Fashion, Fun & Family

Wine Women & Shoes goes virtual to continue supporting those in need


By Elizabeth Scinta
Photos from 2019 event by Tim Valentino, 2020 event by Andrea Hutchinson


Since 2014, Wine Women & Shoes has raised over $2.2 million for single parents to help provide housing, education and other resources to those that have experienced domestic violence, poverty and unstable housing. From this fundraiser, 575 college degrees have been earned, 63 homes have been purchased and 52 children of the program’s participants are pursuing post-secondary education, all thanks to Family Scholar House and the hard work they have put in through the years. This year, Wine Women & Shoes will take place virtually on March 5 from 6:45 to 8 p.m.

Terri Bass, Lesa Seibert and Melanie Cook.

“Our initiatives are focused on programs and services to address not only the short-term needs of people in crisis but also on expanding educational and apprenticeship opportunities, which have become even more important with the ongoing effects of COVID-19,” said Director of Mission Advancement Kellie Johnston Moore. “Since March of last year, we have experienced a 325% increase in requests for assistance, particularly from newly unemployed people who are seeking retraining in layoff-proof careers that lead to a livable wage. Now, more than ever, we are excited to deliver creative, new initiatives to help those in need attain self-sufficiency through education.”

Family Scholar House’s mission is “to end the cycle of poverty and transform our community by empowering families and youth to succeed in education and achieve life-long self-sufficiency,” according to their website. Wine Women & Shoes is their largest annual fundraiser sponsored by GE Appliances and this year is co-chaired by Terri Bass of Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty and Cynthia Fanning of GE Appliances.

“While Wine Women & Shoes’ Virtual Party will look much different than our in-person event, viewers can still expect an evening of wine, fashion, fun and Shoe Guys. This year’s event will offer the opportunity to participate with just your inner circle or to mingle, shop and sip wines at your very own Wine Women & Shoes House Party with your friends if you choose,” said Cathe Dykstra, Chief Possibility Officer, President & CEO of Family Scholar House. “Either way, we will provide everything you need for a fun evening while supporting Family Scholar House.  Party Packs will be delivered to virtual attendees and will include exclusive WW&S collector glasses, wine, swag bags, event programs, food and one-of-a-kind WW&S face masks. Don’t worry, this year’s event will still include the ever-popular Shoe Guy dance!”

There will be a silent auction beginning on Feb. 18 and live auctions during the virtual event on March 5. With an emphasis on local businesses this year in all of the auctions, the winner of the “Key to the Vault” raffle drawing will win a $10,000 shopping spree to Merkley Kendrick Jewelers co-sponsored by Churchill Downs and Merkley Kendrick Jewelers. The Key to the Vault raffle tickets are $100, and only 200 will be sold, so make sure to visit the Wine Women & Shoes website today to purchase yours before they sell out! Another auction item comes from Cafe Appliances with the chance to win your dream kitchen appliances in your choice of color and finish. Raffle tickets are $100, and there are only 200 available. Sign up today for a chance to win at familyscholarhouse.ejoinme.org/dreamkitchen.

Debbie Roberson, Rhonda Dockery, Vicky Weber, Cathe Dykstra, Jill Bell, Trish Osborn and Carolle Jones Clay.

“This always sold-out event has become a ‘must-attend’ event in Louisville. Voted Best Fashion Show and Best Girls’ Night Out in past years, it truly is one event that our supporters are most excited to attend, often making their reservations months in advance to ensure they aren’t left out,” said Dykstra. “What I hear most often is how much our guests enjoy a special evening of being entertained and spoiled while benefiting the important work we do to lift up other women so they can succeed and become community leaders.”

In 2020, Family Scholar House had to learn how to adapt to the virtual setting taking over the workforce. They launched their Response Center in January 2020, which made all coaching and advocacy available online and allowed them to continue to serve the community safely. In 2021, there will be more services available on the Resource Center with an aim to reach out to more people in Kentucky and possibly venture into other states as well, according to Dykstra.

Lauren Anderson, Janice Carter Levitch Humphrey, Janna Flowers and Brandy Lunsford.

Family Scholar House has given so many people a chance to thrive in this world and touch the lives of those around them thanks to the funds they’ve raised and their fantastic team. Wine Women & Shoes Co-chair Terri Bass of Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty shared, “My mother-in-law has been quite ill. She survived COVID-19 but has been left with damaged lungs. We’ve been blessed to have a wonderful physician that has become ‘family’ over the years, Gerontologist Dr. Carmel Person. We actually refer to each other as sisters and she claims my husband Steven as her brother! I was talking with her about Wine Women & Shoes when we were consulting on my mother-in-law’s care. She then told me that one of her favorite Nurse Practitioners who works in her practice is a FSH graduate! How special is that? I am very thankful for FSH and the impact it has on our community.”

Bass and Fanning have been working hard to make this new version of Wine Women & Shoes as fun as it has been in years past, but with some new twists and turns. “WW&S is one of my favorite events of the year and so I always look forward to it!” said Fanning. “Who wouldn’t look forward to having some fun with wonderful women for a good cause? What is so exciting about this year is that, while this event will be virtual, it will also have some unexpected surprises and very professional production to go along with it.” Reserve your ticket today for an at-home, fun-filled virtual party benefitting Family Scholar House that you won’t want to miss!

Lesa Seibert, Melanie Cook and Vicki Dortch.

Wine Women & Shoes
March 5, 6:45 – 8 p.m.
Virtual Event
Family Scholar House