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SEPTEMBER 21, 2023

Fresh Start Raises a Record High $500,000 at Annual Luncheon

PHOENIX, AZ (September 21, 2023) – There was sipping, shopping, and lots of supporting on September 9, 2023 at fall’s most fabulous event, Fresh Start’s annual luncheon. The event, hosted by Fresh Start’s Auxiliary Board and presented by JP Morgan Chase, made its highly anticipated return to Chateau Luxe. Led by this year’s co-chairs, Rebecca Cohen-Collins and Lauren Papagalos, the celebration raised over $500,000. The Auxiliary Board works tirelessly all year to support this event and raise awareness of the organization so Fresh Start can provide access and resources that help women achieve self-sufficiency and use their strength to thrive.   

Attendees had the exciting opportunity to participate in many different activities, such as the fan-favorite Key to the Closet Raffle, valued at $5,000 and sponsored by Biltmore Fashion Park and Scottsdale Fashion Square. This lucky winner walked away with amazing merchandise along with a $500 gift card and a $1,000 gift certificate to Classy Closets! Other elements included fun photo opportunities, shopping, wine tasting, and a luxury handbag raffle featuring designer bags from Prada and Valentino.

Emcees, Caribe Devine and Lindsay Riley from Channel 12, talked about Fresh Start’s amazing work, followed by a high-energy fashion show presented by Scottsdale Fashion Square. The luncheon also featured community-minded men who competed to be crowned top fundraiser. The volunteer with the highest fundraising total, Jeff Petznick, was crowned, and in a close second, Zachary Taffet. 

The afternoon culminated in the community’s extraordinary support of the organization. Guests were inspired by Fresh Start’s President and CEO, Kim McWaters, as well as a moving video of a Fresh Start woman. The event ended in a beautiful show of generosity by attendees as auctioneer Anna Aja presented the incredible impact that donations to Fresh Start have in our community.

About Fresh Start Women’s Foundation

Fresh Start’s mission is to provide access and resources that help women achieve self-sufficiency and use their strength to thrive. Our ultimate vision is to create unlimited opportunities for women. Over three decades, Fresh Start has supported more than 50,000 Arizona women, serving approximately 3,000 women each year, who are 18 years and older. 86% are mothers, 60% are single mothers and 64% are women of color. These women face a variety of barriers hindering their ability to be personally or financially self-sufficient, including domestic violence, generational poverty, and unemployment. Through our award-winning Impact Program, Fresh Start offers focused programs, services, access to training and education, as well as employment and career services to help women reach their personal and professional goals. For more information, visit or connect with us on FacebookInstagramTwitter or LinkedIn.