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Published: Thursday, 6/12/2003

Generous women help kids succeed

In years past, men were more often the visible leaders in philanthropy, but now women are stepping into the spotlight.

Monday marked the second annual meeting of the Women's Initiative, a group of women who donate $1,000 or more annually to United Way.

The women also have a say in what is done with the funds. Since its inception in 2001, the initiative has focused its funds on a coordinated group of programs, “Right From The Start,” that help prepare children to succeed in school. More than $353,000 has been allocated, including more than $218,000 this year to Connecting Point's “Ready to Read” program; the Family and Child Abuse Center's “Building Healthy Families” program; Harbor Behavioral Healthcare's “Sharing Early Educational Development”; Open Door Resource Center's Parent Child Interactive Group; the Project ABC Family Arts Lab created by the Ottawa Coalition; “Help Me Grow” by the Ottawa County Family and Children First Council; Toledo Day Nursery classes for parents and their children for development through creative or literary activities, and WGTE's workshops for low-income or at-risk parents.

From left, Sara Jane DeHoff, Sondra Shaw-Hardy, and Cindy Dana at the Women's Initiative meeting at the Toledo Club. From left, Sara Jane DeHoff, Sondra Shaw-Hardy, and Cindy Dana at the Women's Initiative meeting at the Toledo Club.

Sondra Shaw-Hardy, a founding member of the Women's Philanthropy Institute in Rochester, Mich., was the guest speaker.

Sara Jane DeHoff, founder of WI, ended the day by saying, “The world can be a better place and women can make it happen.”

Now that the project is off to a good start, Mrs. DeHoff has stepped down as chairman. The new chairman is Debbie Williams, who will oversee the organization's 90-plus membership. Officers for 2003-2004 are Pat Nowak, Paulette Roberts, and Mary Clark.

Chairmen of the luncheon at the Toledo Club were Pat Appold, Yolanda Szuch, Sue White, Caroline McMann, and Jan Merrell.

Among the members in attendance were Billie Johnson, Konni Bostleman, Beverly McBride, Elizabeth Ruppert, Bernadette Noe, Sandy Isenberg, Andrea Monoky, Carol Kistler, Kim Danes, Darlene Minnick, Gail Mahaffey, Laura West, Paula Brown, and Mary Sabin.

AHOY! The Yachtsmen's Association Commodore's Ball was Saturday at Catawba Island Club. Commodore Charles Tennent and his wife, Corrine, of the Cleveland area, were hosts. The affair included cocktails, dinner, and dancing to the tunes of Steve King and the Dittilies. The association consists of CIC members who are boaters and have dock space at the club. Now that warm weather is finally here, a Put-in-Bay rendezvous is slated for this weekend.

INVERNESS CLUB is busy preparing for the U.S. Senior Open set for June 23-29. In the meantime, the summer calendar is filling fast. If you have plans you would like to share, please write to me at The Blade, 541 North Superior St., Toledo, OH 43660, or fax 419-724-6105.

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