Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls Nurtures Seeds of Opportunity at Annual Luncheon

Apr 26, 2017

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls members of the FWG luncheon and steering committees and Foundation staff and Board members gather at the Annual Luncheon to celebrate ‘nurturing seeds of opportunity’. Left to Right: Courtney George; Cordy Kelly;Charlotte Suhler; Annie Burleigh; Maya Tichio; Sarah Simmons;Martha Olson; Juanita James; Tricia Hyacinth; Amy Downer; Sandy Nielsen; Liz Lazarus; Janet Lebowitz and Beth Golden. (Photo credit: Olivier Kpognon)

APRIL 20, 2017, GREENWICH, CT — Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls hosted hundreds of friends and supporters from Connecticut and beyond at their 18th Annual Luncheon held at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich today.  The theme of the luncheon, ‘Nurturing Seeds Of Opportunity’ was reflected throughout the event that featured two students from the Fund’s successful Family Economic Security Program at Housatonic Community College, as well as the keynote speaker, noted businesswoman and President and CEO of Grameen America, Andrea Jung.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls Annual Luncheon celebrated making a difference for women and girls throughout Fairfield County. Fund for Women & Girls dedicated Steering Committee member, Liz Lazarus, of Greenwich, CT chaired this year’s luncheon and was supported by the luncheon committee.  Net proceeds from the Annual Luncheon support the Family Economic Security Program (FESP) that was built on the successful pilot program at Norwalk Community College, FESP will ensure that 400 low-income students, over a four year period, persist, graduate and move into family-sustaining employment.  News 12 Connecticut’s Gillian Neff emceed the Annual luncheon and led a Text to Give fundraiser to raise over $100,000 that will directly benefit participants in this worthwhile initiative.

The Fund for Women & Girls recognized the fact that too often adult students drop out of school due to competing needs, financial hardship, lack of childcare and more. The Family Economic Security program addresses this phenomenon by providing comprehensive support services and fostering an encouraging and nurturing environment for students. The program creates brighter futures for students by supporting their academic, personal, financial and career goals through individualized coaching, peer support, scholarships and integration into existing services. Learn more at FCCFOUNDATION.ORG/FESP.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls hosted hundreds of friends and supporters from Connecticut and beyond at their 18th Annual Luncheon held at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich, CT. Net proceeds from the Annual Luncheon support the Family Economic Security Program that will ensure that 400 low-income students, over a four year period, persist, graduate and move into family-sustaining employment. Left to right: Eileen Auld; Lily Lopez, Citi Foundation; Michelle Hubbard; Tricia Hyacinth, director, FCCF FWG; Andrea Jung, Grameen; Juanita James, CEO & President, FCCF; Connecticut First Lady Cathy Malloy; Naomi Gomez and Maria Bedoya, FESP students and Colleen Galvin. (Photo credit: Olivier Kpognon)

During the luncheon, FESP Student Maria Bedoya spoke about the impact FESP has had on her life and her future. She remarked, “Thanks to all of you here today. Because of you, FESP is more than just a check in the mail. It nurtures us and helps us with our life choices. FESP has given me the encouragement and strength to reach my goals and to strive for more than just making ends meet.”

Keynote speaker, Andrea Jung spoke about lessons
learned throughout her career and noted that women are engines of economic growth. “It is my hope that attendees leave this luncheon with the urgency and drive to continue supporting the Fund for Women & Girls by acting locally to help bridge inequalities in our own backyard,” stated Ms. Jung.

 

Attendees including Connecticut’s First Lady Cathy Malloy and Congressman Jim Himes and his wife Mary and Cynthia Blumenthal celebrated making an important difference for thousands of women and girls throughout Fairfield County, learned about the Fund’s work and also heard from women who have benefited from their support.

“When you nurture a woman, you are planting seeds empowering her to care for her family, give back to her community and benefit society. The theme of this year’s luncheon “Nurturing Seeds of Opportunity” is perfect. It not only sums up what the Fund for Women & Girls is all about. It also captures what our supporters are all about and

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls hosted hundreds of friends and supporters from Connecticut and beyond at their 18th Annual Luncheon held at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich, CT. Family Economic Security Program student Naomi Gomez took the stage to relate how FESP changed her life. (Photo credit: Olivier Kpognon)

what you believe in,” stated Juanita James, CEO and President, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. She continues, “It’s your nurturing and giving that enables the Fund for Women & Girls to develop programs that benefit our community and make Fairfield County a special place to live.”

Of note, Anne Leonhardt was honored at the Annual Luncheon as the founding donor of the Fund for Women & Girls and for her steadfast leadership and commitment to women and girls. Ms. Leonhardt joyously watched the Fund for Women & Girls grow over the last 19 years and its impact is immensely satisfying to her.

Champion sponsors of the Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls include: Stamford Health; FactSet; Neuberger Berman; Manatuck Hill; Pitney Bowes; PFK O’Connor Davies; First County Bank; Pullman & Comley; JP Morgan Private Bank; Cohen & Wolf; Housatonic Community College; NBC Sports; Nielsen’s Florist; Spinnaker Real Estate; Lone Pine Foundation; O’Herron Family Foundation and Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits. Media sponsors include Media Partner – Hearst Media Group Connecticut; Moffly Media; Star 99.9 and 95.9 the Fox.

Previous keynote speakers at the Annual Luncheon included Abby Wambach, the late Dr. Maya Angelou, Geena Davis, Dr. Madeleine Albright, Soledad O’Brien, and Gloria Steinem.

 


About Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

13420m2_fccflogo_rgb_lgFairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards and has awarded over $212 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. As a trusted nonprofit partner and thought leader, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation brings together community organizers, business experts and philanthropists to solve our region’s challenges. Our goal is to create a vital and inclusive community, where every individual has the opportunity to thrive.

About Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls

The Fund for Women & Girls, a special interest fund of the Foundation, is the largest women’s fund in New England. Our mission is to engage philanthropists and invest in sustainable solutions that lead to economically secure and healthy women and girls throughout Fairfield County.  Since 1998 The Fund has invested nearly $5 million in grants to programs serving females ages 5 to 90. The Fund is a member of the global Women’s Funding Network and the White House endorsed Prosperity Together.

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