Celebrity sisters to headline Girls Inc. luncheon

Girls Inc of Omaha will continue its tradition tomorrow of bringing a who's who of speakers.
Updated: Aug. 31, 2022 at 10:23 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Girls Inc. is continuing its tradition Thursday of bringing the “who’s who” to Omaha for its annual fundraising event, Lunch for the Girls.

The organization has quite the impressive resume.

“The girls who were teens (here) are now doctors. They’re pharmacists. They’re special ed teachers. They’re attorneys. They’re doing all kinds of amazing things in the community,” Executive Director Roberta Wilhelm said.

On paper, its mission is to empower women to be strong, smart, and bold through an array of programs.

And in real life, the proof is in the progress.

“Every year, there’s a new cohort of girls graduating to be contributing members and women who have fulfilling work,” Wilhelm said.

The 2022 Lunch for the Girls not only features two New York Times best-selling authors, but two women from Omaha whose success can be seen on a national stage.

“My sister and I, Amber Ruffin, wrote a book: ‘You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism,’ ” Lacey Lamar said.

The book chronicles some very difficult racial encounters through childhood and present-day. The message the sisters plan to share is somewhat of a roadmap to navigating those situations.

“People tend to feel like they couldn’t possibly stand up for themselves,” Ruffin said. “But when you are a Black person in an all-white space... Don’t let that scare you; let that prepare you.”

Girls Inc. is known for helping young women become more independent, through healthy lifestlyes and education.

The women’s message is right in line with that.

“Representation matters,” Lamar said. “When you can see someone like me... someone like Amber Ruffin, hit the high level... And you see them — they’ve gone through it... and I’ll be OK.”

Ruffin, whose also a writer and performer on “Late Night with Seth Myers” and also performing in a musical at Benson Theater on Saturday, said the luncheon is a great opportunity to show women they can assert themselves without fear of closing the door on future opportunities.

“I was bullied. I was a nerd. I had good grades. I had bad grades. I was everything, and if I can do it, they can make it,” Ruffin said. “I just want there to be a lot less space in between them and success.”

IF YOU WANT TO GO: The Girls Inc. luncheon is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the CHI Health Center.