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From our president: Leading community-wide change

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Kendra Williams,
President, Women's Endowment Fund

It’s hard to formulate the right words to express the emotions that 2020 has brought out of all of us.  I often reflect and question, "what are we supposed to take away from this year?" We all have faced challenges and obstacles brought on by recent circumstances and events.

In March, our fund made the tough, yet responsible, decision to cancel our "For Women, Forever" annual dinner, following safety recommendations to limit the spread of COVID-19. Thanks to our supporters, we were able to reschedule a successful virtual event in May and carry out our annual celebration of uplifting women and girls throughout all of Summit County. During this event, we hosted more than 700 guests and raised $200,000 for our endowment and grantmaking efforts. We’ve received overwhelming positive feedback from this event, and we couldn’t be prouder of our dinner committee; caterer, Robert J. Events & Catering; and all of you who made it possible!

In addition, this year we decided to shift our "Who Is Your SHEro?" campaign to support local COVID-19 relief through Akron Community Foundation's Community Response Fund for Nonprofits. We're proud to have raised more than $47,000 through this campaign to aid frontline workers and others directly affected by the pandemic. Thank you to everyone who supported our 2020 "Who Is Your SHEro?" campaign.

The current health crisis is not the only emergency that has seized our attention this year. The Women’s Endowment Fund was founded on principles of uplifting and empowering women and girls of all colors, shapes, and sizes.  We promote the inclusion of all people and we fund programs that serve all backgrounds. We recognize that there’s still much work to be done. As we reflect and evaluate what steps we can take to foster change, I challenge you to follow suit. Conversations and actions to achieve equality require an entire community to come together to create change. Greater Akron, let’s lead this change!

Sincerely,

Kendra Williams,
President, Women's Endowment Fund
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