As Liza Elliott, author of 30-A Supper Club, and I sat at The Summit Club overlooking downtown Birmingham, a storm was brewing outside. It was an extraordinary sight, and the perfect place to chat with the spectacular writer.
“I am a socialiologist, and I teach the Refugee Health Care Course at UAB [University of Alabama at Birmingham]. From my involvement in sociology, I gained a liking for stories. I am fascinated by what people do–their history…their stories. When I am writing, I feel free. Sometimes, I feel like I am in a time machine—I can write about the past or the present…there are so many options with it,” says Liza Elliot. “When I am writing, it is such a wonderful feeling.”
My chat with Liza Elliott continued as the thunderstorm drew closer and the sunset gave life to the cloudy sky. Upstairs, the excitement was building as the last details were being put in place for Girls Night Out: Operation Beach Ready Fashion Show.
What inspired you to organize the Girls Night Out: Operation Beach Ready event and fashion show?
“Two things inspired the creation of this event. One, I wanted to bring together small, local businesses. These men and women support and help build the community…and through this event, I hope for everyone to meet new people and make new connections. Another inspiration behind Girls Night Out is supporting Glenwood [Autism and Behavioral Health Center]. Glenwood is a unique place where children and adults with autism go for help. On a personal note, I have friends with autism and some of my friend’s children suffer with autism—partnering with Glenwood just seemed like a natural fit,” says local author, Liza Elliott.
Being that there are other autism and behavioral organizations out there, what made Glenwood stand out?
“Glenwood has a history of excellence. I am a huge supporter of research—I believe it is essential, but it is also important to be hands on with patients, and Glenwood does just that. All of the professionals at Glenwood are making a difference in so many lives. One thing I really love about Glenwood is that it keeps the families together. Sometimes, treatment separate families, but Glenwood assists the families in staying connected—this is an amazing and special achievement for them,” says Elliott.
Describe this event in five words.
“Celebration. Community. Entrepreneurs. Courage. Fun,” stated Elliot.
Celebration was absolutely correct! As I made my way up the carpeted stairs of The Summit Club and entered Girls Night Out, I could see the community support and feel the excitement. Local vendors lined the walls with their decorated booths and the room had the aroma of delicious appetizers from The Summit Club.
There were fashion shows every hour on the hour featuring the hottest summer trends from local boutiques. Every time a model hit the stage, the crowd went wild! Clapping their hands and chatting amongst themselves about what their favorites were and why they liked this or that.
Meeting famed writer Liza Elliot, enjoying a preview of sassy summer fashions from local stores, shopping jewelry from Stella & Dot, learning about what supplements a woman needs to take in order to obtain the perfect beach body, dancing with hoops, snacking on delicious food from The Summit Club, and much much more made up the Girls Night Out: Operation Beach Ready event. As if the event were not magnificent enough, it was all for a great cause—Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Center.
To learn more about and purchase Liza Elliot’s latest novel, 30—A Supper Club, please visit www.redcamelpress.com
For more information about the Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health Center, please call (205)212-6726 OR visit www.glenwood.org