“A word fitly spoken is like Apples of Gold in a setting of silver,” Proverbs 25:11
On Friday, October 27, 125 women from the greater Lake Wales community, including current Warner faculty, staff, students and alumni, all gathered at the Mountain Lake Colony House for the Inaugural “Apples of Gold” Women’s Scholarship Luncheon.
Of Warner’s student population, only 35% are female. It was important to the university’s advancement team that they connect women in the local community leadership with current female students.
“The idea behind this particular scholarship program is women empowering women,” said Assistant Vice President of Advancement Leigh Ann Wynn. “Most people don’t realize this, but currently at Warner, almost 70% of our students are the first in their family to attend college. That’s an amazing statistic and we want to be a part of helping further the education of the hardworking women on our campus who are a part of that number.”
This past March and April various “Ladies on the Lake” luncheons were held with friends and donors of Warner to brainstorm ideas for an official scholarship event. After several concept meetings and planning luncheons, the group decided on the title “Apples of Gold”, based on the verse in Proverbs 25.
Twelve women volunteered to serve as table hostesses, with each hostess inviting close friends to come and be a part of the event. “To have the invitations go out this way added a more personal touch,” said Vice President of Advancement Andrea Thies. “Guests were invited by friends affiliated with the university to come and hear more about Warner’s mission and vision.”
Mrs. Beverly Maxwell was one of the table hostesses and was grateful to have had the opportunity to work for such an amazing cause. Maxwell’s husband is currently on the Board of Trustees at Warner and they both have had the opportunity to interact with staff and students on many occasions.
“We had women of all ages and walks of life at our table,” said Maxwell. “Anywhere from business owners, teachers, homemakers, young professionals and Warner Alumni and students. I would say the common thread is that we all love Jesus and want to invest in something that is eternal and everlasting.”
Twelve young ladies who currently benefit from Warner’s scholarship program were in attendance and sprinkled around each table to share about their experiences and heart for Warner. These students represented various athletic teams and leadership positions on campus.
“It was a wonderful experience getting to chat with the amazing women at my table that are so generous and give to our school,” said student Catherine Lind. “I was able to share a bit of my story with them; specifically what brought me to Warner and how choosing a Christian education has allowed my faith to grow deeper.”
As those in attendance shared a beautiful meal and conversation, various awards were given in recognition to Mrs. Ernestine Tye as Warner’s “2017 Philanthropist of the Year” and to Mrs. Linda Fasel as Warner’s “2017 Excellence in Education” award recipient.
Ernestine Tye – Warner’s “2017 Philanthropist of the Year”
Dr. Linda Fasel – Warner’s “2017 Excellence in Education” Recipient
Best-selling author and syndicated columnist, Ronda Rich was the guest speaker who, through southern charm and humor, appropriately advised all the attendees that, “It only takes one yes to wipe away a million no’s…Just keep going!”
Current students Allison Peralta and Keana Smalls, shared personal testimonies about why Warner is such an influential place for them to be. Allison is a double major, works four different jobs on campus, interns at Victory Ridge, and travels around to churches in different states to sing with the university worship band. “She is just one example of the many hardworking young ladies at Warner who work relentlessly to get their degree — against all odds,” said Leigh Ann Wynn.
The advancement team is currently discussing what a men’s scholarship event might look like. “We would love to have a scholarship program that brings together businessmen in the community with young men on campus,” said Wynn. “It would provide a great opportunity to build a mentorship between the two.”
The Apples of Gold luncheon raised almost $70,000 towards women’s scholarships.
A big thank you to the corporate sponsors of the luncheon:
If you are interested in getting involved with “Apples of Gold”, scholarships or mentoring a young student at Warner University, please contact Leigh Ann Wynn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 863-638-1446.