Celebration of Today’s Woman
June 6, 2019
Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell hosted its Celebration of Today’s Woman on June 6, 2019, from 6 pm to 9 pm at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center. This year marked the Celebrations 26th anniversary of honoring a local woman that makes a difference in our community.
Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell was pleased to honor Lura Smith with the “Woman of Today” Award at the 2019 Celebration of Today’s Woman.
Our Woman of Today 2019, Lura Smith
(pictured L to R) Robert Smith, Lura Smith, and Dr. Brent A. Smith
The ladies in blue from MCC with Lura
Custom centerpiece created by Sara’s Serendipity Floral Design.
Lura’s distinguished career in marketing, public relations, and higher education, her leadership in local philanthropy, and her tireless efforts to support our community provide a wonderful role model for Girls Inc. members to celebrate. A graduate of the School of Management at Lesley University, Lura is a woman who brings countless talents, passionate commitment, and enthusiasm for life to every endeavor that she undertakes. Never content with the status quo, she takes notice of the needs of the people around her, gives them a voice, and works to make things happen. For 23 years in her position as Assistant to the President at Middlesex Community College, Lura served as a representative of the organization at numerous events, while providing support to the President. In 1999, she collaborated with the college in the creation of the Lura Smith Fund, whose mission is to provide scholarship opportunities, programs and events that reflect the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., including the highly successful annual Lura Smith Fund Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration which has grown to include over 300 guests representing the Merrimack Valley, New Hampshire, and Greater Boston areas, the establishment of the “Living the Dream Award,” and the awarding of over $50,000 in scholarships to date.
Lura credits her loving home and the vibrant community of her childhood in New Orleans for empowering her with the wisdom and confidence she has needed to thrive as a woman of color. There in the 1950s and 1960s she withstood the trying forces of racial segregation. This forged her unwavering commitment to honor those who encouraged her to dream without limits. Lura embodies a personal philosophy that values the blessings of faith, family, friends, and meaningful work, and looks to share these blessings with others. These are values that she and her husband, Robert, have passed on to their two sons, and now continue to share with their grandchildren.
Since becoming a Lowell resident in the 1970’s, Lura has made her mark on the local community in so many positive ways. She has served on numerous non-profit boards, including as Vice-Chairperson of Lowell Telecommunications Corporation, Vice Chairperson of Merrimack Valley Goodwill Industries, and as a board member of Alternative House, Girls Inc., the Lowell Boys and Girls Club, and the Greater Lowell Community Foundation. She was a Founder of Women Working Wonders. She currently serves on the Middlesex Community College Foundation Board, as a Corporator of Lowell General Hospital, and as a Corporator of Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank. Her tireless work for the community has earned her numerous awards and recognitions including the Community Teamwork Local Hero Award, the Lowell Sun Salute to Women Award, the YWCA of Lawrence Tribute to Women Award, and many others.
A talented singer, Lura joyfully shares her love of music, performing with her band monthly to standing-room only crowds at the Athenian Corner and at other local events where her infectious personality and love of life shines forth. (Pictured above, Lura having a blast performing with our Girls Inc. members at our 2017 Jazz In January Event).
We are proud to honor Lura with the 2019 Woman of Today Award. Her life of commitment to furthering the ideals of peace, equality, and reconciliation are a living example for Girls Inc. members of what it means to be … Strong, Smart, and Bold.
Gala sponsorship’s provide an opportunity to help empower and educate more girls from across Greater Lowell.
Sponsors will receive tickets based on sponsorship level. More information can be found by clicking the button above.
If you cannot provide a sponsorship, but would still like to support the event, you can place an ad in our program booklet.
More information can be found by clicking the link above.
2019 Event Sponsors
Nancy L. Donahue
Carol & George Duncan
Susan Mitchell & Jim Waldo
George Behrakis/ Behrakis Foundation
Dr. Eric & Carrie Meikle
Therese & Jack O’Connor
Larry & Linda Ardito
Thomas & Heather Kirwin
George & Nancy Robb
Connie & Nick Diamond
Mary Lou & Jim Keenan
Local 2321 Benevolent Fund, Inc.
Historic “Woman of Today”
1994, Carole Cowan, Ed.D. 1995, Susan Black, M.D.
1996, Clementine Alexis 1997, Nicola Tsongas
1998, Patricia Crane 1999, Nancy Donahue
2000, Eileen Donoghue 2001, Patricia Bradley
2002, Janice Stecchi, Ed.D. 2003 Mary Ellen Fitzpatrick
2004, Margaret Palm 2005, Mary Jo Leahey
2006, Karen Frederick 2007, Therese O’Connor
2008, Jacqueline Moloney, Ed.D. 2009, Kay George Roberts, D.M.A
2010, Linda Chemaly 2011, Mary Louise Keenan
2012, Dorcas Grigg-Saito 2013, Deedee O’Brien
2014, Carol S. Duncan 2015, Naomi M. Prendergast
2016, Amy J. Hoey 2017, Judy M. Burke
2018, Mary Boutselis Sampas, Yun-Ju Choi, Lianna Kushi
At Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell, girls grow up healthy, educated and independent. Support like yours allows us to reach even more girls and fully impact their lives resulting in exponential change and brighter futures for all. We are excited to have you join us in this effort to make the girls of Greater Lowell stronger, smarter, and bolder than ever before.
The Celebration of Today’s Woman Bronze Medal Award created especially for Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell by world-renowned sculptor, Mico Kaufman.