The 68 risk-takers who set a philanthropic force in motion five years ago despite a sour economy were celebrated March 19 at a special event of The Women’s Fund of the Shasta Regional Community Foundation.
“Look Back to Look Forward: An Evening with the Founders of the Women’s Fund” at the McConnell Foundation in Redding honored those who embraced the concept and made the financial commitment to a collective-giving strategy for helping struggling women and their families in the Redding area.
“It was this group that took the leap of faith,” said founding Cabinet member Judy Salter. “We accepted the idea that we were, in fact, our sisters’ keepers.”
Anne Peterson, also a founding Cabinet member, noted that despite the Great Recession, “You opened your minds, your hearts, your wallets to an idea that was new to Redding.”
The Women’s Fund succeeded, she said, because “it was the right people in the right place at the right time with just the right idea.”
The recognition event blended appreciation with celebration, reflection and conviction.
Michele Goedert, chair of The Women’s Fund, highlighted accomplishments, including $130,000 in grants awarded to nonprofits for such efforts as restorative dentistry for low-income women with missing teeth, financial literacy programs for middle and high school girls, and a program to help families move out of motels by assisting with down payments and security deposits.
The Women’s Fund also made education a focus, sponsoring well-attended forums on poverty, domestic violence, entrepreneurship, bullying and other topics.
“We hosted 14 free community forums. They have been change-making,” Goedert said.
The Women’s Fund endowment grew from $63,400 in 2010 to nearly $338,000 this year, according to Goedert. Membership, which includes men, increased from142 in 2010 to 332 in 2014.
“Could you ever believe five years ago that we would be celebrating these numbers? Collectively we can achieve great things and help a lot of people along the way,” Shasta Regional Community Foundation CEO Kerry Caranci said. “… Look what you’ve done together. What a powerful statement.”
Krista Buckel offered the perspective of a new member, saying she joined because of the group’s passion, compassion and ability to make a difference.
“I am so joyful to know my donation combines with others in this room and others in the community to create a hand up to help,” she said.
Founding Cabinet member Susan Seamans told attendees The Women’s Fund will continue to build on its success. “We celebrate our past, but we are even more proud of where we are going,” she said.
Upcoming events include a luncheon with California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye on Aug. 27 and a community forum on mental health on Sept. 22.
For more information on The Women’s Fund, including becoming a member, visit womensfundredding.com.
-from press release