Conscious Party: A girl’s best friend

Photo courtesy of AAUW

What: AAUW’s GEM ‘fun-raiser’ and anniversary celebration

Where: Fernihurst Mansion on the A-B Tech campus

When: Sunday, June 1, from 4-6 p.m.

Why: The Asheville branch of the American Association of University Women will celebrate 12 years of the Gaining Education Momentum fund, which provides undergraduate scholarships to UNC Asheville and A-B Tech for women whose education has been interrupted or delayed.

Pat Argue, president of the GEM Fund, said GEM recipients are often single mothers and grandmothers who put off their own college education due to the critical needs of their families or loved ones.

“We have women ages 23 to 57 that we’ve award scholarships to,” says Argue. “Their stories are incredibly touching, just thinking of the struggles they’ve had to endure to get an education.”

Argue says in the last 12 years the fund has provided 58 scholarships or more than $55,000.

“And of course, we look forward to doing more,” Argue adds. “Even our small awards make major differences in achieving their dreams of a college education.”

Organizers of the benefit, held at the Fernihurst Mansion on A-B Tech’s campus, say guests can look forward to “19th-century ambiance while supporting 21st-century educations.” After all, they write, “diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend; an education is.”

The event will feature food, wine and a classical guitar performance by Brad Earnhardt as well as a silent auction and raffle, which includes custom pieces by local jewelry designer Suzanne Q. Evon and watercolors by local artist Wendy Whitson. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at the GEM fund’s office at 2 Nichols Hill Drive.

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About Carrie Eidson
Multimedia journalist and Green Scene editor at Mountain Xpress. Part-time Twitterer @mxenv but also reachable at Follow me @carrieeidson

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