By Monica Peters
On April 1, a second floor ballroom of the Sheraton Downtown Philadelphia Hotel brimmed wall-to-wall with women for the third annual 105.3 WDAS FM Women of Excellence Luncheon. There were many takeaways from the stellar celebration of women that left an inspirational imprint of a lifetime.
“I wanted to come and support the women and their businesses and achievements,” said Theressa Turner who came from Atlanta.
“It’s very rare that we get this opportunity to see so many women with so many diverse personalities within the same room.”
Turner was originally going to be a vendor, but decided to participate in the event as an attendee.
“I got the better of the two,” said Turner of the benefits of being an attendee. I get to sit in the room, listen to all the women with their achievements and strive to be the best—as they are,” said the entrepreneur.
WDAS on air personalities Patty Jackson, Frankie Darcell, Mimi Brown and Loraine Ballard Morrill served as the mistresses of ceremony.
The exemplary women honored at the luncheon for their contributions to improving the Philadelphia community were First Lady Ellyn Jo Waller from Enon Tabernacle Church, Fox 29 reporter and weather anchor Sue Serio, Jacqueline Grace Vice President and Assistant General Manager at Harrah’s Philadelphia, City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Julie Coker Graham, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Trailblazing Woman of Excellence honoree, Susan Taylor, Editor in Chief Emeritus of Essence Magazine, and Founder and CEO of the National Cares Mentoring Movement.
There were phenomenal musical performances by Eric Benet, Leela James, Kevin Ross and Joe.
Other highlights for many (including myself) were the messages of inspiration. Here is a tidbit:
Patti Jackson on blessings: I had a stroke and I’ll tell you why I had it–because I didn’t take care of myself. I watched my mother die. It broke my heart. But, God had to get my attention. I thank God for that stroke. It made me listen. It made me sit down. It made me lay down. A blessing doesn’t always come in a nice box with a beautiful ribbon. Sometimes it comes rough. Sometimes it comes ragged.
Susan L. Taylor on being judgemental of yourself and others: Fire the judge. Nobody’s perfect. Some of us are mad at ourselves because we messed up, because we did drugs back in the day, because we lost our kids to foster care, because we lost a job we should have kept. Fire the judge. Everyday is a lesson in living.
Frankie Darcell on women standing up against breast cancer: Anyone in this room who has fought the breast cancer battle and survived, stand up. For everyone in this room that knows somebody, that knows somebody who fought the breast cancer battle, stand up. For anyone in this room who has fought that breast cancer battle and is willing to stand for women who are not here because they lost their battle, please stand. Nearly the entire room stood. Darcell also encouraged the room to attend the station’s first annual Sista Strut event on June 17, a 3k breast cancer walk to raise awareness for breast cancer.
When the luncheon returns next year–be there.