50 Cents. Period. Raises Over $18,000 at Annual Big Red Ball

Funds Will Support Women’s Reproductive Healthcare Programs Here and Abroad

Clarkston, GA – (25 March 2014) 50 Cents. Period., a non-profit organization providing reproductive healthcare and education to women and girls in marginalized societies in the U.S. and abroad, hosted its Second Annual Big Red Ball on Saturday, 15 March at the Clarkston Community Center in Clarkston, Georgia. The event hosted over 250 attendees and raised over $18,000. The funds will support the organization’s mission to provide reproductive healthcare and education programs to women and girls in Metro Atlanta refugee and immigrant populations as well as communities in other countries such as Nepal, India and Uganda.

Event guests were treated to an evening of global cuisine, live music, and a silent auction. Atlanta’s WSB Channel 2 news anchor Erin Coleman served as emcee for the event, with guest speakers Clarkston mayor Ted Terry and Georgia State Representative Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) providing additional remarks.

While the evening’s proceeds fell short of the $25,000 goal, the 2014 event topped 2013’s donations by over 30%.

“Big Red Ball 2014 did a great job this year of putting our organization in the spotlight,” stated Lorrie Lynn King, founder and executive director of 50 Cents. Period. “We had almost double the attendees of last year’s ball, and they were all abundantly generous when it came time to open their wallets and checkbooks. The proceeds from this year’s event will go far to continue and expand our programs, to help improve the lives of even more women and girls both in our own community and abroad.”

The evening’s entertainment included swing band Big Band Atlanta, whose music got many patrons out on the dance floor. Latin dance group Stiletto Dance Company spread its high energy to the crowd, with a set that concluded with “The Charleston,” in which audience members were encouraged to join the group on the dance floor. Also performing onstage was Atlanta singer-activist Yewande, whose rendition of “And I Am Telling You” brought the audience to its feet in applause.

One of the highlights of the evening was the unveiling of a dress created specifically for the event by Atlanta designer Eric Goldstein. Made entirely of feminine pads, the dress was symbolic of 50 Cents. Period.’s “Period at Home” project, which provides feminine hygiene products to women and girls in remote villages where these products are not readily available. Without the support of this program, many women and girls in these areas are unable to fully engage in their communities and activities, such as school. The program also provides a six-month supply of these products to newly-arrived refugee women and girls, who either aren’t familiar with these products or do not have the financial resources to purchase them.

“With this dress design, I wanted to symbolize 50 Cents. Period.’s mission to crush the stigma of menstruation with empowerment,” commented Goldstein. "Using these products as my sole material turned the ordinary into extraordinary through form, structure and varying opacity."

Atlanta restaurant Sun in My Belly provided catering, with beverages supplied by Mother Earth Brewing and Cathead Vodka. Other corporate sponsors included Kimberly-Clark, Procter & Gamble, and Marathon Financial Strategies.

About 50 Cents. Period.
50 Cents. Period. was established in 2010 to empower women and girls to stay fully engaged in their communities and education without the stigma and barriers surrounding their period, gender and reproductive choices. The organization takes its name from founder Lorrie Lynn King’s visit to Andhra Pradesh, India, where she discovered that many girls were unable to attend school during their menstruation because of lack of sanitary supplies – a problem that could be addressed with just fifty cents per month per girl.

The organization employs a holistic approach that seeks to empower women and girls through building their social and economic capacities. 50 Cents. Period focuses its programs and advocacy in underserved, traditionally marginalized communities, addressing such issues as chaupadi (the forced, ritualized exclusion of women during menstruation); rape warfare; living with HIV and FGM; and by providing sanitary products, reproductive health education workshops and curricula, clean water, and sanitation facilities. In tandem with these efforts, 50 Cents. Period furnishes linkages to care and connections to peer support and income generating projects.

At present, 50 Cents. Period program sites are located in Andhra Pradesh, India; the Kathmandu, Sindhupalchok and Karnali districts of Nepal; the Masaka, Kanungu, Rukungiri and Kasese regions of Uganda; and in the US in Clarkston, Georgia, the Southeastern epicenter of refugee resettlement. In May 2013, 50 Cents. Period concluded a six-month pilot program in Nicaragua, and is currently exploring Central American partnerships that serve indigenous women.