The invite in a beautiful shade of purple, Gwen’s favorite color, simply stated “One Girl In One Neighborhood, With One Chance to get it right.”

On Feb. 20, supporters of Gwen’s Girls were invited to recognize the accomplishments of Gwen’s Girls Inc., a gender specific agency founded by the late Pittsburgh Police Commander Gwendolyn Elliott.


From the very beginning, Elliot was destined to be a champion for women and girls. She began to break down barriers for women as early as 1964, when she entered the male-dominated military. She continued to break barriers when she became one of the first African-American female police officers in 1973—and eventually became the first woman promoted to sergeant and, ultimately, commander.


Elliot passed away May 14, 2007.

The second annual event was held at the historic Engine House No. 25 in the Strip District and included admittance to the Roberto Clemente Gallery, tasty appetizers, wine tasting, a luxury martini bar and music by R&B band, Platinum.

During this special evening the Gwen’s Girls board of directors honored the first recipient of their Caring Heart Award, Hefren-Tillotson, Inc. for their outstanding philanthropic and volunteer support of Gwen’s Girls.

In a moving presentation Lonnie Silver, Gwen’s Girls director of development, explained the numerous ways Hefren-Tillotson has provided ongoing support to the organization.

After the presentation of the beautiful purple award, a few of Gwen’s Girls showed what they had learned from the Hip Hop On Lock project. The young ladies were a shining example of the Gwen’s Girls mission: To empower girls and young women to have productive lives through holistic, gender-specific programs, education and experiences.

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