Women’s Initiative Network at the Community Foundation of Collier County hosts Power of the Purse 2014 with Erin Brockovich

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Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) at the Community Foundation of Collier County Welcomes 375 to 2nd Annual Power of the Purse Luncheon on December 4, 2014 in Naples. Over $100,000 raised for the Women’s Initiative Network Endowment Fund.

The Power of the Purse luncheon has become “the place to be” for professional women, community leaders, active philanthropists, aspiring women – and a growing number of men – from Collier County who participate in the luncheon as a way to help WIN and the Community Foundation pool charitable dollars into its endowment fund, demonstrating how a single donor's "small purse" can create a big impact through everlasting and positive change in the lives of at-risk women and girls in Collier County. Guests were welcomed by the Community Foundation of Collier County’s President/CEO, Eileen Connolly-Keesler.

The keynote speaker at Power of the Purse 2014: Erin Brockovich - author, activist and rebel. Brockovich’s longtime passion for women’s issues and her zeal for standing up for the rights of others was featured prominently in the film that turned an unknown legal researcher into a 20th century icon. Julia Robert’s Academy Award-winning portrayal captured a woman of dogged persistence who was the force behind the largest medical lawsuit and settlement in history. Since then, Brockovich has not rested on her laurels; she continues to fight and win.

Also on the dais, LuAnne Wahlstrom, founding Executive Director of the Care Club of Collier County. Care Club, a WIN grant recipient in 2014, is a not-for-profit organization that provides day care for people afflicted with dementias or memory disorders. Care Club also provides respite during the day for twenty-four hour caregivers. Wahlstrom moved the audience, sharing the alarming statistics of how Alzheimer’s disease impacts women in particular and telling her personal story as a caregiver for members of her own family.

At Power of the Purse 2014, WIN Steering Committee Chair, Bev Cherry, also announced the 2015 Woman of Initiative - ten local women leaders who, through their leadership styles, are an inspiration to all women seeking to make a difference through philanthropy and civic engagement. Since 1998, 155 women have been honored. The following leaders will be applauded at a luncheon on April 1, 2015:

Bette Aymar
Eleanor Chabraja
Kristen Ferrara
Lydia Galton
Sandi Moran
Linda Penniman
Lee Pinto
Sondra Quinn
Bunny Salisbury
Deborah Strand

Presenting Sponsor, Amy Hale, from BMO Private Bank, also spoke to the role of BMO Private Bank in the community and in providing support for women’s organizations. Gulfshore Life Magazine, WGCU Public Media, Yamron Jewelers and Lie in Naples also provided support.

For a decade, WIN has sustained the idea that improving the lives of women and girls in Collier County ultimately improves the quality of life for our families and communities as a whole. WIN held its first Power of the Purse Luncheon in 2013 to raise dollars and awareness for the grants that are made possible with the generous gifts of a variety of donors. WIN will hold this signature fundraising event each year to showcase the issues surrounding the well-being of at-risk women and girls in our community, and to open its upcoming grant season. The money raised at the luncheon and through WIN’s ongoing one in a Million Campaign allows WIN to make grants to deserving projects and programs that serve at-risk women and girls across Collier County. The year-long One in a Million campaign seeks out 1,000 women who want to be “one in a million” by contributing $1,000—or more—to the Women’s Initiative Network Endowment Fund and raise its balance to $1 million.

About Women’s Initiative Network (WIN)
The Women’s Initiative Network Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of Collier County was established by women community leaders to develop a sustainable way to meet the economic, educational, physical, emotional, social, and artistic needs of women and girls in Collier County. More than $400,000 has been granted by WIN since 2008.

About the Community Foundation of Collier County
The Community Foundation of Collier County is a tax-exempt, public, charitable fund, established in 1985 with a $300,000 endowment to increase and focus private philanthropy in the area. Today, the Community Foundation oversees more than 560 funds, collaborates with more than 400 nonprofits, holds over $78 million in assets and has distributed more than $75 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and community programs.

For more information about the Women’s Initiative Network Endowment Fund or to learn more about the Community Foundation of Collier County, contact Craig Jones, Marketing Director, at cjones(at)cfcollier(dot)org or 239.649.5000 x207. - END -

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Craig Jones - Marketing Director
Community Foundation of Collier County
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