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From the president: WEF celebrates a successful 2019

Kendra Williams portrait
Kendra Williams

As we celebrate the change in seasons, we also celebrate the many changes as well as successes of our Women's Endowment Fund. From gaining new board members to hosting another tremendous forum, 2019 was a substantial year for our fund and we look forward to continuing our momentum into 2020 and beyond. I'm very grateful and honored to help guide our fund's progression as its new president and carry on the vision of our founding mothers.

This summer, we recognized the hard work and support of our outgoing board members, Jackie McDermott and Debra Shifrin. We thank them for their tireless dedication to our fund and the various positions and committees for which they've served. At the same time, our fund also gained five new, extraordinary and brilliant women to our board.

Our Circle of Empowerment is also gaining traction in the community, with 42 current members committing $1,000 a year to maintain continued sustainability of our fund and bolster our grantmaking efforts. In August, we hosted an exclusive appreciation reception on Congress Lake to thank these members. Our annual appreciation reception is just one of the benefits to becoming a Circle of Empowerment member.

In September, our fund hosted another fantastic biennial forum with more than 100 community members to discuss collaborative solutions for the economic empowerment of women. We've received great feedback from our forum and I thank all the community members who dedicated their time and ideas to make this event possible. I'm looking forward to sharing detailed results from the forum with our community next spring.

WEF is also steadfast in achieving our strategic goal to raise $250,000 per year to grow our endowment to $5 million by 2025. Of course, our growth would not be possible without the support of our generous donors. These donors allow us to fulfill our mission of uplifting women and girls in Summit County and we thank you.

As we approach the end of 2019 and move into a season of giving, I ask you to consider how you can increase your involvement with the Women's Endowment Fund. This could be through sponsoring our "For Women, Forever" annual dinner in March, joining our Circle of Empowerment, or by simply becoming an advocate to spread awareness about our fund and its mission. For more information about how you can get involved with our fund, contact Akron Community Foundation's Affiliate Fund Events and Administration Coordinator, Deb Hoffman, at or 330-436-5614.

Thank you for your continued support in changing the lives of women and girls in our community.

Kendra Williams
President, Women's Endowment Fund

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