Media Release — Announcing 2022 Event Headliners

Sharon Goldford and Jacquie Easley McGhee will headline the 24th annual fundraiser for the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center

Media contact: Shannon Schott, Marketing & Communications Manager, Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, 515-251-6665 x120


February 4, 2022 – The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is thrilled to announce a dynamic lineup of featured guests and co-chairs for the 24th Annual Women Helping Women event. They, along with a fearless volunteer planning committee, will inspire the community to engage over 500 guests and raise $210,000. Funds will support mental health counseling, education, trainings and other services that impact women, children and families who are uninsured or underinsured. Scheduled for May 20, 2022, the event is expected to be presented in a hybrid format, both online and in person, staged at the Embassy Suites downtown.

Honoree: Sharon Goldford
For decades Sharon has quietly and consistently cared for her community, driven by her innate spirit of generosity. Throughout her business career in religious organizations, human resources, finance and healthcare, she served on the boards of numerous organizations improving the lives of Iowans. Since retirement, she has continued her service by reading the Des Moines Register for the Iowa Radio Reading Service (IRIS), making deliveries for Meals on Wheels to senior citizens, and serving on both the IRIS and the Chrysalis Foundation boards of directors. Sharon is a longtime supporter of the Center as a past member of the board of
directors and as a WHW co-chair and committee member.

Speaker: Jacquie Easley McGhee
Jacquie is a Des Moines native whose impact in the community extends far and wide. Her volunteerism began as a student at Roosevelt High School and has evolved in the decades since to include engagement in nearly every area of local government. Her commitment to health equity is intrinsic. Today, Jacquie is the Division Director of Health Equity, Diversity & Inclusion for MercyOne Iowa. She is the Health Chair of the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP and the Vice Chair of Early Childhood Success for United Way of Central Iowa. Jacquie strives to live up to the investment the community made in her and return that investment back to her community.

2022 Co-Chairs: Rachel Hardin and Laura Palmer
The 30-member volunteer planning committee is led by a superstar team of co-chairs who each bring their own stamp of leadership and commitment to mental health access:

Co-Chair: Rachel Hardin
A transplant from Minnesota, Rachel has built a life in Des Moines and has grown to love this community. She serves as the Director of Physician Services for UnityPoint Health and is the President-Elect of the Junior League of Des Moines. Any moments not occupied by work are spent with her husband, Matt, and their poorly trained English Springer Spaniel, Millie.

Co-Chair: Laura Palmer
A lifelong Iowan who values the U.S. Postal Service and a thoughtfully handwritten note, Laura Palmer started XO-LP in 2009 producing whimsical illustrations made with markers and wit. Since 2014 Laura has been a full-time illustrator working with clients like Facebook, Better Homes and Gardens, Carrie Underwood and her 4-year-old nephew.

“I am proud to work with this inspiring group of women who live up to their commitment to care for others,” said Laurie Betts Sloterdyk, Director of Development at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center. “The Women Helping Women event will be an uplifting experience for all who participate on May 20, and for vulnerable women, children and families who will benefit throughout the year.”

Since 1999, the annual event has raised more than $1.6 million for women and children who experience violence, poverty, trauma, depression, anxiety, abuse and other issues that can be addressed through counseling, psychiatry, self-discovery, and education.

The Center is one of few providers in Greater Des Moines who serve people from all income levels, including those from low-income households who are underinsured or uninsured – with thanks to generous community support.

For more information about Women Helping Women, or to reserve your seat early through a Leader gift or a sponsorship, please go to Or contact Laurie Betts Sloterdyk at 515-564-5122


The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center is a nonprofit organization with a mission to walk with people through counseling and education to find hope and healing, and live a fulfilling life. Annually, the Center serves more than 4,000 individuals (including nearly 700 children and adolescents plus their families), offering holistic mental health counseling and education through 30 multidisciplinary clinicians. The Center is one of few providers in Central Iowa who serve those who are uninsured or underinsured.




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