A year goes so fast, especially when we’re busy being badass!
I can barely believe that it’s been a year since Jennifer Rutledge, the general manager of PourHouse by Walnut River Brewing Company in Union Station Square, contacted me with an idea to start a women’s empowerment initiative on Monday evenings. Thanks to her vision and the sponsorship of the PourHouse, the Badass Women of Wichita Alliance was born.
For the past year, we’ve invited women and our allies of all ages to join our inclusive society for discussions and actions that build community, empower women, and develop our badassery. We’ve partnered with community organizations, nonprofits, and professional associations that support women and families to get involved and to work together to broaden our community of women helping women.
PourHouse contracted with me in October 2021 to sponsor our events for one year, which initially seemed like a crazy amount of time. When we first started, the idea of doing something every Monday seemed daunting. Now that our year is unbelievably nearly over, it’s time to decide what to do next.
The commitment to being at an event every Monday evening concerned me. But the task of coming up with an event every week, creative and entertaining enough to attract people to show up was the true challenge. Thank goddess for my team of the two Cecilias, Cece Rogers, and my mom Cecilia Green, for helping me develop so many ideas into reality. I absolutely couldn’t have done it without them.
According to my count, by the time we celebrate the anniversary of our October 4th, 2021 kick-off party, we will have:
Held 48 events that included classes, panel discussions, networking events, fundraising and volunteer recruitment, and celebrations
Partnered with 17 organizations
Hosted 10 Fun-raisers
Brought together hundreds of Badass Women
Had a ton of fun!
Rather than feeling like a chore, I look forward to Monday evenings. I love seeing this enthusiastic bunch of Badass Women every week and getting everyone together to embrace community. Watching new friendships form, activating volunteerism, and encouraging community connections have fed my soul over this past year.
As I’ve been thinking about our events, I’m struggling to pick a favorite. There were so many events that were memorable in different ways. So I’m forcing myself to pick a few that made a lasting impression.
Now is the Winter of our Disco Tent was exactly the cut-loose, boogie your-butt-off party I needed during the winter doldrums. We threw our hands in the air and partied like we didn’t care. Thanks to DJ Ruby Retro, aka Teri Mott, for playing all the danceable tunes.
The Take Action Postcard Writing Campaign with the League of Women voters blew my socks off! So many Badass Women wanted to attend that event that we had to change venues to accommodate everyone! We had over 100 women register, and they came ready to work.
I’ve never seen people so determined to get the job done. I could barely get these determined women to take a break to hydrate or take on sustenance to keep them going! Before the two hours were up, we had 2,700 postcards written, addressed, and stamped, ready to go out to low-turnout voters for the special election.
Being around Carol Hughes is guaranteed fun, and the fun-raisers we did together for the Kansas Food Bank were especially festive. The Price is Right Fun-raiser was a blast, but the Sing-Along Bingo Fun-raiser has to be my favorite. I won’t be able to hear Bohemian Rhapsody again without thinking of all of us belting it out together.
I may be jumping the gun a bit on my favorite event! We still have the month of September at the PourHouse, and our fun-raiser for Beauties and Beasts on September 26th looks like a promising contender to add to my list of favorites. Our panel discussion, Welcome to Perimenopause, on September 19th is already getting many registrations since the event went up on Facebook earlier this week.
Our other event this month, on September 12th, will be a Badass Brainstorm to think about the future of the Badass Women of Wichita Alliance. Now, our year with the PourHouse is nearly up. I must decide what to do next - or not.
Our group is continuing to grow. Our group on Facebook has increased 23 percent since June, and just last week, we welcomed 37 new members. More people are coming to events too. We’ve had to close registration several times in the past two months when the number of people wanting to come exceeded the capacity of our meeting room.
There are so many possibilities, including finding a new sponsor, and I need your help to determine the past path forward for our group. Whether you’ve participated in our events or haven’t had a chance to yet, I’m interested in what you think. If you can’t come to our event, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a time for a chat.
I am eternally grateful to the B. J. and the Walnut River Brewing Company team for sponsoring the Badass Women of Wichita Alliance. Thanks to Jennifer for inspiration and leadership and our Badass Bartendress, Whitney, and the rest of the PourHouse team for taking such good care of us. I have no doubt that no matter where the Badass Women go, they’ll still see plenty of us at the PourHouse for their yummy drinks and food. After all, that bacon jam is addicting.
I look forward to seeing you in September at our last events at the PourHouse!
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