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Wendy Reuer, Published October 16 2012

TV judge speaks at women's leadership luncheon in Fargo

FARGO – Judge Glenda Hatchett opened Tuesday’s 12th annual United Way Women’s Leadership luncheon with a challenge to the more than 675 women in attendance.

The dynamic speaker and television personality challenged the women to find their passion and their purpose in life.

She found hers when she went from being a corporate attorney for Delta Air Lines to serving on the bench in juvenile court.

Hatchett described the story of an 8-year-old boy she saw in her courtroom during her first week on the bench. The boy was deserted by his mother and “in limbo.” Like that boy, many children are left in limbo in communities every day, hungry, alone and in need of help, Hatchett said.

She challenged the United Way of Cass-Clay members to continue the work they have done and are doing with children in the community. She said it is those children who would be left in limbo if not for programs funded by the United Way.

Of the 75 programs United Way of Cass-Clay will support with this year’s fundraising campaign, many involve youth.

“This year, over 100,000 books will show up in the mailboxes of kids in our local community,” United Way President Sherri Thomsen said. “Each of those books represents a spark, a spark that has the potential to turn into the love of reading and interest in learning.”

Hatchett said the United Way’s Success By 6 program is a perfect example of programs that can help children. The United Way initiative aims to give children positive and enriching experiences to prepare them for school.

Hatchett is known for her work with youths and those in the juvenile court systems. She recently became a national best-selling author with “Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say.” She is a national spokeswoman for Court Appointed Special Advocates and helped found the Truancy Intervention Project.

Carrie McLeod, 2012 Women’s Leadership Luncheon chairwoman, said the luncheon’s committee decided Hatchett’s background and youth-oriented mission was a good fit to be this year’s keynote speaker.

The event is sponsored by United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, which boasts more than 800 members.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530


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