Washington, D.C.—The Organic & Natural Health Association (O&N) will host a fundraiser at SupplySide West for the Williams-Franklin Foundation (WFF), to support students of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) interested in natural health careers, according to a press release.
The fundraiser will go towards O&N’s commitment to raise a minimum of $50,000 for the WFF in the next five years. It will be held at Old Soul Restaurant in Las Vegas. Informa Markets is the headlining sponsor for the event, with a $5,000 commitment.
“Increasing diversity and promoting DEI initiatives among organizations in the natural products industry is a priority focus at Informa Markets,” said Jon Benninger, VP and Market Leader for SupplySide, Informa Markets. “Having more diversity in leadership positions within the industry allows us all to serve a larger audience of consumers who need to know about natural products. We see the Williams-Franklin Foundation as a good vehicle to attract new talent into the industry.”
O&N first announced its effort with the WFF to establish the “Organic & Natural Health Scholarship Fund” at the start of the year as an industry-wide cause, and hosted a virtual scholarship celebration and fundraiser this past spring on the SupplySide 365 Network platform. That fundraiser brought in more than $14,000 to fund seven scholarships for HBCU students this year.
“Through our collective fundraising efforts with the natural products industry at large, we are opening new doors for talented students who didn’t previously know the natural products industry existed,” said Karen Howard, CEO and Executive Director of Organic & Natural Health. “This is a systemic change that is necessary in our industry and we continue to invite all leaders to the initiative to help us expand it further. The next fundraising event at SupplySide West will be an opportunity to do just that.”
Old Soul Restaurant is located at 495 S. Grand Central Parkway in Las Vegas. The pre-prohibition-style restaurant is led by chef Natalie Young, who, according to the press release, has more than 20 years of experience in some of the most celebrated and demanding kitchens in the United States.
The fundraising event will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m., October 26. Tickets are $200 with a $100 tax deduction, and sponsorship packages are available here. Donations can be made directly by visiting the WFF website and selecting “Organic & Natural Health Fund” in the drop box when donating.
“Organic & Natural Health’s position as a leader in the natural products industry on the topic of diversity and inclusion has created a conduit between the students our foundation serves, and other leaders in the natural products industry, providing them with professional opportunities and critical financial support,” said Dwight Franklin, who co-founded WFF with his wife LaShelle Williams Franklin. “At the end of the day, our goal is to do our part to eliminate as much debt as possible for HBCU students and open as many doors for them as we can, so we appreciate anyone who can help us accomplish this goal.”