I am blogging Live from Loft 11 on 37th Street in NYC, where I am attemping to write this from my tiny Blackberry Pearl (and it isn’t easy). I am here for THE GLAMMIES–an annual event recognizing the achievements of young girls who are involved in Glamour Gals chapters. GlamourGals is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to fostering inter generational relationships. There are teen chapters of this organization all over the Country. The girls regularly visit local senior homes to give complimentary facials and makeovers and to make compassionate connections with elderly women (and some men) who otherwise might be alone. These amazing, beautiful, enthusiastic, energetic, young women could be sitting at their computers on MySpace or shopping or doing something for themselves,. Instead, they are making a commitment to reach out to others and to give of themselves. Their connections with the seniors they visit brings mutual friendship, understanding, and joy. But as I chatted before the awards ceremony started with “Erin” and “Danielle,” two girls from a New Jersey Glamour Gals Chapter, I realized that these young women get something even more important from their experiences with the organization–they realize that they matter–that their efforts make a difference –they begin to feel their own power (even at an age when frustration about the future and lack of Independence is obvious).
5/9/08: it’s the next day…my attempt at live blogging was challenging and I’m editing this, my last night’s post to give you more information about the Glamour Gals annual “Glammies” event and their very worthwhile and inspiring organization. See below:
I am familiar with “The Glammies” as Glamour Magazine’s Annual Beauty Awards, but this “Glammies” event was something entirely different…
Rachel Doyle (she’s the one in the pink dress being interviewed) is a young woman who looks like an A-list actress, but this ultra-feminine looking young woman is an intelligent, powerful entrepreneur who (at the astounding age of 17) founded Glamour Gals. Just a student in high school, when most girls are just thinking about themselves, and perhaps, boys, she created this organization in homage to her Grandmother. Last night, choking with emotion, she mentioned her grandmother had recently passed away. Rachel kept the organization going (and growing) throughout her years as a student at Cornell. Today, she manages the non-profit as a graduate of Cornell University with a B.S. in Policy Analysis and Management.
Not surprisingly, she was profiled by the media everywhere including Oprah, and she was named one of the first “CosmoGirls of the Year” by CosmoGirl Magazine.
The young girls who are the backbone of the outreach to seniors are honored at an annual event, the “Glammies.” Last night’s 4th annual Glamour in the City “Glammy” event featured an elegant, pe-reception with the sounds of smooth jazz by “elizabeth.” As the music played, a large display of cakes, cookies and cupcakes by Sweet Street Desserts, and cocktails featuring Patron Tequilas and Pom Pomegranate juice, made for a waist-expanding experience. Of course, there were raffles to benefit Glamour Gals, including Neissing Rings and Jewelry from Two Sisters *the AdviceSisters have reviewed Two Sisters designs in our past “What Works Beauty, Cosmetics & Fashion Review columns. The girls also got an eyeful of dresses from Chloe and Reese (I think the bouffant, pink dress Rachel Doyle wore last night might have been one of their designs).
CBS news correspondent/anchor Tracy Smith (who mentioned that she’d just had twins recently and this was her first evening out) opened the awards ceremony. Also among the presenters was Kristen Nelson, Vice president of Business Development at Total Beauty Media, Inc. ( the AdviceSisters have recently joined the Total Beauty Bloggers).
And after a few short speaches, it was time for the Glammies. One by one, the young girls (and a few adult Glamour Gals supporters) stepped up to the microphone to accept awards for the volunteer work they do, as a genuine labor of love. It’s obvious that Rachel Doyle is a tremendous role model. I am sure that the teen volunteers look up to her and many of them will take away life’s lessons from her as well as from the seniors they visit. Hopefully, at least some of them will walk in her footsteps to success.
Although I never did get a chance to talk personally to Rachel last night (she was simply surrounded by people all evening) I did have an opportunity to talk to some members of the Glamour Gals board. One women (a former college professor) talked about Rachel with such warmth and respect, I thought she might have been a relative! Each sponsor and adult supporter spoke about Rachel and the organization with so much affection.
The Advice Sisters focus on adult beauty and fashion, ut I was intrigued by this organization. I dragged myself there (literally) after a very long day, because I really wanted to get a sense of what Glamour Gals was all about. My father, who spent the last five years of his life in an assisted living facility and then briefly in a nursing home, passed away this March at age 88. Both he and his elderly female friend (age 95) were so lonely and bored most of the time. If you are elderly and “able” you can still arrange your own entertainment, but for those who are mentally and/or physically unable to do so, life drags on without variation. It is easy to see how elderly seniors lose self esteem and their sense of worth. Organizations like Glamour Gals really do help the elderly feel wanted and appreciated…and that’s so incredibly important (we will all be elderly some day if we live long enough…)!
The Glamour Gals slogan is: “smiles that span generations.” There were scrapbooks from some of the Glamour Gals chapters showing lots of senior (and junior) smiles. I had no idea what to expect, but Rachel and her teen participants and the Glamour Gals organization truly inspired me. I hope you will check out their web site http://www.glamourgals.org/ and support them. If you are an adult, help your teens start a local chapter to reach out to the elderly in your neighborhoods. If you are a teen reading this, why not volunteer?!!