The Capitol Theatre at the Riffe Center was nearly full to capacity May 15 as women and girls from all over central Ohio gathered to celebrate being just that -- women and girls.

The Capitol Theatre at the Riffe Center was nearly full to capacity May 15 as women and girls from all over central Ohio gathered to celebrate being just that -- women and girls.

The Women's Fund of Central Ohio, a nonprofit organization that invests in creating social change for women, hosted Keyholder 8: Pass It On, the seventh annual such event.

With the purchase of a ticket, those in attendance were invited to honor special women or girls in their lives. Some of these tributes were recorded and shown throughout the evening.

Keriake Lucas, a member of the event committee and director of account management at the brand management agency Ologie LLC, said the Keyholder event is a way to empower local women.

Last year, Gloria Steinem, a pioneer in women's advocacy, was the guest speaker. This year, the Women's Fund invited two authors to share their views about what it means to be a girl.

Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz, authors of "The Daring Book for Girls," spoke and answered questions regarding their book and thoughts on girlhood.

The two authors said they wrote the book after reading "The Dangerous Book for Boys" by Conn and Hal Iggulden.

"'The Dangerous Book for Boys' landed on our doorstep, and we said 'What about girls?' Peskowitz said.

Their book -- which offers advice on everything from making a clock run using the natural power of lemons to illustrating the roots of words -- shares the lesson that nothing is impossible.

"The word girl -- I love what it evokes: the sense of possibility that the world is out there for the taking," Buchanan said.

Lucas said Buchanan and Peskowitz accepted the invitation after learning about the Women's Fund's mission to empower women and girls through donations to social organizations.

"Ohio just has an incredible history of doing good things," said Peskowtiz, who graduated from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

Diana Lee, an outreach specialist for the Girl Scouts Seal of Ohio as well as a coordinator of the Scouts' Bonds Beyond Bars program, said she attended the May 15 event because the Women's Fund has contributed to her organization for about three years.

"It's fantastic," Lee said. "It's just a great organization."

Columbus Board of Education member W. Shawna Gibbs said she loves the diversity of the program.

"Every opportunity I have to support them, I do," Gibbs said.

She also said the Women's Fund supported the Shirley Chisholm Conference for Girls in Government for Franklin County girls who are interested in becoming involved in government and civic engagement, an event with which Gibbs was also involved.

"For that, I appreciate their investment of girls in the future," she said.

Mary Mertz of Worthington brought her two daughters, Stephanie and Christina, to Keyholder 8: Pass It On.

"I thought it was a good opportunity to be with other women and girls and talk about girl power," she said.

Both Mertz's daughters said they enjoyed the evening and learned something from the authors.

"I learned that a lot of girls are daring even if they don't look like it," said 9-year-old Stephanie Mertz.

Mary Mertz said she was very impressed with the Women's Fund of Central Ohio, which has given more than 65 grants totaling over $570,000 since it was founded in 2001.

"I'd like to give them some money," she said. "They look like they know what to do with it.