Courage to Create Change
Celebrating 20 years of empowering women & girls
THANK YOU! On April 5, 2018, nearly 1,000 supporters came together to raise over $700,000 at our annual luncheon. This year’s Courage to Create Change theme embodied the role that the Fund for Women & Girls has boldly played over the last 20 years. And we remain ever thankful for the dedication and commitment of our Fund’s pioneering visionaries, as you continue to change the lives of women and girls throughout our county.
2018 Keynote Speaker: Billie Jean King
As one of the 20th century’s most respected and influential people, Billie Jean King has long been a champion for social justice and equality. She has created new inroads for both genders in and out of sports during her legendary career and she continues to make her mark today. King, who won an astounding 39 Grand Slam titles during her career, blazed trails for women everywhere in 1970 when she became one of nine players to break away from the tennis establishment and accept a one dollar contract from tennis promoter Gladys Heldman to compete in the newly created Virginia Slims Series. The revolt led to the birth of women’s pro tennis and the formation of the Women’s Tennis Association. In 1973, King produced one of the greatest moments in sports history when she defeated Bobby Riggs in the famous match dubbed “The Battle of the Sexes.” The Riggs-King match still remains one of the most viewed sports events of all time, and the story is now a major motion picture starring Emma Stone as Billie, and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs. She currently heads up the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative and also serves on the executive boards of the Women’s Sports Foundation (which she founded).
Named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life and a 2009 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, King was honored on August 28, 2006, when the National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. She is also the author of Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I’ve Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes to commemorate the 35th anniversary of that historic match.
Empowering women and girls to reach their full potential. Created by a group of visionary women in 1998, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls brings together philanthropists to invest in sustainable solutions that support the safety, health and economic security of women and girls across the county.
Helping adult students achieve their dreams of a higher education. Supported through The Fund for Women & Girls, the Family Economic Security Program at Housatonic Community College empowers adult students to overcome challenges and earn degrees that can lead to family-sustaining careers.