Fund cel­e­brates ‘the power of pooled re­sources’

Women & Girls Fund of the Mid-Shore holds an­nual awards lun­cheon

Sunday Star - - LIFE - By CON­NIE CON­NOLLY cconnolly@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @con­nie_s­tar­dem.

EAS­TON — The theme of the Women & Girls Fund is “the power of pooled re­sources,” and a ban­quet room filled with more than 200 in­di­vid­u­als who gath­ered on a breezy Mon­day, April 30, were liv­ing sym­bols of the many who — to­gether — can ac­com­plish the mon­u­men­tal.

They gath­ered for the fund’s 16th an­nual Grants and Awards Lun­cheon at the Mile­stone in Eas­ton to cel­e­brate lo­cal in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions who are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.

“This a very feel-good event,” Talli Ox­nam said. She is pres­i­dent of the board of di­rec­tors of the Eas­ton-based Women & Girls Fund.

The lo­cal phi­lan­thropy awarded checks to­tal­ing $45,996 to 13 MidShore or­ga­ni­za­tions and hon­ored two women whose per­sonal or pro­fes­sional ef­forts help ful­fill the mis­sion of the Women & Girls Fund: to im­prove and ad­vance the lives of lo­cal women and girls.

“The event brings to­gether an ex­tra­or­di­nary group of peo­ple and cel­e­brates the im­por­tance of im­prov­ing the lives of women and girls ev­ery day on the MidShore,” said co-founder and for­mer board mem­ber Meg van den Berg. “Ev­ery year, the fund high­lights those or­ga­ni­za­tions and com­mu­nity lead­ers that truly make a dif­fer­ence.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Women & Girls Fund web­site, the en­dowed fund was es­tab­lished in 2002 as a grass­roots ef­fort of a group of women who wanted to ad­dress sig­nif­i­cant lo­cal prob­lems ef­fec­tively. “The first dona­tion was re­ceived that year and — after work­ing with the United Fund and Mid-Shore Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion to learn about the re­gion’s needs — (the) first grants were given in April of 2003.”

Alice Ryan, Bet­tie Baer, Kirby Parker, Em­i­lie Robin­son, Carolyn Thorn­ton and Meg van den Berg founded the Women & Girls Fund.

Ox­nam ex­tended a “heart­felt thank you to Meg van den Berg and Ginny Ber­liner. These two ladies are a true bless­ing to the Fund and to this event. With­out their tire­less ef­forts and pos­i­tiv­ity, we would not be sit­ting here to­day.”

At the lun­cheon, the fund hon­ored two Mid-Shore women with the Women & Girls Fund and Sh­eryl V. Kerr Awards. The an­nual awards rec­og­nize com­mu­nity mem­bers whose per­sonal or pro­fes­sional ef­forts im­prove and ad­vance the lives of lo­cal women and girls.

Artist Sue Stock­man of St. Michaels is the 2018 re­cip­i­ent of the Women & Girls Fund Award, which has been given since 2004. Rob­bin Hill of Eas­ton is the 2018 re­cip­i­ent of the Sh­eryl V. Kerr Award. Given in mem­ory of the late Sh­eryl V. Kerr by the Grayce B. Kerr Fund, the award first was given in 2016.

Women & Girls Fund co­founder and board mem­ber Alice Ryan in­tro­duced Stock­man and Hill.

The Women & Girls Fund Award “goes to some­one who con­sis­tently demon­strates her com­mit­ment to im­prov­ing the lives and op­por­tu­ni­ties for women, girls and fam­i­lies,” Ryan said.

“An ac­com­plished artist, Stock­man is well known for her creative jew­elry and mo­saic mu­rals, as well as for lead­ing ed­u­ca­tional ar t classes and work­shops for par­tic­i­pants of all ages that bring a sense of cu­rios­ity and dis­cov­ery to her stu­dents,” Ryan said.

“And qui­etly, she is alert to, and per­son­ally com­mit­ted to, pro­vid­ing com­pas­sion and care to friends and strangers in need, whether sit­ting by a hospi­tal bed with a friend or lead­ing an art work­shop for in­car­cer­ated women,” Ryan said.

“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,” Ryan said. “Sue has gra­ciously re­quested that the $500 dona­tion that ac­com­pa­nies this award go to the Carpe Diem Arts Out­reach Fund.”

“I’m filled with grat­i­tude, es­pe­cially as I look across the room and see the peo­ple that have in­spired me and been amaz­ing ex­am­ples for me,” Stock­man said.

“I’ve been think­ing about weav­ing a lot,” Stock­man said. “And this award feels a lit­tle like pulling a thread out of some­thing that has been wo­ven in rec­og­niz­ing the one thread when, ac­tu­ally, ever y sin­gle per­son that has shown up that has known me and — a ton that haven’t have — cre­ated a space where I can do the work that I love to do.”

Rob­bin Hill, the chief pro­gram and schol­ar­ship of­fi­cer at the Mid-Shore Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion, “has built a strong net­work through­out the non-profit com­mu­nity, where she is known for her en­thu­si­asm and tire­less ad­vo­cacy for the Mid-Shore re­gion,” Ryan said.

“Rob­bin and the fund have grown up to­gether,” Ryan said. “It’s re­ally quite amaz­ing if you’ve ever worked with Rob­bin. She knows ev­ery non­profit in the five coun­ties. She knows whom to call. She’s an amaz­ing per­son.”

Ryan said Hill’s ef­forts ex­em­plify the mis­sion of the fund. “With vi­sion and an un­der­stand­ing of the needs of the com­mu­nity — along with a kind and car­ing ap­proach to help­ing oth­ers — she ex­cels at de­vel­op­ing grants that meet peo­ple where they are to do the most to im­prove their lives,” Ryan said.

“It’s a true priv­i­lege to do this work, and it’s a real honor,” Hill said as her eyes filled with tears.

State Sen. Ad­die Eckardt, R37-Mid-Shore, and Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Tal­bot, pre­sented greet­ings and con­grat­u­la­tory ci­ta­tions from their fel­low leg­is­la­tors to Stock­man and Hill.

“It’s al­ways fun to rec­og­nize those folks who have been be­hind the scenes mak­ing it all hap­pen for so many years, so God bless you,” Eckardt said.

This year’s grants were awarded to two new ap­pli­cants and 11 non­prof­its that have been awarded Women & Girls Fund grants at least once be­fore. New grantees were the Kent County De­part­ment of So­cial Ser­vices Child Ad­vo­cacy Cen­ter and Mid-Shore Restor­ing HOPE in Women.

Re­peat re­cip­i­ents were Com­pass Re­gional Hospice, Des­tined to Rise, Echo Hill Out­door School, For All Sea­sons, Hori­zons Kent and Queen Anne’s, Mid-Shore Coun­cil on Fam­ily Vi­o­lence, Pick­er­ing Creek Audubon Cen­ter, Ris­ing Above Dis­ease (RAD), St. Martin’s Min­istries, Tal­bot Men­tors and Til­gh­man Area Youth As­so­ci­a­tion.

“Our grants do more than just fund un­met needs in the com­mu­nity. We love to sup­port in­no­va­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion from the agen­cies who are on the ground mak­ing sure those needs are met,” said Board Trea­surer Beth Spurry, who is the grants com­mit­tee co-chair­man, along with Emily Sparks and Su­san Wil­ford.

“More than ever, we are thrilled to see our grantees think­ing of new and more ef­fec­tive ways to im­prove the lives of women and girls on the MidShore,” Spurry said.

The 2018 awards bring the fund’s over­all grant to­tal to $553,018, with 212 grants given to 84 or­ga­ni­za­tions whose pro­grams ben­e­fit women and girls in one or more of the five Mid-Shore coun­ties of Tal­bot, Caro­line, Dorch­ester, Kent and Queen Anne’s.

“The grants will have a far­reach­ing im­pact go­ing to pro­grams fo­cused on a va­ri­ety of ages and needs, in­clud­ing sup­port for women in ad­dic­tion re­cov­ery, grief coun­sel­ing for chil­dren and fam­i­lies, sum­mer camp ex­pe­ri­ences and after school and sum­mer en­rich­ment pro­grams,” van den Berg said.

“We are thrilled to show­case those or­ga­ni­za­tions and com­mu­nity lead­ers that truly make a dif­fer­ence in our com­mu­nity,” Ox­nam said.

The fol­low­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions and pro­grams re­ceived grants from the fund:

• Com­pass Re­gional Hospice Hope and Heal­ing Cen­ter, $5,000

• Des­tined to Rise Coali­tion “Step­ping Up Our Game” Sum­mit for Mid-Shore girls, $5,500

• Echo Hill Out­door School, Sum­mer Lead­er­ship Pro­gram, $3,600

• For All Sea­sons, CA­RESS pro­fes­sional work­shop, $3,000

• Hori­zons of Kent and Queen Anne’s, part-time school psy­chol­o­gist, $1,200

• Kent County De­part­ment of So­cial Ser­vices Child Ad­vo­cacy Cen­ter, Na­tional Chil­dren’s Al­liance Lead­er­ship Con­fer­ence, $2,800

• Mid-Shore Coun­cil on Fam­ily Vi­o­lence, Ed­u­ca­tion & Em­pow­er­ment Sup­port Groups, $2,000

• Mid-Shore Restor­ing HOPE in Women, Fed-Up Rally in Caro­line County, $2,000

• Pick­er­ing Creek Audubon Cen­ter, “Camp Like a Girl” pro­gram, $3,000

• Ris­ing Above Dis­ease, Capt. Joe Ket­tinger Schol­ar­ship Fund, $3,000

• St. Martin’s Min­istries, Equine Ther­apy Pro­gram, $4,870

• Tal­bot Men­tors, “Send Our Girls to Sum­mer Camp,” $2,500

• Til­gh­man Area Youth As­so­ci­a­tion TASK af­ter­school pro­gram staff, $4,376

Also awarded were grants from the Daisy Fund, which pro­vides “a way to guide a new gen­er­a­tion into a life-long prac­tice of car­ing for their com­mu­nity,” ac­cord­ing to the Women & Girls Fund web­site.

“We strongly be­lieve in ed­u­cat­ing our youth and the next gen­er­a­tion about phi­lan­thropy,” Ox­nam said. “The Daisy Fund is do­ing just that.”

With a pledge of $10,000 or more, a named fund can be es­tab­lished to honor a child. So far, 13 daisy funds have been opened with funds named for chil­dren aged 6 months up to 29 years old. This year, the “Daisies” were able to di­rect $3,150 to four grantees: Com­pass Re­gional Hospice, Des­tined to Rise Coali­tion, Imag­i­na­tion Li­brar y of Tal­bot County and Pick­er­ing Creek Audubon Cen­ter.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the Women & Girls Fund, call 410-770-8347, email info@wom enand­girls­fund.org or visit www. wom­e­nand­girls­fund.org.

At its 2018 Grants and Awards Lun­cheon, the Women & Girls Fund pre­sented grants to 13 Mid-Shore non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions. Shown here are: (front row) Mar­garet Allen, Kent County De­part­ment of So­cial Ser­vices; Con­nie Schroth, Hori­zons of Kent and Queen Anne’s; Beth Anne Lan­grell, For All Sea­sons; Betsy McCown, Echo Hill Out­door School; Dorine Fas­sett, Des­tined to Rise Coali­tion; Heather Guerieri, Com­pass Re­gional Hospice; (back row) Emily Sparks, WGF board mem­ber; WGF founder Alice Ryan; Anne Far­ley, Til­gh­man Area Youth As­so­ci­a­tion; Ger­son Martinez, Tal­bot Men­tors; Deb­o­rah Vorn­brock, St. Martin’s Min­istries; Bon­nie Scott, Ris­ing Above Dis­ease; Samantha Pitts, Pick­er­ing Cen­ter Audubon Cen­ter; Sherry Col­lier, Mid-Shore Restor­ing HOPE in Women; Jeanne Yea­ger, Mid-Shore Coun­cil on Fam­ily; Vi­o­lence; Talli Ox­nam, WGF pres­i­dent; and Beth Spurry, WGF trea­surer.

Re­cip­i­ents of Women & Girls Fund’s Daisy Fund grants are Dorine Fas­sett and Dana Bowser, Des­tined to Rise Coali­tion; Anne Far­ley, Til­gh­man Area Youth As­so­ci­a­tion; Cristy Mor­rell, Imag­i­na­tion Li­brary of Tal­bot County; Krysta Hougen and Samantha Pitts, Pick­er­ing Cen­ter Audubon Cen­ter; Heather Guerieri, Com­pass Re­gional Hospice; Al­lie Prell, Daisy Fund hon­oree; and WGF Co-founder Alice Ryan.

PHO­TOS BY CON­NIE CON­NOLLY

Artist Sue Stock­man ac­cepts ci­ta­tions of ap­pre­ci­a­tion from the Mary­land leg­is­la­ture pre­sented by state Sen. Ad­die Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, and Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Tal­bot, as Women & Girls Fund Alice Ryan, se­cond from right, looks on.

Rob­bin Hill, left, win­ner of the 2018 Sh­eryl V. Kerr Award, poses with State Sen. Ad­die Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, and Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Tal­bot, who brought ci­ta­tions of ap­pre­ci­a­tion from their fel­low leg­is­la­tors in the Mary­land Gen­eral As­sem­bly.

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