HOUSTON (KTRK) -- An inspiring message of resiliency and service from the keynote speaker to a record-setting audience supporting The Women's Fund Sunday. Many guests at the 5th annual Rockin' Resiliency Luncheon at the Hilton Post Oak were brought to tears listening to Time magazine's 2014 Person of the Year, Ebola Fighter Katie Meyler.
Meyler founded "More than Me," after winning a million dollar prize. She operated a school in Liberia for girls until the outbreak of Ebola forced her staff to turn the school into a makeshift triage, and holding area for people who were potentially infected. Meyler talked having to adapt to life's circumstances and overcoming a childhood that included financial challenges, abuse, and caretakers who had drug problems.
"I tell people to start where they are, in their own community if they want to make a difference," said Meyler, " Don't worry about what people say is impossible. People told me starting a school in Liberia was impossible."
The Women's Fund has been helping women and girls in the Houston area get information to improve their mental and physical health, for almost 40 years. Several dozen girls who attend their free classes got a chance to hear Meyler speak and attend an education panel to learn more about eating right, bullying and stress management.
"Houston and the state of Texas lead the nation with alarming statistics regarding the state of women's health," said Linda Rhodes, Executive Director of The Women's Fund. "The Women's Fund works to fill that gap by focusing on preventing disease and illness. We create healthier homes, workplaces, schools, and communities so that people can live long and productive lives and reduce healthcare costs."
The luncheon was co-chaired this year by two mother/daughter teams, KTRK anchor Gina Gaston and her daughter Lauren Elie, and Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein and her daughter, Jordan Fein. Mary Ann McKeithan was honorary chair, and Bain Pearson Pitts was given the Inaugural Sue Trammell Whitfield Award for Resiliency.
"It was a privilege getting to partner with our daughters and to provide them with a chance to reach out and help other young women become empowered intellectually, emotionally, and physically so they can live healthy, life-affirming, full lives," said Dr. Cohen Fein.