Annual Meeting 1/9/2020

$47, 000 – A Night of Awards

The Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club presented $47,000 in cash and in-kind donations to their adopted charities at their Annual Business Meeting on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at the LWR Townhall.

The Women’s Club’s adopted charities include HOPE Family Services, SMART (Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy), SOLVE Maternity Homes, and Children’s Guardian Fund (CGF).

L-R: Sharon Wright, LWRWC Program & Fashion Show Co-Chair, Kathleen Cleveland, 2019 LWRWC President, Peggy Kerwin, Executive Director, SOLVE; Melissa Spillenkothen, Interim Executive Director, SMART; Jeremy Carter, Children’s Guardian Fund Board Vice President; Laurel Lynch, Executive Director, HOPE Family Services;  Svetlana Kaminsky, Children’s Guardian Fund Executive Director; Joanie Lawrence, 2019 LWRWC Philanthropy Chair; and Monika Templeman, LWRWC Publicity Chair.

In addition to generous checks, donations included Birthday Party & Celebration Bags for HOPE, books for HOPE’s children’s library; gift certificates and supplies for SMART, linens and handmade baby blankets (made by LWRWC Blankets 4 Babies Committee) for SOLVE and Children’s Guardian Fund.

LWRWC recently added CGF as their 4th adopted charity whose mission is to immediately respond to the needs of children removed from abusive or neglectful homes.

Presentations Made by Each Charity

Jasmine, a young mother, accompanied by her infant son, told how SOLVE Maternity Homes enabled her and her baby to have a bright future. SOLVE has been assisting pregnant women in need and their precious babies for over 44 years!

SMART’s speaker, a charismatic ten-year-old boy named Joseph, “stole the show” with his heartwarming charm, sharing how SMART and all his favorite horses made a huge difference in his life. SMART is dedicated to enhancing the physical, emotional, and cognitive growth of children and adults with special needs through educational and therapeutic horseback riding and carriage driving programs.

Amy, a courageous young woman who escaped from domestic abuse, explained how HOPE Family Services helped her to overcome the trauma, gain success in her personal and professional life, and ensure a good life for herself and her three children.

Children’s Guardian Fund, LWRWC’s newest adopted charity, shared a video highlighting the impact of their life changing services from the perspective of a young man who credits CGF with giving him a future. CGF partners with the Guardian ad Litem program and provides funding to meet emergency needs and enable normalcy and enrichment in the lives of children in foster and state care in Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit.

Business Meeting

The first 2020 Business Meeting conducted by incoming LWRWC C0-Presidents, Helene Levin and Cheryl Breining, began with a welcome and introduction of the 2020 LWRWC Board.

This was followed with a Treasurer’s Report from Kathleen Cleveland and a Membership Report by Linda McMillan (LRWC has 326 Members). New members in attendance were asked to stand and be recognized because they represent the future.

Publicity and Event Chair, Monika Templeman, gave an overview of the upcoming Fashion Show fundraiser “Fashions on the Bay with Panache,” that will be held at the Sarasota Yacht Club on March 16, 2020.  The show will feature fashions from Panache in Sarasota, a gourmet lunch, Silent Auction, and Raffle Prizes.

The meeting culminated with a presentation of the 2019 Woman of the Year Award to Ann Sledz for her commendable work as the LWRWC Membership Chair and her many contributions to enhance the fun, friendship and community service of the LWRWC mission.