The Charlotte 49ers Athletic Foundation surpassed its goal and raised $145,000 for its annual Let Me Play Luncheon that supports women's athletic programs. Their goal was to raise $100,000 and for the second consecutive year they've exceeded that amount.
The luncheon is in its ninth year of existence, raising $863,000 and continuing to grow as one of Charlotte's top fundraisers. This year's event was held on Oct. 18 at the Charlotte Convention Center. Hundreds of attendees flooded the banquet room for an afternoon of entertainment but more importantly for an opportunity for women in the community to raise funds to support young women.
Cathy Bessant, Global Technology & Operations executive at Bank of America, served as the event's chair this year and delivered the keynote address. Dr. Sharonda Johnson LeBlanc, a former Charlotte 49ers student-athlete also spoke at the event.
Notable guests in attendance were Chancellor Phil Dubois and Laura Schulte of Wells Fargo. Schulte will serve as the chair for the 10th Annual Let Me Play Luncheon. Past chairs making appearances at the event were Mary Lou Babb, Betty Chafin Rash, Pat Rodgers, Dale Halton, Kelly Chopus, Felicia Hall Allen, Natalie English, Samara Foxx, and Ruth G. Shaw.
Sponsors for the event included Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Cannon Foundation, Novant Health, Bank of America (Kelly Kent), Edifice, Balfour Beatty, UTC Aerospace, Piedmont Natural Gas, Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, OrthoCarolina, FFTC, Charlotte Knights, Charlotte Bobcats, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Carolina Panthers, and Ricoh.
Student-athletes and coaches from many of the women's teams also attended the event in addition to several former student-athletes.