Why would a woman not want to act like a lady? It boggles my mind to see the deterioration of ladylike behavior over recent years. Even accomplished and respected women, who should assume a role model status, have lowered themselves to do roles that are beneath their talent and decency standards. An excellent example is the ultra-talented Melissa McCarthy, an Emmy-winner for Mike & Molly, who is currently taking crassness to new heights in her new film Tammy. And we can’t blame the powers that be in Hollywood for foisting it upon McCarthy, since she wrote and produced it.
TV is especially a bastion of vulgarity. I have seen too many shows that feature women demeaning themselves with their foul mouths, offensive humor, and indecent fashions. That kind of uncouth behavior is not just found on cable’s crude comedies and shocking dramas, it seems to be a requirement on most reality shows. I won’t waste the space mentioning any of them; I’ll just flip the channel and look for something better.
So, with that said, imagine my delight to learn about an organization that wants to emphasize manners, behavior, and good morals among girls and young women. The LadyLike Foundation held their 6th Annual Women of Excellence Scholarship Luncheon, and they honored some great ladies, including one of my personal heroes: the energetic director-choreographer Debbie Allen. But I was most impressed by the poise of LadyLike Foundation’s founder Leah Pump, an educator who is a splendid role model with an admirable mission. She says, “The purpose of the foundation is to motivate and inspire young ladies to reach their full God-given potential while discovering their inner beauty and value.” She started the group in 2006 and gives credit to her husband Dana Pump for helping her with her mission.
The awards event was hosted by actress Holly Robinson Peete, who was also an honoree for her achievements as an author, activist and philanthropist. Holly and her husband Rodney Peete created the HollyRod Foundation that supports outreach programs for Parkinson’s disease and families affected by autism. Holly praised Leah Pump for creating the annual LadyLike fundraiser, which provides six scholarships for deserving college-bound young ladies. The scholarship girls were wearing pretty pink dresses at the luncheon and I was thrilled to see awards presented to women of excellence in their various fields of career and philanthropy. Honorees included KTLA’s Lynette Romero, Paula Patton, Amie Petersen Satchu, and Jamie Heidegger, as well as Debbie Allen.
Debbie, who has been busy with her dance academy and being at the helm of her stage show, Brothers of the Knight, told everyone it was important for her to take time to talk to the scholarship girls “because today is about possibilities and vision. I’ve been able to do all the things I’ve done because somebody reached out a hand and gave me a chance. I want to encourage these young ladies to achieve.”
Celebrity guests at the Luxe Hotel included business woman and philanthropist, Cookie Johnson (Mrs. Magic Johnson), singer Colbie Caillat, Castle’s Tamala Jones, Brandi Glanville, Eva Marcille, Sheree Fletcher, DWTS pro Sharna Burgess, and Dancing With the Stars darling, Candace Cameron Bure.
Always the epitome of ladylike, Candace told me she was proud to support the efforts to uplift young women through education, “Because I have a daughter, I know that it’s so important. I was happy to learn about this organization and what they stand for. They are reaching girls that might not have the opportunity to get scholarships, and make their dreams come true. And they are educating the girls to be lovely and classy. It doesn’t matter what background you come from, beautiful manners are always an asset. The essence of what we’re seeing today is ladies helping ladies.”
Hooray for being ladylike.