GWC Quarterly Meeting, “Giving is in Our Genes”, at Greenwood Genetic Center, August 14, 2023

Greenwood Women Care (GWC) members, 2022 grantees, and guests met on Monday evening, August 14, to celebrate 2022’s grant recipients. Our theme was Giving is in Our Genes! and in keeping with the theme we were decked out in denim as we gathered at the Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC) for our reception and program.

Our Social Committee members outdid themselves once again with a lovely array of wraps, salads, and petit fours. The room was filled with laughter and, walking through the venue, you could hear women meeting and greeting, catching up, telling stories, and sharing life from this past summer.

At 6 o’clock, we headed to the auditorium for our program. Mary Woodiwiss, Chair of GWC’s Advisory Board, gave opening remarks of welcome and noted that we now have 145 members! She also asked our guests to stand, and everyone was given a warm and welcoming round of applause.

Mary expressed gratitude to be gathering at the Greenwood Genetic Center, “a place of uncommon service and distinctive excellence.” Just as GGC is a place of caring, Mary emphasized that Care forms a full one third of our name. “As a diverse body of women from many and varied life and professional experiences, GWC is a real-life lab for forming bonds in new and invigorating ways with women we may have missed thus far in our community life. It is our care for this community which draws us together and our care for each other that enriches us. Our hopes for our community and ourselves are aspirational, but they are also grounded in real actions and refining experiences. We come together to learn and give alongside each other, and we actually enjoy doing it!”

Through GWC in 2022, we have learned, given, and grown together. Mary was excited to lead us in celebration of this journey and in honoring our 2022 grantees. She invited Megha Lal, GWC Member and Chair Elect of the Greenwood Genetic Center Foundation Board, to the podium. Megha graciously introduced Cady Nell Keener, Executive Director of the Greenwood Genetic Center Foundation and GWC Member. Cady Nell welcomed us to GGC and presented an inspiring video highlighting the history and ongoing work of GGC, a nonprofit organization which is a center of research and service in the field of medical genetics. To learn more about the Greenwood Genetic Center (and view truly inspirational videos) visit  .

Next, Margaret Conrad, Member of GWC Grants Review and Awards Committee, recognized our wonderful 2022 grantees! Rachel Strayer and Caleb Kidd Coy prepared a video entitled Honoring the 2022 Grant Recipients. We were inspired to hear from representatives of the following eleven organizations: Alston Wilkes Society, Arts Council of Greenwood, Crossroads Pregnancy Center, Food Bank of Greenwood County, Greenwood Cancer Fund, Greenwood Pathway House, Greenwood Performing Arts, Healthy Learners, Humane Society of Greenwood, Next Level Lifestyles, and The Period Project. Please view Honoring the 2022 Grant Recipients here.

We celebrated as our grant recipients came to the stage to receive special cookies decorated with GWC and DNA images and pose for a group photo by Catherine DiBenedetto, Co-Chair of our Communications Committee.

Charlene Kish, Member of GWC Grants Review and Awards Committee, presented the book to be donated to the Greenwood County Library Children’s Collection with a special bookplate noting our 2022 grantees. Book donations given at our Quarterly Meetings in honor of our presenters are titles selected by Jody Gable, Children’s Services Coordinator, and purchased locally. A World of Praise was written by Deborah Lock and illustrated by Helen Cann. The book is described as “a global hymn to God’s abundant love and care for his creation.” GWC is proud to dedicate this book to our eleven grant recipients who, in so many diverse ways, have demonstrated love and care for people (and animals!) in our community.

Jan Puzar, Co-Chair of GWC Grants Review and Awards Committee, closed our evening, thanking all our members, grantees, and guests for celebrating that Giving is in Our Genes! She presented a great summary for each of our grant recipient organization’s mission. The services provided to the Greenwood community through the 2022 grants encompass:

Homeless shelters
Nutrition education
Children’s healthcare access
Cancer meds
Youth mentoring
Offender services
Parent education and counseling
Art therapy and education
Personal hygiene supplies
Medicine for shelter dogs
A Celebration of Gullah Gechee Culture

She closed the evening by once again thanking the Greenwood Genetic Center for use of their beautiful facilities, Rachel Strayer and Caleb Kidd Coy for producing the Honoring the 2022 Grant Recipients video, the GWC Social Committee for the lovely reception, the GWC Grants Review and Awards Committee for planning the meeting, and all who joined in our celebration by wearing denim because truly: Giving is in Our Genes!