Representatives from sixteen Mid-Shore non-profits will accept checks totaling $43,259 at the Women & Girls Fund’s 15th Annual Grants & Awards Luncheon on April 24. That will bring the Fund’s overall grant total to $507,021.51, awarded to 82 organizations whose programs benefit women and girls in one or more of the five Mid-Shore counties of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot.
The grants will go to 2 new applicants and 14 non-profits that have been awarded Women & Girls Fund grants at least once before.
New this year are Compass Regional Hospice and Rising Above Disease (RAD). Repeat recipients are Chesapeake College Foundation, Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center, Destined to Rise, Echo Hill Outdoor Leadership School, For All Seasons, Horizons Kent and Queen Anne’s, Imagination Library of Talbot County, Ladies of Nia, Partners in Care, Rebuilding Together – Caroline County, Rebuilding Together – Kent County, Talbot Mentors, Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Drug Awareness, and Tilghman Area Youth Association.
“The programs offered by our grant recipients address serious, wide-ranging needs facing women and girls, from the oldest to the youngest”, said Emily Lynn, board member and Grants Committee co-chair along with Beth Spurry and Susan Wilford. “From literacy and education to emergency services to social engagement and critical home repairs, they have the potential to make significant differences in our community and we are proud to be able to support their efforts.”
In addition to handing out grant checks at the luncheon, the Fund will present two annual awards. The “Women & Girls Fund Award” for 2017 will be presented to Ellen Rajacich of Easton. Since 1959, Mrs. Rajacich has been a tireless volunteer fitness instructor at the YMCA of the Chesapeake. Always with a smile on her face, she has taught several generations of women – and more than a few men – to get fit, whether on an exercise mat or in the swimming pool. Her dedication, integrity, compassion, and generosity of time and talent demonstrate her commitment to improving the lives and opportunities for women, girls, and families, the hallmark of this annual award.
Previous recipients of this award are the following women of distinction: the late Lois S. Duffey, Harriet S. Critchlow, Sandra W. King, Maria Boria, M.D., Sister Patricia Gamgort, OSB, Tracy Davenport, Sandra Redd, Sara Jane Davidson, The Hon. Karen Murphy Jensen, Kathleen Francis, Maureen Jacobs, Janet Pfeffer, Joy Price, Nancy Wilson, Mary Lou McAllister, Diana Mautz, and Kathy Weaver.
The 2017 recipient of the Sheryl V. Kerr Award is Cheryl Hughes of Hurlock, founder of “Saving Second Base”, an annual breast cancer fundraiser in Cambridge. With the intention of doing something to support friends with breast cancer diagnoses, Mrs. Hughes put her determination and long list of friends to work and created a hugely popular and successful fundraiser. Since 2011, the one-day event has raised more than $150,000 for local breast cancer-related agencies. Her efforts exemplify our mission – the “power of pooled resources” – in working together to improve the lives of women and children in our community.
Previous recipients of the Sheryl V. Kerr Award are Maria D’Arcy and Estela Ramirez.
“The Women & Girls Fund Annual Grants & Awards Luncheon brings together an extraordinary group of supporters and those we support through our grant programs. It celebrates the importance of improving the lives of women and girls every day on the MidShore. We are excited each year to showcase those organizations and community leaders that truly make a difference!,” said board president Talli Oxnam.
The Women & Girls Fund Spring Luncheon will be held on Monday, April 24, 11:30am, at The Milestone in Easton. Ticket price is $50 and the event is open to the public. Reservation deadline is April 14. For more information about the luncheon and the Women & Girls Fund, call 410-770-8347, email email@example.com or visit www.womenandgirlsfund.org.