“When women in business put their minds and motion together powerful things happen,” said Ellie White-Stevens, Marketing Guru and O Christmas Tea Chairperson. She continued, “This is why I’ve partnered with the Business Women of Fayette and Coweta since I started O Christmas Tea three years ago, and why it’s been under their banner for the last two years. We are stronger together.”
“Caring for women is so important to me, and also connecting with other business women,” said Dr. HaZel Seay, who owns Serenity Hospice Care and Kingdom Care Givers the first ever Diamond Sponsor.
Since 2009, O Christmas Tea, a networking event for women, has raised over $12,000 for Community Welcome House, www.CommunityWelcomeHouse.org, a local safe haven for the survivors of domestic violence. Since 2010, O Christmas Tea has been an official cause for the Business Women of Fayette and Coweta, a non-profit dedicated to businesswomen giving back to the community, www.bwfcc.org.
It was at one of the BWFC meetings that Elaine Powers of Powers Heating & Air heard about O Christmas Tea. Exhibiting the power of a well-connected businesswoman, Elaine Powers tagged supplier, LENNOX Industries, and together they are a Platinum Sponsor.
"Few things are more important to families and a stable society than a woman's safety," said Joyce Beverly, publisher of Fayette Woman Magazine. Joyce Beverly and Angie Samples, owner of A Plus Collision Center in Fayetteville, support O Christmas Tea as Platinum Sponsors, as they have each year since 2010.
Connected women get things done. O Christmas Tea Co-Chair Debbie Edison with Juice Plus+ spoke to a friend of hers connected with Cooper Lighting. They stepped up with Gold Sponsorship.
BWFC Member Hollie Drake of Integrated Waste Solutions is no stranger to giving to O Christmas Tea. Each year IWS has increased their sponsorship level and is now a Gold Sponsor.
Community Welcome House Executive Director Linda Kirkpatrick knows firsthand the need for support. Community Welcome House’s 14 rooms have been full all year, with survivors and new babies, with abused women and their teenagers.
Shelters that take government funding can’t permit teenage boys to stay. But Community Welcome House doesn’t receive state or federal funding. According to Linda, 70-80% of teen boys in prison for murder are there because they killed the man that beat their mom.
It’s not only women who support this cause. Oscar Fortson with Fortson-Heath Development has sponsored O Christmas Tea for three years, now, this year as a Silver Sponsor. Karyn Staples with Pro-Health Physical Therapy, Emily Fritchey with Sunshine Botanicals and Cheryl Whetstone with FutureStaff are also Silver Sponsors.
Cheryl Whetstone explains, “I have a soft spot for women in a bad situation. I was raised by a struggling single mom.”
For the last three years, Cheryl, FutureStaff’s Creative Director, tagged the Starr’s Mill Pantherettes to collect items for Community Welcome House. They’ve been so successful, that this year, instead of collecting towels like guests to the tea, the Pantherettes are gathering pillows. “If we can do anything especially as simple as writing a check and donating pillows we are blessed to do it!” Cheryl said.
This year’s first sponsor paid via PayPal online at www.OChristmasTea.org. A first-time donor to O Christmas Tea, Attorney Lee Mason of Community Association Management believes giving is a responsibility of those “that are more fortunate, to help alleviate and bring some type of healing to their hurt."
There are currently ten other Sponsors at the starting level of $195, which includes a ticket.
More information about the business benefits and tickets included in sponsorships are available at www.OChristmasTea.org. For questions about O Christmas Tea, contact event chair Ellie White-Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-301-8706.
This year’s O Christmas Tea is Thursday, November 29 at The Veranda Inn in Senoia. Networking starts at 6:30 p.m., Tea (Dinner) at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $75 each, and available at www.OChristmasTea.org until Thursday, November 15. New bath towels for Community Welcome House will also be gathered at the event.
PHOTO: Linda Kirpatrick, Executive Director of Community Welcome House receives a check for over $5000 from O Christmas Tea Event Chairperson and Marketing Guru Ellie White-Stevens in 2011.