Power of the Purse

Shortly after last year’s Women’s Fund of Vanderburgh County annual meeting, where members listened as six organizations made presentations vying for two $35,000 grants, one woman was inspired by the story of the runners-up.

In their grant proposal, Boom Squad, Inc. requested a passenger van to help in transporting the 215 students involved in their performing drum line. A woman in the audience heard their needs and wanted to help, so she raised the $18,000 needed in two weeks and gifted the van to the kids of Boom Squad.

“She didn’t know anything about Boom Squad before that night; she was that moved by their story that she wanted to help,” says Carol Pace, program officer and an active member of the Women’s Fund.

“You never underestimate the power of a woman and her purse,” jokes Karen LeMond, co-chair of the Women’s Fund.

The group was born in 2006 after Evansville Living featured a similar organization, Impact 100 Owensboro (May/June 2006). Since then, the fund has granted a total of $455,000 to local charities.

“That is where I get passionate about what we do, when we see the impact,” says Tonya Borders, co-chair of the Women’s Fund.

The Women’s Fund works like this: an individual can participate as a full member and donate $1,000 annually or a group of women can contribute a collected $1,000. Each November, the members of the fund vote for the most deserving charitable organization where one organization will receive the program impact grant and one will receive the project impact grant, both $35,000 last year. The grants are awarded based on funding and deliberation guidelines developed by the Women’s Fund grants committee.

For more information about the Women’s Fund of Vanderburgh County, call 812-422-1245 or visit womensfundvc.org.

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