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Friday, March 22 , 2019, 6:34 pm | Fair 59º


Kathy Ireland, Women United Join to Advance Youth Literacy

Event raises $58,000 to benefit United Way of Santa Barbara County early education programs

Kathy Ireland speaks at Women United at Classic Storybook Luncheon.
Kathy Ireland speaks at Women United at Classic Storybook Luncheon. 

Speaking to the sold-out crowd at Women United’s second annual luncheon March 1, Kathy Ireland credited her first job to the reading and writing skills instilled in her from a young age.

Answering a newspaper delivery classified ad that asked: “Are you the boy for the job?” Ireland at the age of 11 wrote back — “I’m the girl.”

The supermodel turned businesswoman joined United Way of Santa Barbara County’s (UWSBC) Women United for the Beauty and the Beast-themed A Classic Storybook Luncheon at the Coral Casino.

Ireland discussed how a powerful network of women working together, like Women United, can move the needle on key local issues that will make the community a better place.

”It’s critical that we fight for this for children because, tragically, there are so many children and adults who are not able to read,” said Ireland. “Illiteracy is dangerous. It allows young people to incorrectly believe that they are somehow less than. It slams shut doors, and it kills dreams.”

In total, the luncheon raised more than $58,000 to help support UWSBC’s early education programs in Santa Barbara County. Ireland supports various philanthropic causes such as local education, in line with Women United’s efforts to expand opportunities for young students.

The 200 attendees also heard from Hope Elementary School Principal Barbara LaCorte, who discussed the power behind Pre-K programs, such as United Way’s Kindergarten Success Institute.

“Imagine starting a race many steps behind the start line or many laps behind,” LaCorte said. “That is the experience of many children in Santa Barbara County. Please make a difference today.”

Women United mobilizes a powerful leadership network of women to strengthen the Santa Barbara community. Through fundraising, volunteerism and advocacy, Women United focuses on expanding United Way’s early educational opportunities, such as Kindergarten Success Institutes and United for Literacy.

Women United ensures that more underserved children and families succeed during crucial early elementary school years and beyond. For more information, visit www.unitedwaysb.org.

— Angel Pacheco for United Way of Santa Barbara County.


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