Women, along with their economic, political and social achievements, will be recognized Friday at an International Women's Day celebration in Cape Coral.
The inaugural event will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Lake Kennedy Senior Center, in support of the international day. Hosted by the city, the local celebration will focus on women empowerment and encouragement.
International Women's Day has been observed since the early 1900s, when the oppression of women and inequality spurred them to become more vocal and active in pushing for change, according to a release from city officials.
In 1908, the issue became more prominent when 15,000 women marched through New York City for shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
Today, International Women's Day is observed on March 8.
"In the local community, there's not a location where this event is celebrated, where it has its own special event," Myri Del Leon, recreation specialist at the senior center and the celebration organizer, said.
If You Go
What: International Women's
When: Friday, March 8,
Where: Lake Kennedy
Senior Center, 400 Santa
Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral
Admission: $5 per person;
preregister by calling
"So, I thought this was an opportunity for the Lake Kennedy Senior Center," she said, adding that the event aims to "recognize and appreciate women."
The global theme this year is "The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum."
"Look at how far we've come in all our accomplishments," she said.
The keynote speaker in the Cape will be Lynn Schneider, the assistant vice president of marketing and communications for Shell Point Village. Del Leon referred to Schneider as a phenomenal speaker and pillar in the community.
"Her whole goal is to aspire women," she said. "To really take a capturing moment of women and how far we've come."
Friday's celebration will also include a performance by the 2012 Senior Idol winner, Trese Hill, as well as a fashion show by Draper's and Damon's, located in Fort Myers. Members at the senior center will be volunteering as models.
"I think it will be a great activity," Del Leon said.
Lunch will consist of a seasonal salad, fruit, mini tuna croissants and a chef's special dessert. It is being provided by Clare Bridge of Cape Coral.
There will be door prizes, courtesy of the Downtowner Car Wash, Beall's on Pine Island Road, Belk on Surfside Boulevard and Cape Coral Floral Designs.
Attendees will be provided with gift bags from Shell Point.
Also, Mayor John Sullivan will proclaim Friday International Women's Day.
"This will be an event that I want to be a staple in our community," Del Leon said, noting that she is even using social media to inform the public of it.
"We're trying to make sure women of all ages can come out and support it," she said.
Those interested in attending are asked to pre-register by calling the Lake Kennedy Senior Center at (239) 574-0575. The cost is $5 per person.
As of Tuesday, about 35 people had signed up to attend.
"We would prefer for people to sign up at the latest by Thursday, but we do make arrangements for extra walk-ins," Del Leon said.
Vendor space is available for businesses that want to set up a booth.
"Hopefully, we can build on it every year," she said of the inaugural event.
The Lake Kennedy Senior Center is at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd.