LWRWC Gives $40,000+ to Charity
At their Annnual Business Meeting on January 11, 2018 at the LWR Town Hall, the Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club concluded a successful year of fundraising by donating $12,000 to each of three charities.
In addition, the LWRWC gave in-kind donations totaling over $5000. These donations included Birthday Bags for HOPE Family Services, everything for a party for 8 in a bag, and Linens and handmade baby blankets to Solve Maternity Homes, and supplies and gift certificates to SMART, and items to The Hope Chest.
Checks were presented by:
Trish Newman to Brandi Ezell from SMART;
Eileen Shapiro to Peggy Kerwin from SOLVE;
Monika Templeman and Eileen Buzzard to Laurel Lynch from HOPE Family Services
Each charity took a few minutes to speak about how the support of the LWRWC has impacted on the lives of those who they serve in the community
Using horses, SMART works with those who are physically, cognitively, and neurologically disabled.
For over 40 years, SOLVE Maternity Homes has been providing assistance to pregnant women of all ages. They are a private, non-profit organization providing personalized care and services.
SOLVE offers help by providing housing, mentorship, and a community of friends for at-risk pregnant women of all ages and their babies. They offer housing and a structured program, free of charge, for the duration of their pregnancy. SOLVE offers Education, Counseling, support, and reassurance.
Hope Family Services is a not-for-profit organization based in Bradenton and provides services to survivors of domestic violence. Services include a 24 Hour Helpline, Emergency Safe Shelter, Advocacy Programs, Counseling, Children’s Programs, and Prevention Programs.
Presentations by Speakers from HOPE, SMART & SOLVE
Laurie Coleman, Philanthropy Chair, called each charity up to the podium to present their courageous speakers. Each talked about the impact that Solve, SMART, and Hope has had on their lives.
Hannah, a lovely young mother came to the podium with her beautiful three-year-old daughter, Emma. She told her remarkable story of how SOLVE gave her back her life. Hannah credited SOLVE with helping her to turn her life around and be ready to be a good mother, an empowered, educated woman, and a successful manager.
Jacquie, a courageous young woman who escaped from a horrific abusive relationship, spoke about how HOPE Family Services helped her to overcome the trauma of domestic abuse, gain success in her personal and professional life, and ensure a good life for herself and her daughters and her son.
Melissa shared the story of how her volunteer work with SMART and her wonderful and fulfilling life after retirement in 2012. Melissa serves as the SMART volunteer coordinator, a lesson volunteer, a financial donor, a SMART Chef, and member of the Board of Directors. Melissa explained the joy she gets from watching the miraculous changes in individuals with physical and developmental challenges as they learn to connect with the remarkable SMART horses and volunteers.
The business meeting was called to order by Eileen Buzzard. Eileen is the 21st president of the LWRWC.
The 2018 board was introduced: Kathleen Cleveland, Vice President MaryLee Danahy, Corresponding Secretary Helene Levin, Recording Secretary Cheryl Breining, Treasurer Monika Templeman, Past president and Advisor.
Committee chairs: Program Co-Chairs – Claudia Dombrow and Cathy Reinitz, Membership Chair – Ann Sledz Hospitality Co-Chairs – Joanie Lawrence, Julia Dennis, and Diane Wagner Publicity Chair- Katherine Benoit,
Philanthropy Chair – Laurie Coleman, Scholarship Chair – Pam Szabo and Denise Riebe,
Blankets 4 Babies – Diane Laybourn, Web Master – Frankie Bailey, Social Lunch Bunch – Elaine Steinfurth.
The 2017 Women of the Year Award was presented to Trish Newman, Program Chair. Trish was presented with an engraved vase. Eileen presented Monika with the outgoing President’s gift from LWRWC. She thanked Monika for her wonderful leadership and tremendous contributions to the LWRWC.
Monika presented the outgoing board members with “thank you gifts” for their faithful service to the LWRWC. Outgoing members receiving gifts were Diane Kuna and Francis Havill, Hospitality Chairs, Trish Newman, Program Chair, Shirley Taradash, past President and advisor. A gift will be presented to outgoing Membership Chair, Barb Thornton at the February meeting since she was out of town.
Split-the-Pot Drawing- Gail Edelman was the winner of the $155.