Story and Photos by Jessica Isaacs | [email protected]
Kindness, laughter and warm smiles filled the room on Wednesday as local leading ladies joined for the annual Grantee Luncheon hosted by the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge. The get-together was held at the Blowing Rock Conference Center and gave guests a closer look at how the dollars they raised have been spent in the community.
Each High Country nonprofit that received funding from the WFBR last grant cycle was represented at the luncheon, and their leaders told heartwarming stories from clients who have triumphed over adversity thanks to support from the fund.
Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge
“If you’re a member, you’re making a difference. If you volunteer with us, if you donate, you are making a difference,” WFBR Executive Director Karen Sabo said to the crowd. “The stories that you have heard today are a small percentage of the lives that you are changing. By being here, by being a member, by thinking about becoming a member, you are changing lives for the better.”
Guests heard from the women who act as boots on the ground for many local service programs, and each positive message served as an example of what can be achieved through kindness, caring and generosity.
Sabo, the WFBR Grants Committee and each nonprofit representative expressed heartfelt gratitude to the ladies in the room whose contributions are transforming the future for local women and girls.
“We have an unfortunate aspect to our culture where girls and women think they have to compete with each other rather than support each other. By all of us being in this room today, by us having the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge, we are counteracting that negative aspect of our society. We are saying it should not be like that. We are women helping women — that is our purpose, and united we are much stronger than we can be if we divide from each other.”
Two successful local women’s funds, each in operation for a decade or more, merged two years ago to form the WFBR, which has since raised and distributed more than $237,000 to local programs for women and girls. Combined with the experience of its two predecessors over the past 10 years, the WFBR has given more than $1 million to nonprofit programs in the High Country.
Flip through these photos from the luncheon to find out which nonprofits were represented, then click on each one for more information.
Don’t wait to get involved! You can make a difference, too.
WFBR Grantee Luncheon 2016