4TH ANNUAL DIRECT RELIEF WOMEN MOTHER’S DAY EVENT
Direct Relief Women held its fourth annual Mother’s Day fundraising and education
event, Thursday, May 15, with guest speaker, Dr. Steve Arrowsmith.
Over 210 invited guests attended, making it the largest crowd in the event’s history, and
with Andrew Firestone at the podium for a Stand Up and Be Counted,” $150,000 was
raised, designated for Direct Relief’s Maternal and Child Health programs.
The two and a half hour cocktail event was held at the home of Direct Relief board
member Mark Schwartz and his wife, Linda. Guests enjoyed delicious appetizers from
Duo Catering passed by NCL volunteers, wine donated by the Santa Barbara Vintners and
beer from Firestone-Walker Brewing. The music of the Dos Pueblos Jazz Band played
in the background and lovely floral arrangements donated Florabundance decorated the
already stunning grounds. The event was chaired by Direct Relief Women members
Rachel Stein and Kim Thomas.
Guests were able to meet and mingle with Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe, board chair
John Romo, board member Mari Mitchel who also chairs Direct Relief Women, and
Dorothy Largay, board chair emeritus, who played a major role in the formation of Direct
Relief Women and was honored with its first-ever award for her service to the volunteer
Following a compelling, emotional and sometimes light-hearted presentation by Dr.
Arrowsmith, Firestone motivated the guests to bid on the opportunity to help save lives
and by the time he was done, $150,000 had been raised!
Through education, service and financial giving, the all-volunteer Direct Relief Women
dynamically supports the work of Direct Relief http://www.directrelief.org/ in creating
healthy families around the world.
Nearly all childbirth-related deaths – 99 percent – occur in developing countries where
access to health services is limited or in many situations, not available at all. Direct
Relief’s work aims to expand the quality, availability, and access to health services to
people all over the United States and the world who are victims of poverty, disaster or
An obstetric fistula surgeon and instructor, and medical advisor to Direct Relief’s
fistula program, Dr. Arrowsmith has dedicated his life to helping women suffering from
obstetric fistula, a condition that is caused by prolonged and obstructed labor and that
disproportionately affects women living in poor and under-resourced situations. He is
the medical and program director of the Fistula Foundation, a Direct Relief partner in the
effort to end obstetric fistula around the world.