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Hartford, CT – This year’s 2020 Virtual Dashaway Luncheon took place on November 18 with hundreds of viewers present and successfully raised over $60,000. The Boys & Girls Clubs SMART Girl of the Year, Ma’Layasia Thompson, and keynote speaker, Dr. Joanne Berger-Sweeney, President of Trinity College, shared inspiring stories of adversity and triumph. This event directly benefited SMART Girls; health, life skills, and empowerment program aimed at girls ages 8-18. As we celebrate the 160th anniversary of the founding of the nation’s first Club; the Dashaway Club in Hartford implemented in 1860, we reflect and admire the legacy of the four women who founded the Boys & Girls Clubs movement and strive to keep their mission alive in all of our ventures.

The Dashaway Luncheon is supported through generous grants and various corporate sponsors such as Junior League of Hartford, The Hartford, Verizon, Gengras Motor Cars, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Raytheon Technologies, Robinson & Cole LLP, Stanley Black & Decker, The Cheryl Chase and Stuart Bear Family Foundation, Trinity College, UnitedHealthcare, Voya Financial, Women’s Alliance of Reid and Riege PC, and Accenture Women’s Employee Resource Group.

About SMART Girls

SMART Girls helps young girls discover their self-worth, build their self-esteem, make good decisions, and set future goals. That’s an even higher priority today as our young girl’s grapple with the social, emotional, and financial impact of Covid-19 on top of continuous issues revolving around racial and social injustice.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford

As the founding organization of the national Boys & Girls Clubs movement, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford (inaugurated in 1860) impacts the lives of nearly 9,000 Hartford children annually.  Club programming focuses on the development of character, leadership, and academic success while simultaneously emphasizing health, fitness, and nutrition. The Clubs mission is to enable all young people, especially those most in need, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens.  For more information please visit