Caption: Dr. Joe and Lana Hackworth and Damon Jones, ASR Cigar Company. Photo provided

Contributed by Carol Braddock

Dr. and Mrs. Joe Hackworth hosted more than 70 guests in their home for the Women’s Alliance Bourbon Showcase featuring Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey. Co-chaired by Lana Hackworth and Kandi Staples, the fundraiser was a sold-out success.

After receiving an Uncle Nearest cocktail, Rawnica Dillingham, Director of Specialty Markets, guided the guests through three tastings of Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey, Uncle Nearest 1884 Small Batch Whiskey, and a new issue of Uncle Nearest Straight Rye Whiskey.

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey honors the world’s first-known African American master distiller, Nearest Green. The portfolio brand was the Most Awarded American Whiskey or Bourbon in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Damon Jones, Chief Marketing Strategist of Alex Spencer Reserve, ASR Cigar Company, represented the premium blend boutique cigar company based in Over the Rhine, Cincinnati, with offices in Houston and Miami. In 2021 ASR Cigar Company was named the highest ranked cigar by Stogie Press. Jones collaborated with Dillingham to fill intriguing baskets of whiskey and cigar pairings as raffle items.  Guests enjoyed lite bites that were prepared by Sponsoring Caterer, Gail Billings of Edibles-N-Such. We have partnered with Gail for many of our events in the past, she continues to exceed our expectation with presentation and food. Additionally, many guests donated to the Women’s Alliance endeavors, which made the fundraiser and incredible success.  

President Tonee Holland shared some of WA’s recent activities. Members escorted high school students to the Men of Change Exhibit at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. A small committee collected $1300 in personal products for young girls in The Lighthouse New Beginnings treatment program. As part of an ongoing project, several members volunteered to  adopted a third-grade class at the Academy of World Languages Elementary School. 

Holland concluded by mentioning the Women’s Alliance signature event. “Hats Galore and More,” in its 15th year, will be held April 29, 2023.

Following the tasting and the cigar smoking on the patio, music and dancing completed the fun-filled evening.

For 56 years, Women’s Alliance’s membership has remained a nonprofit organization devoted to making a difference in the community. The mission is to provide programs to benefit the youth. One critical endeavor provides four-year college scholarships to young women. Over the years, WA has granted more than $600,00 in scholarships impacting 260 students.

Visit for more information about the organization.

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