On Monday (May 9th) Hogback Development and Legends Casino Hotel. Presented The 28th Annual Leadership Luncheon. This luncheon benefits the YWCA of Yakima.

For the first time in two years. This event was held in person. At the Yakima Convention Center. People from organizations around the Yakima Valley were in attendance.   Along with students from various high schools in the Yakima valley. For this fundraising event.

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Chris Waddle of Hogback Development Company. Spoke about giving back to the Yakima Valley. By partnering with the YWCA of Yakima. To not only help lower domestic violence in the Yakima Valley. But to end it. And he also introduced guest speaker Jordyn Wieber.

Olympic Gold Medalist, Jordyn Wieber was the guest speaker. For this year's luncheon. Jordyn won Olympic Gold in the 2012 SummerOlympic Games in London. With the Women's Olympic Gymnastics team. She was a part of a group women gymnast's. Know as "The Fierce Five".

Photo By D-Rez/TSM
Photo By D-Rez/TSM

Jordyn told her story about her rise and challenges at the 2012 Olympic games in London. Then became an NCAA head coach. And told her story, without going into too much detail. About being sexually abused by the team gymnastics doctor. As a teenager. Not really knowing what had happened.

Other girls came forward and testified against this doctor in court.

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There was also the recognition of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women(MMIW). Women from the Yakama Nation were in attendance and were recognized.

Native American women are going missing at a high rate across the country. A database is being created to bring awareness. To Native American women that are missing.

With all the other speakers at the luncheon. There were some intense moments with these stories from survivors. Including Verlynn Best, from the Greater Yakima chamber of Commerce.

Verlynn spoke about her experiences with domestic violence. Not only witnessing, but being abused herself. Verlynn mentioned that she went from victim to survivor to warrior for women.

The common theme is not just lowering, but ending domestic violence. Here in the Yakima Valley and in the Yakama Nation.

People in Attendance at the 28th Annual Leadership Luncheon
Photo By D-Rez/TSM

It was mentioned that there are more calls for domestic violence. Then there is gang violence in the Yakima Valley.

For any ladies. That is suffering from domestic violence. You are not alone and you do not have to be silent.  There are domestic violence advocates. They are available 24/7 at the YWCA in Yakima, or any YWCA. More info can be found here.

Here is a video recap from the Leadership Luncheon


The 28th Annual Leadership Luncheon Benefiting the YWCA of Yakima





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