The largest charity women’s week in the country will be celebrating its sixteenth year starting Wednesday.
The week, which will run from May 13 to May 17, will feature eleven events like karaoke, pool parties and cocktail receptions.
All of the proceeds for the events, which range in price from free to $85, will go to the Aqua Foundation for Women. The foundation is a not-for-profit whose goal is to serve as funding for LGBT wellness and equality in South Florida through grants, scholarships and initiatives.
This year’s theme, according to Tommy Gomez, the marketing manager for the Aqua Foundation, is comic books.
“This year, we have re-invigorated our identity with a fresh, new, comic book inspired theme,” Gomez said. “Our program book is a comic book; our welcome center is an ‘Aqua Cave,’ and our VIP pass is called the ‘Superhero Pass.’”
The most anticipated events, Gomez said, are the performance of Tamara Sky, a female DJ who performed at Donald Trump’s birthday party, and Shannon DeFreitas, a body-painting artist who will paint models on stage and will also, later, be painting audience members.
He also said he also expects the pool party to be a big hit.
“Splash, taking place on Friday, is free this year, and we’ve already reached capacity,” he said. “We expect to see a lot of new faces who perhaps haven’t been able to afford our events in the past.”
Chelsya Saunders, who has volunteered with Aqua Girl for five years, also looks forward to the pool party.
“It’s probably the best event that happens,” she said. “You get all of these people coming out to the party in their bathing suits. Everybody looks great. The music is awesome. It would be my favorite part of volunteering.”
Lisette Gomez, the Aqua Foundation volunteer co-chair, said this year’s Aqua Girl will be different from other years because it is more organized.
“I like to call it controlled chaos,” she said. “Last year, we hired a company to handle all of our logistics for set up and breakdown at most of our events. Now our volunteers can focus more on improving our guest experience.”
Lisette said she believes this year will be the best yet.
Saunders said volunteering is her favorite part about the event, and she hopes to meet many new volunteers and visitors.
“It’s more than about the women,” she said. “It’s about involving the whole community. Everyone is welcome.”