GWC Quarterly Meeting, “Help to Healing”, at Destiny of Greenwood, November 14, 2022

Greenwood Women Care’s final Quarterly Meeting of 2022 was held at Destiny of Greenwood on Parkway.

As our members and guests fellowshipped with each other and marveled at the beautifully decorated large meeting room provided by the hosts, they sampled the delicious spread of fresh fruit, Mediterranean delights of kalamata olives, feta cheese, mini pita breads, and yummy hummus, as well as scrumptious desserts. And the beverages included a refreshing apple punch chilled with an ice ring of fruit, fruit infused water, and hot coffee, all provided by our Social Committee.

At approximately 6:00 pm, Mamie Nicholson opened our program and introduced the meeting venue’s hosts, Angela Christopher and Thelma Christopher. Angela thanked everyone for coming. She also shared with everyone the mission of Destiny of Greenwood that primarily feeds those who are struggling with food insecurity in Greenwood and the surrounding areas. Thelma shared an invitation to Destiny’s upcoming holiday fundraising event.

Carol Scales introduced the first speaker for the evening, Teresa Roy, Director of Community Outreach of Cornerstone. Cornerstone services Greenwood, Edgefield, McCormick, and Abbeville counties. This organization, founded in 1973, seeks to reduce the negative health, social, and economic consequences of substance use disorder. Teresa began her presentation by asking, “What does substance use disorder look like?”. The surprising answer was that at least 70% of those who have this disorder may appear “normal” and be successful in most areas of life. She highlighted the variety of prevention services, treatment services, and employee assistance programs that Cornerstone provides. She also stated that Cornerstone is a community distributor for NARCAN, a nasal spray to counteract opioid overdose.

Laura Padgett introduced our next speaker, Kimberly Ready of Oaks Recovery and Willow House. Kimberly and  and her husband, Brian Ready, founded Oaks Recovery for men in 2015 for men and in 2021, opened Willow House for women. She shared that she grew up in a home with a parent that struggled with addiction. Kimberly noted that her organization has multiple local and national affiliations and partners, and that programs at both locations include one-on-one recovery coaching, staff on duty 24/7, the twelve-step recovery program, connection through peer-driven models, and more. She encouraged us to follow them on Facebook and suggested multiple ways that interested supporters may get involved.

Lisa Smith presented each speaker with a book purchased locally at McCaslan’s Book Store and that will be donated to Greenwood County Library in their honor. To Kimberly Ready of Oaks Recovery and Willow House, she presented The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson. To Teresa Roy of Cornerstone, she presented A Head Full of Birds by Alexandra Garibal and Sibylle Delacroix.

Laura Bachinski, Vice Chair of the Advisory Board, thanked the presenters and shared how honored we all felt to hear them speak about their incredible programs. She then spoke of ways our members can “Help Greenwood Women Care Grow!”. Laura encouraged us to not just think about GWC when it is time for another meeting, but to remember the value of what we just experienced and consider how each of us can best share the richness of GWC with someone new. She asked us to think of a woman friend, relative, colleague, community leader, or church member that they felt would enjoy being part of our community of collective giving. Laura noted that a few members have donated gift memberships to enable other women to participate, and some employers cover the membership contribution for their employee. But just as many gift memberships have been provided by nonmembers who support GWCs mission. Laura challenged those who can to enlarge our circle by providing a full or ½ gift membership in 2023.

Mary Woodiwiss, Chair of the Advisory Board, thanked our hosts for welcoming us to this venue and our presenters for their steady, critical work and for reminding us that there is hope for our loved ones and those is our community who struggle with substance abuse disorder. She expressed gratitude to the Programs and Education Committee for another informative evening and the Social Committee for their lovely refreshments and welcomed our guests. But before closing the meeting, she did a fun question and answer session (“GWC 101”) with members about their knowledge of who may become a member (any interested woman!) , the number of guests they could bring (unlimited!), how many times guests may come as guests (unlimited!), and other basics about participation in GWC. Mary wished us all a peaceful holiday season until we meet again in 2023.

GWC 2022 Grant Awards Announced!, October 24, 2022

Greenwood Women Care is pleased to announce our 2022 GWC Grant Awards! Our collective funds received through annual membership and other designated contributions enabled GWC to disburse $56,800 total in grant funding for eleven nonprofits serving residents of Greenwood County. In our four years of offering GWC Grants, we have made 41 grants of $1000 to $10,000, totaling nearly $260,00!

Grant recipients were determined by ranked voting by our Members from October 17-19. Our Grants Review & Awards Committee gathered information obtained from the platform used for our online ballots. Using raw scores, weighted averages, and percentile rankings based on the total amount available to grant, the Committee evaluated the data and determined the number of projects to be funded and the amount of each grant.

Special thanks to the Grants Review & Awards Committee for all your efforts to: create a grant writing workshop, publicize this granting opportunity to local nonprofits, process applications, present information on grant requests to Members to help us make informed voting decisions, explain our voting process, determine awards based on our votes, deliver our 2022 GWC Grants checks to the recipients, and manage all the other aspects of this core activity of GWC!

GWC 2022 Grants were awarded to:

Greenwood Pathway House   $10,000 for Pathway Village (cottages for homeless families)

 Food Bank of Greenwood County   $8,500 for Program teaching families about diet, nutrition, cooking techniques, and health

Healthy Learners   $8,000 for Staffing and transportation of low-income children to health providers

Greenwood Cancer Fund   $5,000 for Assistance for Greenwood County residents diagnosed with cancer

Next Level Lifestyles   $5,000 for Youth mentoring program building character through athletics, fitness, & nutrition education

Alston Wilkes Society   $4,300 for Reintegration program for offenders, former offenders, and homeless populations

Crossroads Pregnancy Center   $4,000 for Counseling and parenting education for coping with an unplanned pregnancy

Greenwood Performing Arts   $3,000 for Art therapy for nursing home residents, “Blues School” for youth, and Nutcracker Tea Party for children

The Period Project   $3000 for Menstrual supplies and medically accurate health information for students, low-income, or homeless women

Humane Society of Greenwood   $3,000 for Heartworm treatment for shelter dogs

Arts Council of Greenwood   $3,000 for Arts Exhibition and projects celebrating the culture and history of the Gullah Geechee people of SC

Congratulations to our 2022 GWC Grant recipients!

We are grateful for all your excellent efforts to improve the quality of our shared life in Greenwood County!

THANK YOU, GWC Members, for your support of our community!

“Kick Off the Vote!”, at Harley Family Center, October 17, 2022

Our “Kick Off the Vote!” event for our 2022 granting was indeed a celebration: a celebration of our vibrant organization and support of local nonprofits and a celebration of community spirit and giving. We gathered at the Harley Family Center to enjoy each other and a social time that gave us a chance to reconnect. Thank you, Social Committee for once again making everyone feel welcome and providing both delicious snacks and beverages.

Sally Kauffmann of the Grants Review and Awards Committee welcomed each of us in a very unique and joyful way. She serenaded us with lyrics she especially edited for GWC based on Curtis Mayfield’s 1965 release, People Get Ready, followed by a 1978 Sandy Patti song, In Heaven’s Eyes. Sally went on to note that we were all here, happy and enthused, as we share a common bond, the desire to help others in need, and reminded us that we are all in need in different ways. She ended with a modified line from a 1969  hit by The Hollies, “They ain’t heavy, they are our brothers and sisters.”

Mary Woodiwiss addressed “FAQs about Nonprofit Funding Sources” 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 conduct their good work. This year, GWC is thrilled to celebrate our largest membership  to date (137 members), and we anticipate bringing our total awards in our first four years of granting to over $250,000 disbursed for the good of our community.

Then we turned to GWC’s voting process. Mary Dula capably led us through the logistics of our online voting and outlined numerous “best practices” when 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. Debbie Coesens described “What Happens After We Vote?”. She outlined the next steps that the Grants Review and Awards Committee will take to assess the voting data that will direct how many grant awards will be made, and in what amounts.

We ended the evening with time for questions. Several members asked thoughtful questions of the Grants Review and Awards Committee. Mary Woodiwiss announced the formation of a subcommittee to direct the process for our second Women’s Health Grant in spring 2023 and encouraged any member interested in participating to contact Jan Puzar. This grant is made biennially to one organization and funding comes from an endowed fund held by Greenwood County Community Foundation for which GWC has been designated to make granting advisements. Mary closed the evening by thanking us all for our contributions to the GWC Granting Fund through our annual memberships and through additional gifts to this fund that make our substantial support of local nonprofit work possible.

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.

GWC Debuts Ms. Carey Givings, September 27, 2022

Ms. Carey Givings, our GWC scarecrow, LIVES! She is on display in Uptown Greenwood as part of this year’s Annual Scarecrow Contest.

Please pay Carey a visit! She is located on Main Street by Uptown Family Practice. And consider honoring her (and GWC) with your “favorite scarecrow” vote. Online voting will take place on the Uptown Greenwood Facebook page beginning at 10:00 am on October 3 and continuing through midnight on October 31. Cast your vote by “liking” the photo of our entry. If you take your photo with Carey, tag #uptownscarecrows and #GWC.

The GWC scarecrow is a GWC Communication Committee project initiated by Rachel Strayer. The decision to name our scarecrow Ms. Carey Givings was a nail biter. The Communications Committee vote resulted in a tie, so we took it to the Executive Committee and finally, our GWC scarecrow had a name.

Early in the process, Debra Coleman supplied her fetching outfit, complete with blue stiletto heels! Catherine DiBenedetto created her frame and offered her farm for the padding, dressing, and “strawing” of the lovely Ms. Givings. On Monday, September 26, Membership Committee members Sandy McCord, Rachel Strayer, and Laura Stowe joined Catherine for a lovely evening of scarecrow creation on Catherine’s farm, fueled by snacks and beverages provided by Laura. Sandy applied the last finishing touch, her expertly painted lips!

On Tuesday, September 27th, the quartet met again to install Carey in her assigned spot and Rachel completed the process by adding the GWC informational sign she designed and created to inform Greenwood about the mission of GWC.

We hope Ms. Carey Givings will be our Uptown ambassador, encouraging many other women to join us in GWC as we care for Greenwood and give for the benefit of our whole community!

GWC Social, “A Potluck Party”, at the Leary Farm, September 20, 2022

On Tuesday, September 20, Greenwood Women Care celebrated fall with a social gathering for Members and guests at the Leary Farm in Ninety Six. It was a refreshing occasion of fresh air, fellowship, food, and new and familiar friends. Members brought savory and sweet treats and our Social Committee provided marinated shrimp, meatballs in a barbecue-based sauce, and liquid refreshments. These contributions made for an overflowing array of culinary deliciousness!

On this beautiful evening, members enjoyed our host’s cabin, where food and drink were served, and farm which included an adorable chocolate colored potbelly pig (who greeted some attendees as they arrived), goats, roosters, chickens, and four well-behaved dogs, including Bear and Bandit.

Holley Coyle and Courtney Christensen, Social Committee Co-Chairs, welcomed everyone to the party. Our new GWC book donation drive was announced, inviting members to make a voluntary contribution of $20/book to purchase high-quality picture books for the Greenwood County Library Children’s Collection. These will be purchased locally and to be given in honor of our 2023-2024 program speakers.

A big thank you to Cindy Leary for sharing her farm and to all the members and guests who attended our Potluck Party!

GWC Quarterly Meeting, “Celebrating Collective Giving”, at Church of the Resurrection, August 23, 2022

On Tuesday, August 23rd, GWC members and many guests met to celebrate collective giving and recognize the incredible work of our 2021 GWC Grants recipients in Greenwood County. It was a joyous meeting as GWC members and guests reunited with old and new friends at the Church of the Resurrection.

The Social Committee arranged yet another lovely repast and beautiful floral arrangements were provided by Carolyn Fish from her garden. Delicious vegetarian croissants, mini meat sandwiches, cheese, fruit, and crackers along with a delicious array of desserts were enjoyed along with wine and citrus punch.

Representatives of the twelve organizations that received 2021 GWC Grants shared conversations and print materials with attendees during the reception.

In the program portion, Mary Woodiwiss, Chair of GWC’s Advisory Board, welcomed GWC members, guests, and our honored grantees. She noted that Greenwood nonprofits are addressing critical needs and enhancing the lives of many in our community. Mary remarked, “funding doesn’t cover everything, but it can keep doors open, retain staff, improve facilities, give ‘lift’ to an existing program, or help to establish a new one.” She offered a lovely preview of our grants video by briefly recounting the impact of the varied projects and programs funded by our 2021 Grants. Mary closed with thoughts about collective giving, reminding us that our individual contributions are transformed to become grants of $1,000, or $5,000 or $10,000, “collective granting which enables local organizations not only to work more effectively, but also to envision an even more healthy and whole community for all of us.” Mary then introduced the Rev. Mary Balfour Dunlap, who graciously welcomed us to the Church of the Resurrection.

Debbie Coesens, of the Grants Review & Awards Committee, introduced Stephanie Turner, member of the Communications Committee. Stephanie shared her love of GWC and reasons for joining with a moving testimony. She noted several rewarding returns of being a member, including learning more about our local nonprofits, meeting women from throughout our community who share a common goal to make Greenwood a better place for all our residents, and becoming a stakeholder in numerous nonprofits through GWC granting.

Trentsie Williams, Grants Review & Awards Committee member, introduced the GWC 2021 Grants video which highlights the twelve grant recipient organizations and their funded projects and programs. Trentsie thanked our Tech Team, headed by Lesley Lane, for the creativity and hard work they invested in producing the video. Collective funds received through annual memberships and other designated contributions enabled GWC to disburse $78,449 total in our 2021 Grants. In three years of granting, GWC is proud to have awarded more than $200,000 in 30 grants.

Kathy Emily presented our grantees with sugar cookies designed especially for GWC by Charity Martin of Sweet Indulgence. Margaret Conrad displayed The Honeybee, the book to be donated by GWC to the Greenwood County Library Children’s Collection in honor of our grantees.

Catherine DiBenedetto, Co-Chair of the Communications Committee, announced that our Advisory Board is accepting nominations of active GWC members to be considered to join the Advisory Board and invited all current members to submit names to her after the meeting or by email to Catherine also highlighted our upcoming events.

Jan Puzar, Co-Chair of the Grants Review & Awards Committee, closed the meeting by thanking the GWC 2021 Grant recipient organizations for their excellent work in our community. Jan also thanked the following:

  • Grants Review & Awards Committee for our program tonight.
  • Social Committee, headed by Laura Bachinski and Holley Coyle, for providing us with a delightful reception.
  • GWC Tech Team, headed by Lesley Lane, for preparing this fabulous video celebrating our 2021 grantees.
  • Church of the Resurrection for hosting us in this beautiful facility.

To view our 2021 GWC Grants video please click on this link:

GWC Grant Writing Workshop, “Grant Writing 101”, July 26, 2022

GWC hosted our annual workshop, “Grant Writing 101”, on Tuesday, July 26. The workshop was offered at no charge to 20 registrants from local nonprofit staff and volunteers. West Side Baptist Church generously provided the meeting space.

Christopher Timmons, Associate Pastor of West Side Baptist Church, warmly welcomed all workshop participants and presenters. Mary Woodiwiss, Chair of GWC’s Advisory Board and member of the Grants Review & Awards Committee, extended GWC’s welcome and made introductory announcements.

Workshop sessions were conducted by Jan Puzar, Kathy Emily, and Donna Foster, GWC Members who are professionals in program direction, grant writing, and assessment. These presentations included discussion of a homework assignment to help participants focus on their organization’s funding priorities, writing an effective grant proposal, and outcome measures for assessment of a program or project.

Following the three workshop sessions, we enjoyed a break for coffee and bagels.

The workshop also featured a Funders Forum comprised of representatives of local granting organizations. Each spoke about the granting process, funding priorities, and other aspects of their grantmaking as well as responding to workshop participants’’ questions. Presenters were: Selynto Anderson, Self Regional Community Health; Mamie Nicholson, Self Family Foundation; Sally Kauffmann, Greenwood Women Care; and Mary Woodiwiss, Greenwood County Community Foundation.

This training provided attendees with fundamentals for improving their grant application practices, whether for GWC Grants or requests made of other local or external funders. GWC’s Grants Review & Awards Committee believes that Grant Writing 101 is a valuable way to be of service to our local nonprofits as they carry out their missions for the benefit of our whole community.

GWC Quarterly Meeting, “World Class Care at Home”, at Self Regional Healthcare Cancer Center, May 16, 2022

On Monday evening, May 16th, members, and guests of Greenwood Women Care met at the Self Regional Cancer Center for the second Quarterly Meeting of 2022. Self Regional Hospital provided refreshments both in the lobby and outside in the Cancer Center’s Healing Garden. There was a delicious spread of cheese, fruit, petite chicken salad and pimento cheese croissant sandwiches, as well as a variety of petit fours, various wines, and a delicious punch.

Laura Bachinski, Vice-Chair of the GWC Advisory Board, called the meeting to order and, after welcoming all members and guests, thanked Self Regional and the Cancer Center’s staff for hosting the meeting. She then gave a brief summary of the various GWC committees, reminding everyone of the focus of GWC:  to encourage and support our community of Greenwood. She reviewed the benefits of membership, committee involvement, and spoke of opportunities to give additional gifts to the GWC Granting Fund in honor of, or in memory of, loved ones.

Summer Booker, Treasurer of GWC’s Advisory Board, introduced the member testimonial segment of the evening’s program. Debbie Coesens spoke about her reasons for joining Greenwood Women Care. Having moved from Spartanburg to Greenwood following retirement, Debbie was introduced to GWC by a friend. She spoke of how the mission of “Learn, Give, and Grow” truly resonates with her. Next, Tara Smith talked about why she joined GWC. Tara, a native of Long Island, New York, moved to Greenwood in 2013 and her initial membership in 2019 was a gift from her husband. Tara stated that “we are all women, and we are all philanthropists, and we become like those who we are surrounded by!” She has continued to renew her membership as she enjoys the welcoming spirit of GWC and the philanthropic aspect of the organization.

Mamie Nicholson, Vice Chair of the Board of Self Regional Healthcare Foundation and GWC member, introduced the program portion. Mamie welcomed everyone and then spent a moment recognizing other individuals and doctors affiliated with Self Regional that were present, including the CEO of Self Regional, Dr. Matt Logan, and Dr. Priya Kumar, CMO of Self Regional and GWC member. She then introduced Julie McDade, Director of Cancer Services at the Cancer Center. Ms. McDade’s presentation for the Cancer Center was titled “World Class Care at Home” and it elaborated how our very own Cancer Center has become an oasis in our community, providing cancer care here at home which rivals cancer treatment offered at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX and Sloan Memorial Kettering in New York City, two of the most renowned cancer hospitals in the United States.  The physicians and staff at Self Regional see each patient, along with their families, as neighbors. The team at the Cancer Center walks alongside them in their journey through illness: “We are taking care of our neighbors, family, and friends.” State of the art medical treatments are provided by this dedicated team of doctors, nurses, and staff. Medical and radiation oncologists work with innovative protocols and the newest technologies in cancer treatment to individualize each patient’s care. Currently, the Center has over 300 patients, receiving three hundred individualized treatment protocols!

Ms. McDade described a new screening program the center has for low dose CT lung cancer. Showing national cancer statistics, she attributed the high cancer survival rate to early detection. She also noted the various partnerships and collaborations that helped to make the Cancer Center successful. The Center’s staff and equipment are accredited by the Commission on Cancer, a program of the American College of Surgeons, including a newly acquired machine called the “Edge” that can pinpoint the exact location of cancer in a patient’s body. Ms. McDade concluded by encouraging everyone to engage in a healthy lifestyle and to take advantage of cancer screenings. Risk mitigation is critical: weight loss, exercise (“sitting is the new smoking”), alcohol in moderation, smoking cessation, and sunscreen (“when in doubt, sunscreen it out”). Questions were addressed by Ms. McDade and Dr. Ruiling Yuan.

Lisa Smith presented Ms. McDade with the book, Seeds and Trees: A Children’s Book about the Power of Words, by Brandon Walden, which will be contributed by GWC to the Children’s Collection of the Greenwood County Public Library in her honor.

Jan Puzar made an announcement from the Grants Review and Awards Committee regarding the workshop, Grant Writing 101, designed by this committee to help staff and volunteers of local nonprofits apply for grants. The course is free to registered participants and will be held on Tuesday, July 26th from 10 AM-12:30 PM at Westside Baptist Church.

Edris Louise Robinson, Chair of the Program and Education Committee, made closing remarks. She thanked the Cancer Center for their program and remembered how much their team meant to her and her family as they cared for her brother in his own cancer journey. She announced our next meeting will be August 21, 2022, at the Greenwood Genetics Center where the 2021 grant recipients will be celebrated. She then concluded the meeting by reminding us, “Women, together, can rock the world”!

GWC Presentation at Women’s Leadership Upstate Conference, March 25, 2022

Edris Louise Robinson and Mary Woodiwiss, GWC Advisory Board Members, presented a workshop session on Greenwood Women Care at the Women’s Leadership Upstate Conference on Friday, March 25th, planned by the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce. Edris Louise serves as Chair of our Programs & Education Committee, and Mary serves as Chair of our Advisory Board and is also an active member of the Grants Review & Awards and Membership Committees. Their session was entitled “Learn · Give · Grow: Connecting with Your Community through Women’s Collective Giving”.

Debra Coleman, active member of the GWC Communications Committee and WLC Conference Committee member, introduced Mary and Edris Louise. A GWC PowerPoint and video enhanced  their presentation. About 35 women attended the workshop, including Debra, Rachel Strayer, Andrea White, and Alison Fletcher, GWC members.

We are grateful for every opportunity to spread the word about how GWC enriches our community and each of our members!

GWC Annual Meeting, “Celebrating All Things GWC!”, at Greenwood Community Theatre, March 15, 2022

Many members of Greenwood Women Care (GWC) and guests gathered in the Federal Building courtyard for a festive and fun reception. While enjoying the delicious spread of desserts, wraps, shrimp, fruit, olives, cheeses, and celebratory champagne, attendees fellowshipped with each other while being treated to singing and guitar playing by Byron Hilley of the Tracie & Byron Acoustic Duo. At 6:00 pm, the members and guests migrated through a side door into Greenwood Community Theatre. At the doors to the auditorium, Rhonda McGinnis and Summer Booker distributed fortune cookies made by Catherine DiBenedetto, Co-Chair of the Communications Committee, which held either a symbol, number, or uplifting message about GWC.

From the GCT stage, Mary Woodiwiss, Chair of the Advisory Board, welcomed everyone to the annual meeting, “Celebrating All Things GWC!”. She announced that there are fifteen new GWC members this year (so far!) and gave a special welcome to these new members as well as to our guests. Mary spoke about how we are looking back to 2021 with gratitude, and looking forward with hope and excitement in this, our fifth membership year. She commended the dedicated and varied work of our committees which help to “make GWC the vibrant organization that we are”.

Amy Fennell then came to the podium and gave the first of four member testimonials about why she joined GWC last year. A wife, mother of three, and music educator, Amy mentioned that when she was introduced to GWC by friends, she also received encouragement from her husband to join. She recounted that the vocal ensemble she founded and leads, Palmetto Girls Sing!, performed for GWC last May and that she was not only warmly welcomed but was also moved by the presentations at that meeting by other nonprofit leaders that she knows and admires.

Amy then drew the first two names from a fishbowl to identify winners of door prizes, handcrafted items provided by Main & Maxwell gallery and home baked items from Mary Woodiwiss. Summer Booker, Advisory Board Treasurer, delivered these and the six other prizes won by those whose names were drawn later by Andrea White, Vickie Chandler, and Sabrina Miller.

Lesley Lane of the Tech Team introduced the 2021 Annual Report video “A Year to Celebrate” with her stirring comments. This video is an inspiring visual recap that celebrates GWC’s many activities during the previous year. Such good memories were evoked of our quarterly meetings, socials, workshops, and GWC 2021 grants.

Andrea White, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Greenwood County, then shared about her involvement with GWC: “I was interested in joining this group of amazing women to help support and uplift the nonprofit community in which I love, network, and build a greater Greenwood. GWC is a special organization because the collective giving directly impacts Greenwood and advances the mission and vision of all organizational recipients.”

Next came “GWC Fun Facts” hosted by Laura Stowe and Rachel Strayer (our own Amy Poehler and Tina Fey) and our very own Vanna White, aka Catherine DiBenedetto (all from the Communications Committee). Fun Facts included how much money is currently in our endowment and that $200,074 in grants have been bestowed over the past three years via thirty grants. It was also fun to learn that you do not have to be “Old as Dirt” to join GWC, just “Older than a Kindergartener.”

Vickie Chandler then came to the stage and gave her testimonial as to why she joined GWC. Vickie was eager to support the community she has longed lived in and loved and to help introduce her daughter, Susan Albon, to a circle of community-minded women when she moved here. Vickie and Susan are Charter Members, and Vickie welcomed a new mother-daughter team this year, Terri Bacon and Carson Penney.

Next up was our 2021 Grant Number Shuffle! Casey Tompkins and Eleni Tsikalakis called seven women to the stage by the numbers or symbols found inside their fortune cookies. Each received a large card with a symbol or digit. Eleni and Casey led us through a rambunctious reordering of the women and their cards until the correct number was displayed: $78,449 awarded in 2021!

Sabrina Miller, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakelands, then spoke about the place of GWC in her life and our community. Sabrina noted: “As a nonprofit leader that relies on the generosity of the community it’s a way to do for others what is being done for my organization. I believe GWC is so important because of its unique ability to allow any woman to become a philanthropist with a small annual donation, yet have that gift make a tremendous impact through the power of collective giving.”

Laura Bachinski, Vice Chair of the Advisory Board, referenced the four members who spoke and closed the meeting with a challenge to all in attendance. The challenge is to share one’s membership story with four other women and then bring them to the next GWC meeting on May 16 at the Self Regional Healthcare Cancer Center. She also thanked Greenwood Community Theatre for hosting GWC’s Annual Meeting, and all those who participated in providing this marvelous reception and program.