Les Femmes du Monde Woman of the Year Award Dinner Honors Cecilia Abbott

The Les Femmes du Monde award dinner Oct. 17 focused on two of honoree and First Lady of Texas Cecilia Abbott’s favorite things — Texas and philanthropy.  

The event, held at the Tower Club, supported Children’s Health Children’s Medical Center and the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth, which seeks to educate and engage the community in national and international affairs. Les Femmes du Monde, a group of women focused on helping youth with health and education, has donated more than $2 million to the World Affairs Council of Dallas and more than $700,000 to Children’s Medical Center. 

“No matter how small a gift, no matter how large a gift, service to others changes lives and it saves lives. During floods, fires, hurricanes or even the challenges of daily life, we have seen again and again that no force of nature is more powerful than Texans helping Texans,” Abbott said. “My hope is that by your leadership, by the gifts that you share of your hearts and of your hands, you will inspire others to answer that call to serve, to volunteer and to give back. As Texans, the blessings we have are many and they are multiplied when we share that with others.”

World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth President James Falk said the funds they receive will go to their Global Young Leaders Program.

“Les Femmes du Monde really started as an auxiliary of the World Affairs Council… as all of you know where your funds go to the World Affairs Council is for our Global Young Leaders Program and that is our high school initiative that was started 15 years ago,” Falk said. “Today the program reaches over 10,000 students, high school students that are from public schools, private schools, charter schools.”

Children’s Health Foundation President Brent Christopher said the pediatric health care provider focuses on providing care to sick or injured children, properly diagnosing and treating them and working with community partners. Les Femmes du Monde, for example, supports Children’s Health through the Child Life Program.

“The Child Life program helps children and their families adjust to their illnesses or injuries or  hospitalization and helps them to understand what’s happening,” Christopher said.

From Children’s Health: Lizzy Peterson, Jennifer Strong, Keeley Machen, and Bridgette Casanova. Photo by Danny Campbell Photography
Les Femmes du Monde past presidents: seated: Claire Cunningham. Standing: Jan Ward, Alyce Heinrich. Photo by Danny Campbell Photography
Janet Beck, Jeffrey Beck, Alexandria Vandiver, Kara Mendelsohn of the Dallas City Council. Photo by Danny Campbell Photography
Geri Hetterich, Cheri Toll, and Jane Winnett. Photo by Danny Campbell Photography
Dan Tatum/Photo by Danny Campbell Photography


Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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