Mayfield grads host downtown event


Official Woman Up Cleveland website

Mayfield graduates Shannon Biega (left), Chloey DiBartolo (center), and Alex Ruggieri (right) are organizing the first Woman Up Cleveland event next month. DiBartolo said, “We are so excited for this event, and we cannot wait to meet all of the amazing women who attend!”

Sampurna Sarkar, Guest Writer

Three Mayfield alumna have founded a new organization, Woman Up Cleveland, and are planning their inaugural event on July 11 in downtown Cleveland.

The event will feature 25 Cleveland women-owned businesses in two different sessions, from 1-3pm and 4-6pm. According to one of the founders, Shannon Biega, this event is specially designed for all women.  She said, “We strive to foster a diverse and inclusive environment, so we’ve partnered with diverse vendors representing women-owned businesses from around the Cleveland community. We envision women of all ages and demographics attending for a fun and inclusive social networking envisionment!”

Biega, a 2018 graduate of Mayfield, has teamed up with two other Mayfield graduates, Chloey DiBartolo and Alex Ruggieri, to create the organization and host this event. DiBartolo said, “Shannon, Alex, and I founded Woman Up Cleveland to unite the women in the Cleveland community, especially after a time of separateness, for a fun, engaging day in an environment that is uplifting and inspiring.”

Tickets for the event are on sale now for $25 until June 27, but early-bird discount tickets for $15 are selling until June 15.  The event will be held at the Ariel International Center.  DiBartolo said, “We plan to have women-centered activities designed to show women how beautiful they are inside and out, balloon photo booth installations, raffle baskets, and more!”

Ruggieri believes the city is overdue for an event that is just for women.   “I feel as though Cleveland has had an opening for an event like this for a while.  The combination of networking and fun that comes with our event is truly special.  There is insane power behind uniting women, but there is also so much to be said for simply coming together to enjoy yourself and let loose.”

While COVID restrictions have loosened since June, the event has been in the planning stages for a while.  Biega said, “[Our planning happened over] Zoom meetings, where we discussed the venue, vendors, sponsors, donors, and the event details.”

Getting sponsorships for the event was a grassroots effort, according to DiBartolo.  She said,  “We have reached out to multiple Cleveland businesses, both via email and in person, in order to form connections and spread word of who we are, and also to sponsors, vendors, and product donations for our event this summer!”

Ruggieri said she’s grateful for the help the women have already received in the organizing of the event.  “We have received an unreal amount of support from local businesses and individuals. We couldn’t be more thankful for the helpfulness and hard work of those in Cleveland who have helped us get to where we are today, and will continue to motivate us to make our dreams come true,” she said.

To contact the event organizers to donate or sponsor, email womanupcl[email protected].  You can also follow them on Instagram @womanupcle.