Power of the Purse lunch features Amanda Lindhout

Author Amanda Lindhout is the guest speaker at this year’s Power of the Purse luncheon.
Author Amanda Lindhout is the guest speaker at this year’s Power of the Purse luncheon.

Over the past few years, the Power of the Purse luncheon, held at The Ritz-Carlton, has featured some extraordinary guest speakers.

No less than activist Erin Brockovich and authors Cheryl Strayed, Jeannette Walls and Jennifer Thompson have taken to the podium to inspire capacity audiences since the event began in 2015. Each has shared a unique story,  new perspective, and unforgettable experience.

On March 22, another empowering speaker will present her story. Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout, who was abducted and held captive by Islamist insurgents in Somalia for 460 days, is the organisers’ special guest this year.

Amanda Lindhout

Amanda Lindhout is a sought-after inspirational speaker. Her New York Times bestselling memoir, ‘A House in the Sky’, has been a top 10 bestselling book since its release in 2013.

Raised by a single mother in a small city, Lindhout escaped the violence and poverty of her childhood by imagining herself in the pages of National Geographic magazine. As a young woman, her curiosity led her to some of the world’s most beautiful and remote places, its most imperiled and perilous countries and then into 15 months of harrowing captivity. Working as a freelance journalist in Somalia, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road. Lindhout spent 460 days as a hostage, surviving on strategy, fortitude and hope in the face of unimaginable adversity.

Her unique experiences give her credibility to discuss issues ranging from countering terrorism to supporting the women’s movement. She has been featured in Vogue, NPR and New York Times Magazine, as well as appearing on ‘Dateline’, ‘The Today Show’, ‘Morning Joe’ and ‘Anderson Cooper’.

‘A House in the Sky’ has been on the top 10 bestseller list since it was released in 2013.

Lindhout’s keynote presentations are for audiences of all sizes – from Richard Branson’s living room to an arena of 20,000 – she creates intimacy with the women and men in the room through her emotional, powerful storytelling. Her tale of survival builds suspense and momentum to reveal life-changing insights into mind conditioning, including actionable takeaways about reframing stories of pain into power.Silent auction

It wouldn’t be a Power of the Purse event without the opportunity to buy a designer bag at a discount. There are gently used bags and purses donated for the auction, along with brand new items, designed to entice attendees to open their wallets for the cause. Make sure you take the time to peruse the goods and monitor your bids so you don’t miss out.

The Power of the Purse fundraiser, hosted by Scotiabank, benefits the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre. To date, the event has raised more than US$125,000 for the centre, which offers support to victims of domestic violence.

Organiser Jennifer O’Leary, who has heard Lindhout speak previously, sought the writer to inspire others at the event, which is being held during International Women’s Month.

Petra Berksoy and Eileen Keens

“She will talk about the strategies she used in this experience to survive, and how you can remain positive in such an adversarial situation,” O’Leary says.

“This year, it’s all about balance. It’s about building a gender-balanced world. Everyone has a part to play; from grass-roots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence.”

The luncheon, which typically sells out, can accommodate 450 to 500 people.

Tickets for Power of the Purse are $200 per person. For more information, email organiser Jennifer O’Leary at [email protected], or call 925-9240 to reserve tickets.

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