By Dawn Scotland
Sojourner’s Truth Reporter
A press conference for Women Fore Solheim was held at Imagination Station’s Key Bank Discovery Theater, 1 Discovery Way on Monday, August 23. The event, which was open to the public, featured “Bagels and Mimosas” and a screening debut of the group’s promotional video and call to action.
The event hosted by Imagination Station had an audience that included Women Advocates for Solheim wearing red, white and blue along with community supporters and local officials in an hour-long kickoff event.
The Women Fore Solheim, founded in 2021, is a “collaboration of diverse women in the Greater Toledo community, who are committed to creating and implementing inclusive and equitable opportunities and experiences during the Solheim Cup. [Their] purpose emphasizes a culture of belonging and passion for everyone’s contributions to country, while experiencing the wonder and magic of this unique golf experience.”
In their mission statement, the Women Fore Solheim says, “[we are] dedicated to making certain that all marketing and visuals, spectators, volunteers and the Women’s Summit attendees reflect this mission.”
The event started with an opening from Lori Hauser, director of the Imagination Station, followed by remarks from Meg Ressner, co-chair of the Solheim Cup.
Diana Patton, advocate for Women Fore Solheim, served as mistress of ceremonies for the press conference. She shared the vision of Ressner to make this event “the most unique experience Solheim had ever had.” Patton stated that the goal had been delivered through a “vistula mini golf experience, A-list selfie museum, Urban Soul Cultural Experience, and women vendors” that Toledoans can expect along with Solheim’s existing initiatives.
Angela Lucas, co-owner of Creadio, presented the debut of the promotional video for Women Fore Solheim developed by Creadio. The video, which is sponsored by ConnecToledo, Destination Toledo and the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, features a spoken word piece by Rhonda Sewell and aims to capture the feeling of Toledo and the diversity and accessibility of The Solheim Cup 2021.
The group received proclamations and remarks from city officials Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak, Councilwoman Tiffany Preston Whitman, EdD, and Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.
Kapszukiewicz presented a proclamation to the group declaring next week as “Solheim Cup Toledo Week.” The mayor lauded the Solheim Cup initiative and its impact to the city’s economy. “[This event] is the largest international event [in Toledo] since 1993”, the mayor stated, “[with a] 32-35 million dollar positive impact… a big deal for Toledo”.
Following the Mayor’s proclamation Cindy Kerr (ConnecToledo), Lance Woodworth (Destination Toledo), and Wendy Gramza (Reginal Chamber of Commerce which the funded promotional video) offered remarks and support for Women Fore Solheim.
The impact of the Solheim Cup 2021 on Toledo’s black community is undetermined. Diana Patton says that the economic impact for the black community “has not been quantified yet” but ensures “equity will definitely be made here in Toledo.”