The Women’s Fund hosted a reception May 7 at the home of Linda Rowe to honor the organization’s 128 Charter Members.  “In November of 2007, a small group of women met at KE Cellars to talk about how to help each other be better givers in our community,” said Sharon Howell, Women’s Fund Chair. “Women have always been on the front lines in volunteerism, but these women were looking for a way for women to join together, give to our community financially and make the biggest impact possible.”

This group represented Women In Tyler, Fourth Partner and the East Texas Communities Foundation and included Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass, Lou Ann Berman, Shannon Dacus, Dawn Franks, The Honorable Judith Guthrie, Dorothy Hubbard, Cindy Klein, Nancy Lamar, Fritter McNally, Felicity Reedy, Susan Saxenmeyer and Barbara  Sjerven. Unexpectedly, Women In Tyler had made a profit from its annual luncheon and decided to donate these profits to The Women’s Fund to commit to a Lifetime Membership.

In that first year, the group awarded three grants totaling $100,000. The organization of 128 Charter Members grew to become The Women’s Fund, which has continued to grow in number and grantmaking. To date, The Women’s Fund has awarded more than $542,169 to 16 nonprofits in Tyler to help improve the lives of our community’s women and children.

Recipients of The Women’s Fund grants this year include the Christian Women’s Job Corps, Literacy Council of Tyler and Young Audiences of Northeast Texas. And in a new initiative, The Children’s Advocacy Center has received funding toward its project request as part of a matching grant agreement.

Local artist Anna Krafve Pierce donated her time and talent for the event to create a one-of-a-kind artistic piece to celebrate our Charter Members, and the art will be auctioned at The Women’s Fund Annual “Power of the Purse” Luncheon on November 20 at the UT Tyler Ornelas Center.