The Kate Powers Foundation (KPF) became an official Monaco registered non-profit in June 2022 and their first event honoured the loss of one of Monaco’s most respected and loved personalities by inviting the community to celebrate her birthday on July 16. (Kate died on on August 30, 2021.)
“It was community that Kate was most passionate about. She was always bringing people together,” says KPF vice-president Karen Bond.
On Tuesday, March 28, the KPF hosted its inauguration party to introduce their first project, Kate’s Fountains, which aims to have filtered water fountains at schools, existing locations and portable fountains at events. “Everyone knows that Kate was passionate about two things in Monaco – community and the environment,” shares Karen. “The water fountain project brings these two interests together by reducing single-use plastic in the community and the Principality.”
According to a 2022 Earthday.org fact sheet, humans use in total about 1.2 million plastic bottles a minute – that’s 20,000 a second – and an estimated 91% of plastic is not recycled. And the Ellen Macarthur Foundation reports that the 150 metric million tons of plastic rubbish in the ocean is estimated to reach 600 million by 2040.
350 people attended the cocktail at Twiga, which was in the presence of the Foundation’s honorary president, HSH Prince Albert, who spoke a few words about Kate’s dedication to the planetary health and th environment. Mike Powers read a letter Kate wrote in 2007 about the urgency of Monaco’s community cleaning up our planet and Didier Rubiolo read the letter in French.
The KPF also launched their partnership on Tuesday with the Water Smart Foundation to provide fountains offering free filtered water throughout the community.
The inaugural event was sponsored by Twiga, Twiga World, Water Smart Foundation, Pure Ionic Water, Mind Your Waste Foundation, Mon Eau, WET Environmental, IBD Monaco, Cap Gin, Lily Bui Finest wines, Silver Gecko vodka, Blue Coast Beer, Mc Performers, ED Wright Images, Nitin Sachania Photography, Shimmer Walls, Burgess and MDV.
“We are excited to work with the Principality of Monaco, its schools and businesses,” enthuses Karen. “The KPF initiative is designed to drive awareness, educate the community, and engage everyone interested by taking action to reduce the consumption of plastics and protect the earth and oceans, by valuing water as a precious resource.” The Foundation is hoping to work with the Ministry of Education and invite schools to take the #BigBillionBottleBattle plastic challenge.
Karen emphasises that creating community involvement in the use of filtered water fountains requires a multifaceted approach. “By educating the community, providing incentives, involving local businesses, and hosting events, we hope to encourage people to use filtered water fountains and promote sustainability.”
Kate’s Fountain sponsorship starts at €8,500 but a donation of any amount toward Kate’s Fountains would be appreciated. “We are accepting donations on our website to sponsor fountains and future projects for the Kate Powers Foundation.” Emily and Keith Chapman, Mike and Paola Powers and Murat Vargi are a few of the first names behind fountain sponsorship.
Through Kate’s Fountains, Monaco’s school community, local businesses and event organisations have a chance to empower each other by uniting to make a difference. Kate would be proud.
“Kate was Love in Action. Love for the community and the common good. She was always there to listen and provide pastoral care for anyone who needed it. And as one of her true loves in life was for the earth, that is why we KPF choose the water project,” smiles Karen.
Kate Powers Foundation Board: (R-L): president Rhonda Hudson; vice president Karen Bond; treasurer Ina McLaughlin; secretary Marina Jahlan Matkova; public relations Martina Rukus; sponsorship & events Melinda Nelson; business relations Donatella Campioni; youth coordinator Cecilia Faggionato; and marketing & creative director Natasha Girardi pictured with Lilou Mace.
“I’ve known of Kate Powers for 40 years, ever since I arrived in the Principality, and personally for the past 25 years. What a delightful human being she was! My culinary and metaphysical experiences with her in Stars ‘n Bars are too numerous to note, but my memories of meditating with Kate, eating with Kate and playing games with her and so many others who loved and admired her are written in my heart. I will always miss her…”John McLaughlin
“Kate was an amazing lady and the Foundation is such a fantastic way to ensure everything she stood for and supported in Monaco lives on in her memory and continues to make a difference within the community.”Paula Radcliffe
This article was first published March 21, 2023 and updated on March 30, 2023.
There are people who fantasise about living in Monaco. For Rhonda Hudson, a physical dream came to her one night while attending chiropractic school in Atlanta Georgia. “The dream was strong and vivid. I was walking down an old small cobblestone road holding hands with two little girls and when I looked up, I saw a sign that read Niçoise Socca. As I had never visited Europe, it took me a few months to figure out what this meant. As soon as I did, I quit school and flew to Nice. Two suitcases, my dog and me,” recalls Rhonda, founder of the well-being centre of alignment, Bodyflow.mc.
About ten months after arriving in the Alpes-Maritimes in 2000, the native of California visited Monaco. “I gave myself the time to find out who I was, letting go of old belief systems, family stuff and data. I did a lot of deprogramming and went deeper inside.”
Rhonda says she was searching for a deeper meaning to life. “I began questioning everything. There had to more to this world and humanity then suffering and this longing to have more, be more, do more, which seemed like a never-ending road down the rabbit hole. Somewhere in all of this must be a deeper inner-peace where we find joy, happiness and bliss even in the challenging times.”
Shortly after coming to Monaco she met Kate Powers. “Kate and I shared a deep love of helping others, both in our own ways, and definitely sharing our experiences together so we could grow.”
Rhonda shares that her friendship with Kate was not instantaneous. “It took us a few years to build a deep connection from just being acquaintances at various events of interest. We first met through some well-being events around Monaco, yoga classes, the Fourth of July and Halloween at Stars’n’Bars. We built our deep friendship walking the No Finish Line sometime in 2002 or 2003. Over those several days of walking together it was as though we had been friends our entire lives, something clicked, and from that point forward we shared almost everything.”
After that, Rhonda and Kate planned wellness events together and went on many retreats, from detox retreats around the region to liver cleanses in Germany. The last one was in Malta with one of their favourite neuroscientists, Dr Joe Dispenza. “We planned how we could make a difference for Monaco and the environment, how we could have an impact on the community and how we could heal ourselves through our own personal struggles.”
The Monaco resident admits that while living in California she was not as focused on a healthy lifestyle. “My moto is balance. I feel extremely blessed that I have been around and influenced by some of the top leaders in the well-being industry worldwide.”
Bodyflow.mc offers people the opportunity to experience bodywork, breath work, kundalini yoga (chanting, singing, breathing exercises), meditation, sound therapy and transformational coaching. “Sometimes in life, we feel stuck, depressed and helpless. We experience the death of loved ones, divorce, financial struggles, anxiety, stress, being burnt out or overwhelmed. Through a variety of tools people can experience alternative ways for recovery, for healing, to create an experience of well-being from the inside. And developing these daily tools means they can use overcome their issues and feel well, healthy, joyful and strong mentally, physically and emotionally,” she explains.
Rhonda works with teenagers and adults using a variety of different techniques. She says a life balance, breathing and power practices are the three steps people can take to improve their wellness levels.
“Make sure you have balance between work, family, socialising, sleep and exercising. Try alternate nostril breathing helps reduce stress and settle the mind. And meditation, sound therapy and yoga allow you to master your thoughts and transform your life.”
With the one-year anniversary of Kate’s death approaching on August 30th, many of us still struggle with the loss. For her closest friend Rhonda, it remains especially raw.
“It is hard to believe it is the one-year anniversary of her passing. I have tears in my eyes at this moment as I miss her, our friendship, her smiling face, our numerous adventures and our deep chats over a glass of wine on how we could make a difference—one of her favourite sayings and a tag line on her emails.”
It is largely thanks to Rhonda and Kate’s family that the Kate Powers Foundation was officially formed in June. “I did get Kate’s permission after much deliberation. I am not sure how many people knew that Kate had a shy side to her. She was not a huge fan of public speaking even though she was great at it and when we first started discussing a foundation in her name she wasn’t convinced.
“After several weeks of discussions, I managed to help her see how much she had done for the community and the Principality, and how it was important that we kept her passions, dreams and desires moving forward. She then shared with me all the things she would love to see followed through and created through the Foundation. I remember her saying, ‘Are you sure we have to call it the Kate Powers Foundation?’ We both smiled and then laughed.”
The slogan for the Kate Powers Foundation (KPF) is “Together we shine Bright”. Rhonda reveals, “One of Kate’s deepest desires was to pull people together in the community. When anyone had a problem or needed help, they would walk through the doors of Stars’n’Bars looking for Kate. Parents would tell their kids, ‘If you get into trouble and can’t reach me, go to Kate.’ When someone had an idea for an event or project, they would go to Kate. If a person was in emotional pain, where did they go? Kate. She listened, she offered positive words and hugs, and she shared a moment with people that let them know everything would be okay, she was there to help. To Kate, everyone was special. To everyone, Kate as a beacon of light.”
The Foundation is in its early stages and, as president, Rhonda and the association’s board are pulling together all Kate’s ideas they would like to follow through with over the next few years that both unite the community and follow her lead of giving back. For example, linking the Eco Angels – the group Kate put together to pick up trash after the Grand Prix, The Jumping and the Yacht Show – with companies who are aligned with the Foundation’s efforts so together they can make a difference
“Kate loved the sea and wanted to make sure we kept all the trash left over from these events out of the water, so we could help heal the environment. She also had a big passion for children, so we are excited to work with and be inspired by kids and young adults of Monaco. Every project we participate in will give back to the community in various ways – education, scholarships, well-being, personal growth and sustainable means – giving everyone an opportunity to work together and give back.”
At the moment, the KPF website is under construction. (Update: www.katepowersfoundation.com is live.) Individuals and companies will soon be able to donate online globally or for specific projects, share ideas, sign up for events, participate as volunteers or partner with the Foundation, as well as receive a monthly newsletter. Donations can be made by cheque or wire transfer to the Kate Powers Foundation c/o BodyFlow, Palais de la Scala, 1 Henri Dunant, Monaco 98000.
On July 16th, the Foundation held a “super simple get together” in honour of Kate’s birthday at Stars’n’Bars. “We had a wonderful turnout with so many volunteers donating their time and goods, making this very first event something special for everyone that was able to attend. Kate touched the lives of so many people, I believe the community will join together to see her legacy live on. ‘Do what you love, love what you do and make a difference’ as she always said.”
As a tribute to mark August 30th, Rhonda graciously agreed to share a few of her favourite Kate stories. “I have so many, however, here is one that comes to mind. Every week, we would sit at the bar close to the kitchen of the fusion restaurant and discuss the various ways we could stop Kate’s mom Kelly from feeding popcorn to the pigeons at the front of Stars’n’Bars, which seemed to annoy customers. We came up with numerous plans to distract Kelly but I am not sure any of them worked!
“Another time we flew to London to go to a seminar ‘The Work’ by Byron Katie to find a deeper meaning to life and question what you believe. We spent two days in the seminar and were rushing to the airport late Sunday afternoon. It started to snow on the M25 highway, which meant we ended up in a huge traffic jam with nothing moving. So we built a snowman to pass the time. Kate always looked at making the best of the situations we found ourselves in … and there were many.”
On a more intimate note, Rhonda opens up: “The year leading to Kate’s passing, and I had to sit with this for a while to put it into words, was special. I know that may sound strange but let me share why … we laughed, we cried, we worked on so many things personally for healing, we discussed all the things we did together, everything she was feeling during this time, how much she loved what she did, how many special people she had relationships with and how they influenced her life in such a positive way.
“Overall, Kate felt enriched by all of her experiences, how much she loved her family and friends and staff at Stars. And lastly, she said how she loved the community in Monaco and this was her home.”
A special family afternoon at Stars’n’Bars will honour Kate Powers birthday on Saturday, July 16th. The event is being organised by the Kate Powers Foundation, which was set up to continue her dedicated work on bettering the well-being of the community and the environment.
“Kate left us on August 30th and we miss her,” the Foundation says. “Her love and sense of fun made every event at Stars’n’Bars so memorable, we miss it.”
Volunteers from the Kate Powers Foundation will be raising money through various games for children and adults – three-legged race, egg spoon race, pétanque – as well there will be an inflatable castle, face painting, meditations and a sound bath, a wellness corner and a raffle with Kate-appropriate prizes (see below). There will also be a silent disco and a dunk tank.
Stop by between 4pm to 10ish (no reservations necessary) and pay tribute to our friend Kate while supporting the Foundation that bears her name. Entry is €30.
Food and drink (salad bar, cake, cookies, wine, Blue Coast Beer and Kombucha …) not included. More details will be revealed in coming weeks but I can confirm Mickie and Minnie Mouse will be on hand for photos.
Every time you say the words “I miss Kate”, follow that up with “How can I help?”
Blue Coast Beer
Signed football shirt ( Lisa/Steph Morandi) Monaco FC
2 vouchers for Zumba classes (Lisa Parker/Morandi)