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PRESS RELEASE – For immediate release

“Women Trailblazers”

Theme for 10th Annual Women With Heart Event

“Woman With Heart” Winners for 2022 Announced

Opelousas, La – March 14, 2022   The Women United of St. Landry-Evangeline United Way will host the 10th Annual Women With Heart Luncheon and Awards event on Thursday, March 31, at the Opelousas Civic Center.  This popular event will be from 11:30-1:30, with registration required.  The “Power of the Purse” purse auction, as a highlight each year, will create fun and excitement as attendees compete for their favorite purse. 

Staying with the theme Women Trailblazers, Katina Semien-Smothers, Executive Director of Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund will be featured as the keynote speaker.  Ms. Semien-Smothers served as South Central Regional Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. from 2016-2018.  She is an attorney, motivational speaker and community advocate.  A graduate of Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge, she received her Bachelors in Political Science in 1997 and Juris Doctorate in 2000. 

Katina Semien-Smothers

The “Woman With Heart” awards will be presented to two outstanding women representing St. Landry and Evangeline Parishes respectively, who have distinguished themselves as caring, compassionate community activists, volunteers and leaders.  From St. Landry Parish, Shaunn Caillier Harden, Opelousas City Court Judge (Ward 1) will be given the honor.

Shaunn Caillier Harden

From Evangeline Parish, Dr. Gwen Fontenot, one of the founders of the Evangeline Community Foundation and active with the Evangeline Chamber of Commerce will be accepting the award. 

Dr. Gwen Fontenot

Proceeds from this event will support the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) and other programs and projects related to women and children’s issues. 

Women with Heart Luncheon

Date:    Thursday, March 31, 2022

Time:    11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Location:  Opelousas Civic Center

Tickets: $30 – Can be purchased online at  , or by calling the United Way office at (337) 942-7815.  For more information, contact Ginger LeCompte at

Women United is an affinity group of United Way with over 75,000 members globally.  The mission of the St. Landry-Evangeline United Way Women United is to focus resources and volunteer efforts on issues surrounding women, families and children through programing, fundraising and advocacy.  Recent activities have included funding the childhood literacy program, Dolly Parton Imagination Library (a free book program targeting children age 0-5); Little Free Libraries (free-standing book exchange kiosks); and community education related to legislative work on domestic violence, human trafficking, pay equity, and early child development.