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GOOD CAUSE: WOMEN IN PHILANTHROPY

CSRA Women Unite Their Time and Money to Help Women and Girls When Neita Mulherin talks about Women in Philanthropy (WIP), what excites her is not the opportunity to use her resources well or even the leadership role she has been afforded in the community, although both of these apply to her experience with WIP. What excites this WIP Grants Committee member is meeting people in organizations all over the CSRA who are helping women and girls and who are doing it well. Three of those organizations were announced as recipients of the 2011 Women in Philanthropy Grant on Thursday, March 24. The Alzheimer’s Association received $27,000, the Boys and Girls Club received $24,000 and Child Enrichment received $32,000. This year, $868,000 was requested in grant proposals. $83,000 was awarded. “The organizations that applied are doing a lot of good in the community,” said Faye Hargrove, the current WIP Grants Chair. She explained that this year’s three recipients fit into the WIP’s impact areas in caring for women and girls: Health and Safety, Self-Sufficiency and Family Issues. The idea for Augusta’s Women in Philanthropy was born four years ago when Carolyn Maund, former director of the Red Cross of Augusta, and Beth Evans were approached by the United Way and the Community Foundation to found WIP. “We think it is time for women (in this community) to direct our energies toward helping women and girls,” affirmed Carolyn. “As members of WIP,” reads the organization’s website, “we all recognize that there are tremendous needs in our communities. However, through our work, we have been collectively struck by the enormity of those needs.” WIP provides a way for concerned women to learn about organizations that care for women and girls and support them financially. This year’s recipients are right in step with this goal. The Alzheimer’s Association raises awareness of the effect that Alzheimer’s has on women who have the disease and women who care for someone who does. Boys and Girls Club of Augusta will use the funding to partner with Girls on the Run, a non-profit prevention program that encourages 2nd to 8th grade girls to develop self esteem and healthy lifestyles through running mentorship by women volunteers. Child Enrichment, Inc. provides “intervention, stabilization, advocacy and prevention in the best interests of abused, abandoned and neglected children.” WIP currently has 134 members. Membership is open to anyone who supports the organization by paying the $1,000 annual dues. All members

WOMEN IN PHILANTHROPY MEMBERS CONGRATULATE THIS YEAR’S GRANT RECIPIENTS

are given the opportunity to vote on each year’s grant recipients. This year, 70% of WIP members voted. “It’s the power of the purse,” declared Faye Hargrove just before announcing this year’s recipients. Individually, she continued, women may not feel they can do very much, but by pooling their funds they can impact the community. Women in Philanthropy has given away $217,500 in the three years it has been active. Previous recipients include Christ Community Health Services Women’s Heath Program, Hope House, Inc. and Interfaith Hospitality Network of Augusta. Applications for the 2012 grant are due in the fall, after which the grants committee will meet to narrow down the applicants in time for grant committee site visits and presentations to the whole membership.

Finally, the members vote by mail-in ballot. “We are so excited and thankful,” said Kathy Tuckey, programs director for the Augusta chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Kathy said that when representatives from WIP came to visit the Alzheimer’s Association of Augusta site, she and the rest of the staff saw it as an advocacy and awareness opportunity, not just a request for funds. It is this type of passion for helping women and girls in the CSRA that drew Women in Philanthropy: money is not an object of desire, it is a tool given by WIP into the hands of skilled practitioners of charity. For more information on Women in Philanthropy, visit wipcsra.org. by CHARLOTTE OKIE photo GABI HUTCHISON

URBAN PROGRESS

Stage Graces Riverwalk Bulkhead Mayor Deke Copenhaver and Steven Kendrick, Downtown Development Authority (DDA) chairman, helped to cut the ribbon unveiling the brand new stage on the Riverwalk at the 8th Street bulkhead on March 15, which will provide a venue for musical guests of the Augusta Market and others. “The DDA took about $5,000 of SPLOST money to build this beautiful stage with electricity, acoustic awnings, plus picnic tables and swings to make the place that we go every Saturday morning a much nicer spot for people to visit,” said Kendrick. The funds also added bike racks and places for people to sit while watching their children play in the 8th Street fountain. According to Margaret Woodard, DDA executive director, this will allow the area to once again become a gathering place for the community. “From a city design perspective, it is all about connectivity,” said Copenhaver. “This stage adds another open green space for our visitors and residents to enjoy one of our greatest hidden treasures, the Savannah River.” “This venue needed a facelift as it is now home to the Candlelight Jazz Series and Saturday Market on the River,” said DDA board member Mark Bowling. He first suggested the project, after attending a jazz concert in which electric cords had to be strung from nearby Café 209 down to the river, creating a tripping hazard. The new stage includes an electrical source. The Market plans to host a Diggin’ the River concert series on the new stage, each Saturday from

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October, kicking off the first market on April 16. The line-up will feature musical guests including Jim Perkins, Old Man Crazy and Young Goodman Brown. “The Savannah River is our city’s biggest asset and now it can be a platform to help local artists,” said Augusta Market community relations director Daniél Richards. OPTIMOD became the first band to perform live on the new stage, welcoming guests after the official ribbon cutting and performing several U2 covers. “The acoustics up here on this stage are great,” said Scott Hudson, lead singer of OPTIMOD. “It’s a great venue because some of the older crowd doesn’t like big speakers, but from up here you can hear us from a long way off. Also, what better backdrop could you possibly ask for than the beautiful Savannah River?” article and photos by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK

vergelive.com | community driven news | March 30, 2011 9

April Issue A 2011  

community driven news, content, features. people, places, events, culture of the CSRA

April Issue A 2011  

community driven news, content, features. people, places, events, culture of the CSRA

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