Linda Nedell: Speaking Truth to empowHer
By producing a riveting video themed “The Imagined Life,” Linda Nedell is helping Women and Family Life Center (WFLC) speak truth to the empowHer Gala, coming Thursday, March 23, to Woodwinds in Branford.
As described on nonprofit WFLC’s website, the gala’s theme will help to “...celebrate those among us who imagined a better life. Armed with courage, they found their way to our door, programs, and services. Finding support and empowerment at the center, they discovered a path to growth and their imagined life.”
A Madison resident, Linda first learned about WFLC through a mutual friend, Mary Hally. She introduced Linda to WFLC board member Sarah Bishop Dellaventura.
“Mary had known about Women and Family Life Center and knew that I was really passionate about supporting women. She put me in touch with Sarah to learn about how I might be able to help and collaborate with them.”
Linda is the founder of SAYgelink.com, an online community she’s putting together where women’s conversations on targeted issues can create a place for them to share or gain insight based on valuable life experiences.
“I’m really a believer in the value of a conversation between one woman who is going through a life issue, and another that’s walked that path and has come out the other end, and has that perspective and insight to share of hope and inspiration. So I’m hoping to connect those women for those valuable conversations in this community,” says Linda of SAYgelink.com.
Linda gladly accepted Sarah’s invitation to join WFLC’s annual gala event planning committee. In 2022, WFLC’s 26-year-old annual gala, the nonprofit’s largest annual fundraiser, underwent an exciting makeover. It was renamed the empowHer Gala and moved to March in honor of Women’s History Month.
When Linda volunteered to produce a video for the inaugural empowHer Gala, WFLC eagerly accepted the offer.
“I have a hobby of creating video productions [for] people as favors and for events. It’s a creative outlet for me. I really enjoy it,” says Linda.
The 2022 empowHer Gala video Linda created helped introduce the event’s incredible group of female keynote speakers. Through ties formed at WFLC programs while transitioning through divorce, the women built lasting friendships and were motivated to lend their talents to give back to WFLC.
“Last year, they had five incredible women who offered to share their story. My video painted their journey and how they came together,” says Linda.
Producing the video opened Linda’s eyes even more to the comprehensive, multifaceted, and impactful services provided through WFLC.
“When I interviewed the women, they told me first-hand just what each of their individual experiences were with the center.”
“It just all came together for me,” Linda continues. “From the moment you walk in the door at the center, the incredible resources they have to offer to fully support anyone, wherever they’re starting from, in their journey toward a better-imagined life, which alludes to this year’s theme.”
For this year’s video, Linda’s capturing testimonials, footage, and words from “... the perspective of some women and families that have been serviced and supported by the center, as well as members that support the center in different ways—facilitators, program leaders, social work staff, board members,” she says.
“I really want to get to the heart of what’s driving these incredible people to dedicate this time and effort to supporting women. There’s always a strong story behind it, and I would love to get to the heart of that and how they feel they have made an impact.”
Established 31 years ago, nonprofit WFLC is headquartered at 96 Fair Street in Guilford. WFLC serves residents of 16 shoreline towns, including Branford, Chester, Clinton, Deep River, East Haven, East Lyme, Essex, Guilford, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, North Branford, North Haven, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.
The empowHer Gala brings together supporters, sponsors, and community members who recognize the importance and value WFLC provides for those it serves. Event proceeds support WFLC so it can continue providing assistance to Connecticut shoreline residents in need.
EmpowHer Gala attendees will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, complimentary wine and beer, a sit-down dinner, a live and silent auction, and the night’s special program presentation, “The Imagined Life.”
“The gala is an opportunity to highlight all of the amazing things that this organization does for women and families,” says Linda. “It’s just such a wonderful opportunity to come together and for them to display to the community how they do that; and how they impact, in an incredibly positive way, so many women and families in the community.”
WFLC’s 2023 empowHer Gala will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, at Woodwinds, 29 Schoolground Road, Branford. Early bird tickets, $100 per person, are available through Tuesday, Feb. 28, at womenandfamilylife.org/empowher-gala-1 (starting March 1, tickets will be $125). Sponsorships are also available; contact Bernadette Deamico, WFLC Development Manager, at 203-458-6699 for details.