Victoria’s Secrets: Extraordinary women in life and on screen

Renee Daniel Flagler

For years, I have been celebrating extraordinary women, and this week I had the pleasure of experiencing two — one in person, and another on the silver screen.

When my dear employee Megan Smith was honored with the Equity First Foundation’s third annual Angels award for her work on behalf of people with cancer, I attended the award presentation with her family at the seaside Piermont catering hall in Babylon.

The afternoon was a celebration of women who have contributed to their community, and among those manning a table at the event was Renee Daniel Flagler, the executive director of Girls Inc.

For me, I found instant love and respect for her work and her passion for service. We made arrangements to meet last week and was I glad I did.

Renee is an accomplished recognized award winning author, journalist, creative writing teacher and speaker. Her organization, Girls Inc., encourages young women to pursue their passions and empower them to be strong, smart and bold.

The group is similar to the Girl Scouts, but all their services are free and mostly involve young minority women from Long Island.

I love that she has created the Renee Daniel Flagler scholarship program, which provides a graduating high school student from Nassau County $1,000 a year. The student must display an interest in writing or be involved in community service, and have shown an interest in empowering others through their work.

It’s all part of a what a special unique woman Renee is. And I’m so glad to get to know her and her mission.

Her goal this year is to help girls gain financial literacy and empower them to speak out about abuse.

Adding to Renee’s talents is her motivational speaking. One of her favorite quotes is something that inspires me as well: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, then run out into the street and tackle it!”

Then over the weekend I went to see “A Star is Born.” I tried for the 4:15 show, but it was sold out! The 7:30 show sold out as well, but I wasn’t giving up on what I heard was a movie not to be missed.

Finally I came back and caught the 9:30 p.m. show and sat in the lush leather reclining armchairs at the AMC theatre. What a treat it was to see the great talents of Bradley Cooper and the remarkable Lady Gaga together on screen. In fact, I didn’t realize it was Lady Gaga until the credits came up at the end of this totally engrossing movie.

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in "A Star is Born" (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/Clay Enos)
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in “A Star is Born” (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/Clay Enos)

The 2018 version of “A Star is Born” is the third remake of the classic Judy Garland film of the 1950s. Barbra Streisand starred in a remake in the 1970s.

Cooper starred and made his directorial debut in this updated version of “A Star is Born.” He said in a recent interview that he chose Lady Gaga because “I knew I needed nuclear power in a voice,” and did he get it! The soundtrack is already number one on the Billboard list.

Beyond the music, “A Star is Born” is a sad story of addiction combined with extraordinary success, devastating jealousy and desperation. To me, it was all about the power of women.

You must see this passionate performance for yourself, and feel free to let me know how it moved you!

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