in the Classroom’s endeavors of feeding children so that they can focus on getting their education, so they can be anything they want to be. After a rousing 20 minutes of fundraising, the room had donated more than $200,000 to help fund Breakfast in the Classroom for at least 50 more schools in Arizona!Valley of the Sun United Way is on a mission to provide Breakfast in the Classroom to 130 schools and over 74,100 children throughout Maricopa County who currently have no access to such a program. These schools have high rates of poverty and hunger. These children are at risk of not having a steady, healthy, nutritious breakfast each morning and are therefore unprepared for their school day. Breakfast in the Classroom ensures that every child starts the day with a breakfast and is ready to learn.We Are UNITED, presented by our Women’s Leadership Council, is our signature event to fund Breakfast in the Classroom. And this year, we’re bringing one of Hollywood’s most respected women to the Valley of the Sun on April 28, 2017. Geena Davis, the Academy Award winning star of such films as “Thelma and Louise,” “A League of Their Own” and “The Accidental Tourist,” will be the keynote speaker at this year’s event!All proceeds from this luncheon went to directly benefit Breakfast in the Classroom, a program of Valley of the Sun United Way's Ending Hunger in the Classroom Initiative.For more about Valley of the Sun United Way, visit http://vsuw.org/. About the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media Founded by Academy Award®- winning Actor and Advocate Geena Davis,The Institute is the only research-based organization working within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate, and influence content creators and audiences about the importance of eliminating unconditional bias, highlighting gender balance, challenging stereotypes, creating role models and scripting a wide variety of strong female characters in entertainment and media that targets and influences children ages 11 and under.