Wine Women & Shoes 2019

Inside one of the year’s most fabulous fundraisers

By Mattie Townson

Photos by Tim Valentino

Wine, shopping, fabulous shoes and fashions – what more can you ask for in a ladies night out?

Wine Women & Shoes is March 1 at the Henry Clay. The annual event benefits Family Scholar House, a nonprofit with a mission to end the cycle of poverty and empower people through education and achieving a level of life-long self-sufficiency.

Attendees will enjoy a fashion show featuring styles from Von Maur, live and silent auctions and raffles with top prizes ranging from a $10,000 Von Maur shopping spree to a box seating area at the Kentucky Derby.

“Our guests have come to expect a party-like atmosphere of wine-tasting, shopping and fun with friends each year, but we always try to add a little something new each year, but shhh! It’s a surprise as always!” said Kellie Johnston, director of mission advancement at Family Scholar House.

Expect delicious hors d’oeuvres and wine to accompany a fun and memorable time.

 “Attendees at this sold-out event can expect to be wowed by exclusive wines from California while enjoying shopping unique fashion accessories and shoes from across the country. Because we are Kentucky, we will also feature a Bourbon Lounge, where attendees can learn more about the bourbon craft and taste several locally-made bourbons,” said Johnston.

Last year’s event raised $372,000. Organizers hope to exceed that in 2019. Proceeds benefitFamily Scholar House’s programs, which strive to increase the stability and self-sufficiency of single-parent households by providing stable housing, academic advising and family support for those participating in the program so the parents can work to acquire a degree. Guests at Wine Women & Shoes will have the opportunity to meet Family Scholar House graduates.

Chief Possibility Officer for Family Scholar House Kathy Dykstra.

 “We are so grateful for our enthusiastic supporters who attend this event and believe so strongly in our families working to end the cycle of poverty,” said Johnston.

Terri Bass and Melanie Cook, who are co-chairs of the event, have worked numerous hours to ensure a positive experience for guests and a successful night for the organization.

“I’ve watched as Family Scholar House has grown and successfully changed lives for those who had no hope for a safe place to live, raise their children and earn a degree,” Bass explained. “This event is essential to meeting the budget that must be raised each year. Considering that the money raised with this fun event will again make it possible in 2019 to change the lives of hundreds of young people, I can’t imagine not being involved. It’s an amazing, fun evening of enjoying the camraderie of like-minded women that produces astonishing results.”

Debbie Ryan, Stephanie Davis, Alissa Blow, Rachel Keens and Sue Huffman.

Family Scholar House “supports hard-working, single parents to achieve their education in a safe, supportive environment and break the cycle of poverty,” said Cook. “That is meaningful for our families and many generations to come. Wine Women and Shoes is critical as Family Scholar House is completely funded through donations and the generous support of our community.”

The organization has five campuses in Louisville, where 247 single-parent families and 32 young adults who were formerly in foster care live while they attend school full time, Cook said. “In 2018, Family Scholar House served a total of 3,962 families with 5,179 children, plus 455 young adults and 112 seniors. As Family Scholar House continues to grow and reach more families, the need for more support from our community is critical.” V


2018 By the Numbers:

Family Scholar House served 3,962 families with 5,179 children, plus 455 young adults and 112 seniors.

A total of $372,000 was raised at Wine Women & Shoes, 100% of which went to the cause.


Wine Women & Shoes 2019 is March 1, at the Henry Clay. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.. Learn more at winewomenandshoes.com/event/louisville or contact Kellie Johnston at kjohnston@familyscholarhouse.org. The Voice of Louisville is a proud sponsor of Wine Women & Shoes.