In 2019 Women for Women presented an evening of inspiration and entertainment with Sandra Joseph, a legendary Broadway star, bestselling author, and keynote speaker. Having played the role of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera for ten years, Joseph dazzled the audience with the story of how she seized the roll. But the highlight of the evening was when she put music to her story as she sang several well-known scores from the famous musical. As 2019 came to a close the Women for Women Board assessed the endowment and were pleased to announce that it was now in a position to fund grant distributions and the began to redefine the organization and the Grant process for unveiling in 2020.
Women for Women was thankful that 2018 saw great support from our members and Power of the Purse attendees. John Quinones was the guest speaker for the 13th annual luncheon. Amid clips of his popular TV show, What Would You Do?, he shared his odd-defying journey from his childhood of migrant farm worker and poverty to more than 30 years at ABC News and the anchor desk at 20/20 and Primetime. Like previous Power of the Purse speakers, John shared a message of hope and encouragement as he presented his powerful message of “believing in one’s self, never giving up, and always, always doing the right thing.”
In 2017 grant distribution continued to be at the forefront of Women for Women as more than $74,000 was awarded to 22 Pitt County nonprofit organizations. The annual membership drive, with the help of our Champions Circle, continued to increase the endowment. Power of the Purse Speaker, Anne Geddes, captured our attention with her amazing photography as she shared with us her passion to “protect, nurture and love” children. It was with heavy hearts that we said goodbye to our Founder, and biggest cheerleader, June Ficklen in the fall of 2016 year. June not only gave generously to the organization but also provided personal guidance as Women for Women first began to take shape. Her dedication never wavered and is a large part of why so many women and girls’ lives have been enhanced.
2016 proved to be another successful year for Women for Women. Because of our loyal membership, dedicated Board of Directors, sponsors and contributors, WFW set a new fund raising record. These funds were distributed to organizations serving women and girls in Pitt County. To date, over $550,000 has been awarded to 49 different non-profit groups. Power of the Purse Speaker, Leeza Gibbons, sparked attendee optimism with her message about playing nice and winning big!
The 10th annual Power of the Purse Event showed us a pattern – Women for Women has become a well-oiled machine, supported financially by Members, Event Sponsors, Champion Circle Members and Grand Presenting Sponsors. Year after year, an exciting number of organizations have been presented grants and the endowment continued to grow. We enjoyed a strong message from speaker Christine Baranski on her personal philanthropy efforts for women. She inspired us all with her genuine love of helping others and stories of becoming an actress. She made us laugh and also reflect on the true meaning of philanthropy.
In 2014, the Women for Women Board of Directors impressed Power of the Purse guests with a new twist on the event festivities. Guest Speaker, Frances Shultz, expert on decorating, design and entertaining, was the inspiration behind the “Tablescapes” concept, which included 26 tables set throughout the perimeter of the convention center, each decorated with a different theme. Attendees arrived early to peruse the creative décor for inspiration. Many took photos ensuring the table themes were duplicated the coming year in various homes and yards throughout eastern North Carolina.
Fifteen local organizations were presented Women for Women Grants totaling almost $75,000. These grants benefited more than 1,300 women and girls in Pitt County. Some examples of what these grants provided include meals to women over 60 for an entire year, healthy weight classes, transportation to treatment programs for families whose children have experienced abuse and/or neglect, vocational skills, parenting skills, scholarships for girls and women with disabilities to participate in programs and camps, and resource materials for mothers with at-risk newborns.
Emmy Award winning Vicki Lawrence took center stage and entertained the crowd as the 2013 Power of the Purse Speaker. But one of the shining moments that day was when a Building Hope Grant Recipient spoke to the group about what the organization had done to enhance her life. She noted, “I am one of many Building Hope’s success stories. My parents and Building Hope raised me and look what I have become. I now really understand what it means for a village to raise up a child.” Maxine announced that she would be heading to UNC School of the Arts next fall to pursue her love of music.
Thanks to the many members and volunteers of Women for Women, 18 Pitt County non-profits benefitted from more than $75,000 presented in grants announced at the October membership event.
This was an exciting year for Women for Women as the endowment grew to $500,000 through membership contributions.
Marlo Thomas, was the Power of the Purse speaker and shared laughter, tears and her passion for giving with a group of more than 1,100 philanthropists who attended the event. Again, $75,000 in grants were presented to 14 deserving organizations in Pitt County.
Lee Woodruff, New York Times Bestselling Author, mother of four, and wife of Bob Woodruff, past co-anchor of ABC’s World News, was the Power of the Purse Speaker. Lee delivered a heartfelt message about resilience and overcoming obstacles with a smile as she told the audience about Bob’s injury in Iraq and how it changed their family forever.
15 well-deserving local organizations were presented grants, which totaled $75,000. This brings the Grand Total of grants distributed by Women for Women to more than $250,000!
Much to her surprise, Tracey Fodor Smith was announced as the 2012 Grand Presenting Sponsor. A fitting honor for someone who has been supporting the organization for several years.
The Fifth Annual Power of the Purse Event featured speaker, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. It was the largest event ever for the organization with a record breaking1,500 people in attendance.
Grant distribution in 2010 benefited 16 organizations with a total contribution of $75,000! Membership grew to 483 members and thanks to the 2010 Champions Circle members the endowment grew by more than $48,000.
The 2011 Grand Presenting Sponsor announcement was a surprise this year, as Dr. Robert Capps and family, recognized Jane Harris Capps. Jane has been a past Advisory Committee member and annual event chair for the power of the purse event.
Former Co-Anchor of Good Morning America, Joan Lunden spoke at the 4th Annual Power of the Purse Event. More than 750 women attended the event.
In 2009 Women for Women grants touched 12 organizations in Pitt County with a record distribution of $60,000.
The fall membership drive was our most successful ever with the assistance of our 2009 Champions Circle. Women for Women membership grew to include 400 members.
Women for Women members generously donated girls clothing at the Annual Christmas Brunch.
Tamara W. Chitwood was presented as the 2010 Power of the Purse Grand Presenting Sponsor.
The Third Annual Power of the Purse Event was a huge success. More than 840 people attended the event with featured speaker Naomi Judd.
Grant distributions rose to $48,000 in support of 14 local organizations.
The fall membership drive was supported by the 2008 Champions Circle and 85 new members joined.
At the Holiday Brunch women generously donated articles of clothing in what has become another annual tradition.
The first Power of the Purse Grand Presenting Sponsor, Dr. Mary Raab, was recognized.
Wonder Woman herself, Linda Carter, was the guest speaker at the 2007 Power of the Purse Event where 450 Women attended and more than $60,000 was raised.
The Founding membership opportunity closed with an amazing 50 members.
Women for Women distributed its first grants totaling $18,000 to nine Pitt County agencies benefiting women and girls.
The First Champions Circle was created in the fall of 2007 and five women pledged to collectively match up to $10,000 in new membership revenue.
Membership increased to 345 and added $29,150 to the endowment fund.
At the Annual Christmas Brunch members were asked to donate a new article of clothing and a new giving opportunity was embraced by the organization.
The first Power of the Purse Event was held with Letitia Baldridge, Social Secretary to the Kennedy White House, as the speaker. 220 people attended the event.
The Founding Membership opportunity was announced in December at the annual Christmas event.
Membership grew from 28 members to nearly 150 with 32 of them founding members.
Women for Women began with a generous donation from June Ficklen.
An advisory board of eight community leaders began promoting Women for Women’s mission.
Two events were held that year. A Kick-Off Garden Luncheon and a Holiday Brunch.