Girls Rising Honors Paula Cole at Game Changer Awards

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Girls Rising
Antigone Rising with Paula Cole, Sophie B. Hawkins and Lucy Kaplansky - Photo Image by Carol Ruth Weber

Paula Cole, as a groundbreaker for women in music, certainly deserves the 2019 Game Changer Award bestowed upon her by the Girls Rising charity, on Friday evening, June 21, 2019. Cole inspires girls as a leader proving that females can win in life – even in a male-dominated industry.

Paula Cole Girls Rising
Paula Cole – Image Courtesy of Carol Ruth Weber

The talented Cole is noted to be the first woman historically to produce on her own to receive a Grammy nomination for Best Producer of her, “This Fire.” The songstress made strides to break the glass ceiling in a world where males have been regularly seen to be getting all the credit.

Girls Rising Game Changer Award Excitement

My Father’s Place at the Roslyn Hotel in Roslyn, NY was filled with excitement even before the show began. Tribute to Cole and other game changers began on the Red Carpet prior to the event.

Joining the Girls Rising Game Changer Award recipient Cole for the evening performance were Lucy Kaplansky, Sophie B. Hawkins, and the creators of Girls Rising – Antigone Rising. Antigone Rising created the Girls Rising non-profit to encourage girls that they could follow their dreams to pursue careers that have traditionally been taken over by males.

Sophie B. Hawkins Girls Rising
Sophie B. Hawkins – Image Courtesy of Carol Ruth Weber

The goal of Girls Rising is to inspire and empower girls to be game changers in their own lives, just as Cole has done in her life. In addition to the honor bestowed upon Cole are scholarships awarded to two local graduating high-school seniors – the Girls Rising Milt Okun and Sheila Primont Scholarships.

As a fundraiser, the Game Changer Award event auctioned off once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The Girls Rising Comedic Auctioneer, Regina DeCicco hosted the auction of items including: tickets and backstage access to Hamilton on Broadway, an autographed guitar by The Goo Goo Dolls, a personal voice message from a choice of Rob Thomas, Johnny Rzeznik, or Jason Mraz, and tickets and backstage access to Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway.

Award Excitement Turns to Music Festival Fun

The Friday awards is part of a two-day event of the Girls Rising biggest fundraiser of the year. The Sixth Annual Girls Rising Music Festival enjoyed a day in the park on Saturday, June 22, 2019. Taking place in Morgan Park in Glen Cove, NY, the yearly festival features music by renowned female artists along with talented local youth.

To start the events for the day was members at noon of Glen Cove High School’s Concert Chorale who took the Branch Real Estate Group Main Stage to sing our National Anthem. Jazz Hand’s Theater Group then sang out beautifully performing songs from their spring production of Mary Poppins.

Girls Rising
Image Courtesy of Carol Ruth Weber

Headliners on the main stage at this year’s festival were Cole (“I Don’t Want to Wait”), folk singer Kaplansky, and singer-songwriter Jill Sobule (1995s “I Kissed a Girl”). Girls Rising mentor, Chanelle Bochove, also performed.

Antigone Rising took the stage to close the festival with their own famed rock n’ roll tunes. Surprising delighted fans all four of the original Antigone Rising band took to the stage, including Penelope Kokines Sanborne, Suzanne Obolsky, Cathy and Kristen Henderson, to celebrate the groups 25th Anniversary.

A second stage, sponsored by Kidz Bop, featured local young talent. Wonderful performances included Locust Valley’s Nikolina Keissling, Wantagh’s Lindsey Whiteman and Northampton, MA based female trio Kalliope Jones.

Girls Rising
Kristen Henderson with Nikolina Keissling – Image Courtesy of Carol Ruth Weber

Food, Drinks and Added Girls Rising Activity Delight

Carol Silva, News 12 Long Island Emmy winning broadcaster, was the moderator for the festival day’s outreach discussion. On board for the discussion are prominent women to speak about their own experience of becoming a leader in their field. Those glass ceiling shattering empowered women included: Nassau County District Judge Maxine S Broderick; Kelley Brooke, Bethpage Golf Group Managing Partner; Dr. Evelina Grayver, MD and Director of Coronary Care with North Shore University Hospital; and the construction company LC Three Founder Linda Cirigliano.

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Along with Friday evening scholarship awards were extra-curricular Girls Rising grants presented to several local and national students. The Melissa Etheridge Grant was bestowed upon Glen Cove’s Finley Middle School sixth grader Max Dahlke-Moll. The Joan Jett & The Blackhearts Grant went to the rising first graders at Glen Cove’s Deasy Elementary School. The Carnie Wilson Grant was given to eighth grader Gabriela Joya who attends Finley Middle School.

Many vendors and food trucks, along with a beer and wine garden, added to the day of festivity fun. StringFlix, born from a female leader’s dream, was on hand to teach all how to use their new app, helping to turn the Girls Rising Music Festival into an international social experience. As the music and fun took place, StringFlix invited all to download the app that allows each to collaborate with others as they added videos and photos for a shared creation.

Although the festival is free, a suggested donation of $15 helps the Girls Rising charity continue to meet its goals of inspiring, empowering and helping girls, and boys, to reach their dream potential.