Our Kick Off the Vote! event for our 2021 Grants voting was a celebration of giving! We gathered in the lovely Harley Family Center, hospitably provided by Carol Harley. Thanks to our Social Committee (with special thanks to Martha Ann Davis!), this informational social started with food, drink, and fellowship that gave us a chance to reconnect.
Jan Puzar greeted us with a smile and “rousing rounds of applause” as she led us through the meeting. We rewatched a wonderful 2020 Grants video that took us back to what was accomplished with GWC’s funding to our 10 grant recipients last year. Through seeing and listening to these recipients’ grateful words, we could once again feel and grasp the importance of our mission to assist our local nonprofits to achieve their worthy goals to enrich our whole community. Mary Woodiwiss addressed FAQs about funding sources for nonprofit organizations and emphasized nonprofits’ variations in scale, scope, and mission. We realized that although our local nonprofits differ, they all are important and in need of support to carry out their good work.
Then we turned to GWC’s voting process. Mary Ann Dula capably led us through the logistics of our online voting. This year we are excited to consider a wide range of proposals for funding. We were encouraged to rank all applicants in our voting so that the Grants Review and Awards Committee can make funding determinations that clearly and accurately reflect the will of our Members. Margaret Conrad described “What Happens After You Vote?”. She outlined the next steps that the Grants Review and Awards Committee will take to tally our votes and assess the data that will direct how many grant awards will be made, and in what amounts. If you have ever wondered whether your vote counts, rest assured your GWC VOTE COUNTS!
We ended the evening with time for questions. Thoughtful questions were asked by a number of Members and addressed by the Grants Review and Awards Committee. GWC attempts to be good stewards in our giving and this time together inspired us to continue to give generously. We are very proud of the nonprofits, their leaders and staff and are grateful that we can have a part in supporting their daily efforts. We left as a band of sisters who do indeed care and give to express that care in our home community.
Recap by Sally Kauffmann; photos by Catherine DiBenedetto, Debra Coleman, and Denise Waldrep