Why you should attend Dignity Period’s Spring Gala

By February 24, 2017Stories

Dignity Period is excited to invite you to our Spring Gala in St. Louis this year. It’s a great time – and this year we have a few special additions. But don’t take our word for it…

Tracy Spitznagle has supported Dignity Period from the beginning. She was on the inaugural Gala planning committee and, as faculty at Washington University in St. Louis, is invaluable in recruiting volunteers for the event.

Tracy supports Dignity Period because women’s health in Ethiopia is a huge concern for her. She has been to Ethiopia several times and has taught classes at the medical school at Mekelle University. She is pained by the low number of female students in the classrooms; few women achieve the same level of academic success that men do in Ethiopia. She is encouraged by Dignity Period’s work to address one barrier to girls’ education: menstrual hygiene management.

We asked Tracy a few questions about previous Spring Gala’s and what’s in store for this year.


Tracy and her husband, Richard (front) with friends at last year’s Gala.


Dignity Period: What were your favorite parts of the Gala last year?

Tracy: I thought the personal message that Freweini Mebrahtu brought to the program was very powerful – her story is amazing.

Freweini at the Mariam Seba Sanitary Products Factory in Mekelle, Ethiopia.


Tracy: The silent auction for the wonderful photography by Joni Kabana was also a highlight. I won one of Joni’s photos and I have mine in my office!

Joni Kabana generously donated images for the silent auction.

Joni Kabana generously donated images for the silent auction.


Tracy: Finally, I was involved in organizing last year’s “Wine Pull.” I had a ball picking out the wine and helping with set up. It was great fun to watch other people opening their wine bags to see what they got!

Two of last year’s wine pull participants display their winnings.

Two of last year’s wine pull participants display their winnings.

Dignity Period: What are you looking forward to most this year?

Tracy: This year we are having a sit-down dinner instead of a buffet, which will be good for me because last year I was so enjoying the event, I hardly sat down to eat!

I really enjoyed speaking with Dr. Loko from Mekelle University, and I look forward to speaking with the special guests this year. It is amazing to listen to the participants talk about their own stories of menstruation, as well as Dignity Period’s work, how they learned about it, when it started, and its effect on their lives.

But, what I’m looking forward to most is seeing Denise Thimes, a St. Louis Jazz singer. She is amazing and I can’t wait to watch her perform! We also have a local high school jazz band opening for her. It’s going to be a real treat.

Denise Thimes

Denise Thimes, legendary jazz singer will be performing at Dignity Period’s Spring Gala. Photo: DeniseThimes.com


Dignity Period: Why should others in St. Louis attend this Gala? What “can’t be missed?”

Tracy: It is a great cause that is making amazing systemic changes in Northern Ethiopia

And Denise Thimes! She is a huge draw on her own!

We look forward to welcoming you at The Sheldon Concert Hall on April 1st. We have sold out in the past, so buy your ticket now! If you are unable to attend, but would like to support our work, please donate now.