High Water Women, an organization of senior-level women executives from the financial industry, has burst onto the philanthropic scene with a hugely successful first benefit.
A June 13 wine tasting at Fred's at Barney's in New York was sold out and raised $200,000 — double the original target — to support STRIVE. STRIVE, based in New York's East Harlem neighborhood, provides job training and placement for hard-to-employ populations and has helped more than 32,000 people find jobs in four countries.
Leslie Rahl, a co-founder of High Water Women, said the June benefit was much more educational — and fun — than many wine tastings, since it was conducted by the "Wine Diva," Christine Ansbacher. The group also benefited from brisk bidding on an auction offering, a day spent in the kitchen with famed New York chef David Bouley.
High Water Women was spun out of 100 Women in Hedge Funds earlier this year and focuses more opportunities for members to volunteer than the original organization does, Ms. Rahl said. Ms. Rahl, president of Capital Market Risk Advisors Inc., New York, and Kathleen Kelley, global macro portfolio manager at Kingdon Capital Management Inc., New York, resigned from their 100 Women in Hedge Funds board positions to establish the non-profit.
High Water Women will forge partnerships with other non-profits and community organizations that assist with problems of special interest to women, and there are plans for senior-level members to mentor younger women employed in the financial sector.