Nova Vita | Committed to Empowerment

Over 100 women came to The Brantford Golf and Country Club as a sold out event. They listened to exceptional speakers detailing how the “Power of The Purse” is not a shopping excursion but a life-long commitment giving direction for empowerment of women of all ages. It is an annual event raising money for Nova Vita and The Brant United Way, with each year featuring different themes. This year emphasized ‘Women and Retirement” and began with a presentation by TD Bank.

Shannon McMannis CFP, of Cornerstone Capital Financial Group, is the force behind this event. She recognized that women appreciate knowing how to invest and protect those investments. It was a first class event and the audience were thrilled with the opportunity to expand their financial expertise and help these charitable organizations 

McMannis’s own philosophy of holistic advice offers, “individual attention and time in order to learn about her clients’ needs and lifestyle with a focus on managing risk and maximizing opportunity in order to overcome challenges and achieve financial success”.

The audience also understood that the recipient of the funds raised, Nova Vita, is dedicated to supplying education counselling and a safe respite for women and children suffering from domestic violence. Nova Vita also runs “Boutique Closet Couture” for new and like-new women’s fashion wear with 100% of the proceeds going to Nova Vita. 

This night McMannis drew on her network of professional experts, such as Brantford Attorney Deborah Ditchfield.

Deborah opened with this comment, …Marriage | noun … “Betting someone half your stuff that you’ll love them forever!”

You can imagine how this rang a few bells in the room, for both those pondering marriage and those regretting it! Ditchfield pulled no punches with anecdotes and scenarios that some had never considered. Her sense of humour and sound advice were both provocative and inspirational.

Natasha Dobler, Executive Director of Nova Vita:

The concept of Nova Vita began as a Suffragette movement as a shelter for victims of domestic violence in the early 1900’s. Now it is a diverse agency: emergency shelter for women and children, homeless or abused; children’s programs through referrals; and a  2nd stage temporary transitional shelter before becoming settled elsewhere. The value here is creating a support network through the community to raise awareness, offer education, skill building and counselling to meet the needs of a survivor or supported person.”

The community already knows many of the fundraising initiatives overseen by the Special Events Coordinator Anne Herbison-Ruddell, such as: Heels to Heals Walk; Annual Charity Golf Tournament, The Power of the Purse event; Closet Couture; and individual donations. Those supported by this invaluable agency know better than anyone else: their lives have been positively impacted by the Nova Vita staff and volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering in this agency to show support for the survivors, to help them break the cycle of violence they endure, make a difference by contacting

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