LEESBURG — United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties’ Women United program relaunched Oct. 12, 2023 with a merengue lesson and lots of excitement.

About ten potential new members of Women United and four staff members attended the event, meant to engage new members, build interest and share information about UWLS and Women United.

Kriss Titus, of Clermont, and founder of the nonprofit Michael’s Foundation, was the first to sign on as a member, and she shared her story with the group at the event. She was presented with a new Women United T-shirt.

Anastassia Abramenko, who owns Anastassia Ballroom and Dance studio, taught the women in attendance a merengue dance to upbeat music. The women also enjoyed wine and charcuterie and getting acquainted with each other.

As the group starts mobilizing, it will organize a leadership team and design its fundraising events and community service focus areas. Women throughout our community are brought together to improve the lives of women, children and families. In addition to fundraising events each year, our members help lift up our community though donations, advocacy and volunteer work.

The purpose of Women United is to inspire, educate and encourage women to affect change in our community with a focus on women and children through philanthropy, volunteering, leadership and membership. Our local Women United chapter was reestablished in 2021.

The focuses of the group are: empowering women’s economic stability, changing the lives of children, building the next generation of leaders, and creating meaningful mentorships.

Those interested in joining Women United can visit uwls.org/women-united

Questions about Women United? Send an email to womenunited@uwls.org