Women’s Recognition Luncheon

On Friday, February 5, HFC will be hosting the 43rd Women’s Recognition Luncheon. Since February is the American Heart Month, the theme of this year’s event will be, “We’ve Gone Red.”

According to the American Heart Association, “heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.” The luncheon will be an opportunity to encourage healthy lifestyles, while raising money for a good cause. “We are hoping that we will be able to raise the awareness of those who attend about the importance of staying healthy,” says Dr. Brenda Hildreth, the HFC Student Outreach and Support (SOS) program coordinator. “The committee will be dressed in red, and those who attend are encouraged to do so as well,” she adds.

The event will be held in the Culinary Arts Center, Building M, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and will help raise money for the SOS program, the purpose of which is to aid HFC students who are experiencing emergency financial situations, so that they can continue their education.

All funding for the SOS program is raised on and off campus during this event. In 2015, the Women’s Recognition Luncheon was able to raise $11,000. “I was very pleased that $11,000 was raised last year, which has really benefited SOS,” say Dr.Hildreth, “This money has been carefully distributed in order to help as many students as possible.”

While some Metro Detroit community colleges offer SOS assistance, this help is limited to providing resources on where to seek aid and help with state assistance paperwork.

HFC’s program is unique because it offers training and provides money to students with financial hardships.

The SOS program offers three forms of assistance by providing workshops, training, and counseling. Each workshop comes with a free workbook that was created specifically for the program. The forms of assistance are as follows; personal and career counseling, academic training, and financial assistance. “We provide money, over and above what students receive from financial aid if they qualify,” says Dr. Hildreth. Each year, more and more students utilize the SOS fund. It addresses minor academic and non-academic financial emergencies that could otherwise hinder a student’s ability to continue schooling.

Luncheons in the past have helped HFC students. “I did not have enough money to buy books for my classes so the SOS office purchased books for me. This allowed me to get through the semester. If I had not received help from the SOS office I would not be here today, registered for the winter semester,” says Idreas Albanna, an HFC student and recipient of program funding.

The Women’s luncheon is also an opportunity to honor a community role model. This year, Betty Priskorn, the Vice President of Community Health and Outreach for Beaumont Health Systems, was selected. According to the HFC Press Release, Priskorn is being honored for her community work, including the development of a “collective impact initiative targeting priority health needs of (including access to care) cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.”

“We love for our students to see women who are successful, and who have raised themselves to the top of their field.” Says Dr. Hildreth. This luncheon is for a good cause, but also provides students and the community with the opportunity to support each other.