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July 17, 2012

Pink Party to benefit Gilles family

The event will also celebrate successful Southern Indiana businesswomen

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Mother of eight and local entrepreneur PJ Jonas is a woman of many hats. Owner of Goat Milk Stuff, the Charlestown resident heads a flourishing soap making business while at the same time homeschooling her young brood.

With more than 17,000 likes on the company’s Facebook page, her products are gaining attention outside of Indiana. Recent national media sources such as O magazine and the “Today Show” have highlighted her wares.

On Thursday Jonas will wear a new hat as she steps up to the podium as one of several featured speakers at the Pink Party, a local networking event from 5 to 10 p.m. at The Montrose in Clarksville. In addition to raising money for a charitable cause, the party will also celebrate the accomplishments of businesswomen throughout Southern Indiana. Attendees will be treated to food from Chuy’s, Sam’s Food & Spirits and the Olive Garden. Local all-girl band The Hi-tops will perform following several guest speakers.

A portion of the proceeds from the night will be donated to the Gilles family of Henryville. In addition to suffering physical injuries, the Gilles’ lost their home in the March tornadoes that devastated Southern Indiana.

Pink Party organizer Shannon Kopf said she envisioned several purposes for the occasion. First, there’s the successful business angle. Local businesswomen will be honored for the many sacrifices they make in their daily lives. Guests will have the opportunity to hear personal stories from men and women who have succeeded in the business field.

“Sometimes women, I think, don’t have enough resources or aren’t recognized for everything that they do in their lives,” Kopf said.

Jonas also said she thinks the night will help women in the community find some camaraderie. Local women will be able to meet other ladies that have overcome obstacles in their lives and have succeeded despite the odds that were lined up against them.

“It is so important for women to have people that they can talk to. It’s really difficult to find a good mentor, to find someone that you can bounce business ideas off, who understand what you’re struggling with. I think one of the fundamental things of [the Pink Party] will be the networking that comes from this event,” Jonas said.

Likewise, Kopf said guests might meet others who may relate to their personal and professional situations or become inspired and empowered by others with similar circumstance.

Area real estate agent and host Lincoln Crum agrees. He will deliver the breakout speech at the event.

“I think this event will allow not just women, but people of our community to come together and be just a little bit inspired and a little bit motivated when they walk out,” Crum said. “If everybody gets a little bit of that I think it will be successful. And we need that in our lives.”

And don’t let the name fool you. Men and women alike are both invited to the Pink Party. Kopf said she thinks an equal number of both sexes will attend.

“We have just as many men as women coming to the event. It’s going to recognize women. But it’s not going to be too girly by any means where a guy would feel uncomfortable,” Kopf said.

Kopf stresses that a big purpose of the event is to raise funds to help the Gilles family rebuild their post-tornado lives. Kopf has known Trish Gilles’ mother for years as a customer and friend. She said she knew the family could benefit from the proceeds. She hopes the event will become a yearly undertaking with the proceeds being donated to different local causes each time.

“We would like to make it an annual event because there are people in need on more of a local level. An event like this can raise funds and give that to them directly and quickly. That’s really the main reason,” Kopf said.

If you are interested an attending the event, admission for the night costs $35 for an individual ticket or $100 for a table of four. Although tickets will be available for purchase at the door, Kopf recommends buying a ticket in advance to ensure you receive a seat at a table. For more information about the event, visit or contact Kopf by phone at 502-639-8900.

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