Durham Legacy Fund Established
Following the Feb. 11 YWCA Central Alabama Annual Meeting, retiring CEO Suzanne Durham was recognized. Board President Kathryn Harbert and Interim CEO Yolanda Sullivan announced that in appreciation for her 34 years of service, the downtown YWCA building would be named in Durham’s honor with contributions to the Suzanne Durham Legacy Fund. Durham joined YWCA Central Alabama as Executive Director in 1979. In March 2014, Durham was presented the Woman of Vision award at the 2014 Momentum Conference.
The YW Hosts First Walk-A-Mile in Her Shoes®
YWCA Central Alabama adds a new, May 17, 2014, event called Walk-A-Mile in Her Shoes®. The difficult decision was made to discontinue the annual Mother’s Day Flower Sale, held annually for more than 20 years due to rising costs. The Junior Board decided to redirect energies toward making the KIDS Korner Luncheon an even greater success to benefit children served by the YW’s child care programs.
Yolanda Sullivan Named CEO
The YWCA Central Alabama Board of Directors named Yolanda Sullivan CEO effective Jan. 1, 2015. Sullivan, a former Board president, had served as Interim CEO since Jan. 1, 2014. Sullivan retired as CEO in December 2018.
SMILE Initiative Launched
The YW launched several new initiatives in 2016. The SMILE (Single Mothers Invested, Learning, Empowered) program allowed 12 single mothers living in poverty to be trained as dental assistants. In the wake of the controversial shooting deaths of black men and police officers, the YW hosted Face to Face with Race events, allowing participants to have honest, constructive dialogue about a subject that is often considered taboo. We also helped bring a job training program for the chronically unemployed to our Family Resource Center in Woodlawn.
The YW Adds Domestic Violence Walk
On Oct. 18, 2018, a Walk to End Domestic Violence was added to the annual YWCA Central Alabama Domestic Violence Awareness Vigil. The walk spanned seven blocks from YWCA at 309 23rd St. N to the 16th Street Baptist Church where the names of this year’s victims were read. Seven represents the minimum number of times it may take a woman to flee an abusive relationship. The walk was followed by the annual candlelight vigil in Linn Park.
Patricia Hoban-Moore Named Interim CEO
The YWCA Central Alabama Board of Directors named Patricia Hoban-Moore Interim CEO effective February 2019. Hoban-Moore previously served as the General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration at HUD. She served as Interim CEO of the YW through August 2019.
Dr. LaRhonda Magras Named CEO
The YWCA Central Alabama Board of Directors named Dr. LaRhonda Magras as CEO effective Sept. 1, 2019. Bringing more than two decades of nonprofit leadership experience and a focus on alleviating poverty among children and families, Magras came to Central Alabama after serving as Senior Vice President, Program & Operations with YWCA Nashville and Middle Tennessee.
Virtual Purse & Passion
YWCA Central Alabama’s largest fundraiser, the annual Purse & Passion, evolves from an in-person luncheon to a digital event on April 30, 2020. The 21st annual Purse & Passion is the first to be hosted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.