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Campaign offers Bath residents the opportunity to honor special women

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In celebration of Bath's bicentennial, a group of local women have launched a campaign to preserve the township's historical and environmental legacy for the next 200 years and beyond.

The goal of the "200 Years -- 200 Women" campaign is to raise $250,000 for Bath Community Fund by encouraging area residents to donate $1,000 or more in honor or memory of a special woman in their life. Each woman who is honored will receive a card informing her a gift was made in her name, though the amount will not be disclosed. In addition, donors who give at least $1,000 will receive a special pin in recognition of their support of this historic campaign.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for husbands to honor their wives, siblings to pay tribute to their mother or grandmother, fathers to recognize their daughter, or ladies to celebrate a dear friend or mentor," said Kathy Sidaway, an organizer of the campaign and a board member of Bath Community Fund. "It also gives neighborhood groups and worship circles the chance to recognize a notable woman in our community during this bicentennial year."

Sidaway said the first gifts to the campaign were from three sisters with deep roots in Bath. The Fulton sisters -- Nancy Fay, Mary Anne Krejci and Pat Fitch -- are all lifelong residents of Bath and decided together to leave a lasting mark on their community.

"We had been talking about ways we could make an impact in Bath for a while now, and the bicentennial seemed like the perfect time," Fay said. "All three of us grew up in Bath, raised our families here, and made a living here, so we wanted to do something to give back. This was a way we could honor our relationship as sisters while preserving the community we love for future generations."

Donations to the campaign are fully tax deductible and ultimately support Bath Community Fund's "For Bath, Forever" endowment campaign, which aspires to raise $2.018 million by the end of Bath's bicentennial year in 2018. All donors and the women they honor will be recognized on the fund's giving pyramid.

Created in 2014 by a group of committed Bath residents, Bath Community Fund is a permanent endowment that supports programs that preserve Bath's historical and environmental legacy, enhance the local arts and culture landscape, serve youth through education and recreation, and meet residents' social service needs.

With an endowment of more than $2 million, the fund will be able to grant at least $100,000 to nonprofits in Bath every year, forever. To date, Bath Community Fund has already invested nearly $30,000 into local causes that enrich the quality of life for all Bath residents.

"Gifts to this campaign will strengthen the Bath community for current and future generations," Sidaway said. "It's the perfect way for someone to honor a woman who has made a lasting difference in their own life."

To make a gift to the "200 Years -- 200 Women" campaign, visit www.akroncf.org/200Women or contact Nancy Fay at the Bake Shop in Ghent at 330-666-3347.

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