Girl Within Luncheon Raises Record Amount

December 14, 2018

What an incredible event! Thanks to our generous sponsors and everyone who attended our 18th Annual Girl Within Luncheon, we raised a record-breaking $191,000 to support The Village’s life-changing programs for at-risk young women and girls in the Greater Hartford area.

More than 500 attendees were captivated by Genesis Martinez, who shared her story of hope and healing with the help of Alison Gill Lodge, a group home for girls run by The Village. Genesis is currently attending Manchester Community College, where she is studying to be a social worker. She has found a support network, learned that she is stronger than she once believed, and is looking forward to a career where she can support other girls and young women through their struggles. Click here to hear Genesis tell her story.

Carrie Firestone was named as The Village’s 2018 Woman of the Year. Carrie is a former NYC high school teacher, an environmental activist, and an author of young adult books. She co-founded ForwardCT to promote civic engagement and community service, and to encourage rising leaders at every level of government. Carrie has been a volunteer with The Village and has recently spearheaded a relief effort to support evacuees from Puerto Rico after the hurricane, among many other philanthropic efforts.

Luncheon guests were also moved by the life story of Brett Francis, who has successfully managed Tourette’s syndrome, ADHD, OCD and depression to become a successful businesswoman, bestselling author, TV and radio host, and mental health advocate. In her bestselling book, Not Broken: How to Overcome Mental Health Challenges and Unlock Your Full Potential, she tells her story and reveals the tools she has used to transform her challenges into strengths.

Special Guests

At the luncheon, we were lucky enough to be joined by our four Second Chance Shops! Each shop (in Glastonbury, Simsbury, Suffield and West Hartford) is run by a group of dedicated volunteers. Collectively, the shops have raised over $5.5 million in the past 60 years to support The Village.

Shops are located at:

  • 730 Hebron Avenue, Glastonbury, CT 06033
  • 12 Station Street, Simsbury, CT 06070
  • 116 Mountain Road, Suffield, CT 06078
  • 175 Park Road, West Hartford, CT 06119 – Opening January 5!

Want to be part of it? Are you interested in giving back to the community and playing a part in improving the lives of others? Our shops are always looking for new volunteers! To learn more about getting involved, contact us at 860-297-0544 or [email protected].


Want to learn more and get involved?

If you were inspired by the work of The Village and would like to learn more or get involved, let us know! We will be having an informational session about our programs for young women and girls in early 2019. If you are interested in attending, please contact Sarah Adanti at [email protected] or 860-297-0545.

There’s also still time to give!

  • To make a secure, online donation in support of The Village’s life-changing programs for at-risk women and girls, go to or call 860-297-0545 for more information.

Many companies offer matching gift opportunities. For many, this could double your gift. Please consult with your company’s Human Resources department for more information.


Special Thanks



The Hartford






Fairview Capital Partners, Inc.


All Waste, Inc.
Arbella Insurance Foundation
Eastern Connecticut State University
Max Cares Foundation


Hartford Hospital
Liberty Bank
Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center
United Technologies Corporation
Webster Bank

Luncheon Committee

Jeanmarie Cooper, Chair
Carlene Bush
Jean Cowles
Moraima Gutierrez
Diane Lipes
Dr. Elsa Núñez
Bonnie Parry
Damaris Rivera
Sarah Stack
Sarah Stevens
Carol Waxman
Lynn Weisel

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