For the thirteenth year, Martina McBride’s charity fundraiser in Nashville auctioned off thousands of dollars of celebrity memorabilia. Items like Darius Rucker’s autographed guitar sold for $775 while popular garments, such as Reba McEntire’s black sequined top went for much more. All the money raised was donated to support YWCA, an organization with the goal of eliminating racism and empowering women.
This year has seen the rise of relationship abuse portrayed by A-list stars in the media. Just take Chris Brown and Rihanna’s ongoing coverage and it’s clear that married women with families are not alone when it comes to abuse. YWCA’s mission is to support women and with popular artists like Martina McBride and former Miss America Ericka Dunlap providing needed awareness, much more can be accomplished to combat domestic violence. However, McBride and Dunlap aren’t the only ones who can help. “We can have it all if we work together. Girls are so competitive and catty and it’s not necessary to be mean girls,” said the former beauty queen.
More can be done. No woman is alone.
“If I had one message for women, it would be that we have the ability to reach out and help other women,” said Patricia Shea, President and CEO of YWCA. “When women help women, we change the world and we change the future. I want women to know that we are so powerful and we can change the world so we have to step up.”
Chart-topping and four-time winning CMA Vocalist of the Year, Martina McBride has a similar message. “It’s so important for women to support other women. It should be like a family. We should be out there routing for each other and helping each other out. This event goes to help women and children really start over and rebuild their lives in a positive way and I just think that that’s important,” McBride said.
Although new to the music business, aspiring country singer-songwriter Ericka Dunlap is familiar to the entertainment scene. Former Miss America 2004, Dunlap talked of how she first became involved with the YWCA. “I have become friends with some folks who are involved in the YWCA. I love the mission, it’s very clean and clear and it’s just so obvious that we all need to be a part of the issue of domestic violence and solving these problems,” Dunlap said.
While being an African-American country star may turn some heads, Dunlap had an important message for young women making their way in the world. “I think one of the most important things that young women can learn is to really pay attention to who you are. Find out who you are. Ask yourself some of the deeper questions about life that really are simple,” she said. “There’s a lot of things that people just don’t know about themselves and when you’re tested and when you’re tempted in certain situations, if you don’t know the little things about yourself, you’re not going to be able to handle the really big things that come along.”
She continued with a shoe analogy every girl can relate to. “Don’t ever devalue yourself. If you go into a shoe store, it’s great to get a pair of designer shoes on clearance, but you’re only going to get it somewhere else. You’re not going to get it from the designer for a discount because they always know the worth. So, make sure you know your worth and don’t discount yourself for anyone. Your parents, boyfriends, best friends.”
For more information on the YWCA be sure to visit them at www.ywcanashville.com or call their domestic violence 24-hour hotline at 1-800-334-4628.