There was an air of excitement at Quaker Station on Wednesday evening as Karen Lefton announced that the Women’s Endowment Fund had reached its goal of $2.013 million.
In March 2012, the group embarked on a campaign to celebrate the fund’s 20th anniversary by establishing the “For Women, Forever” Endowment Fund. Lefton, who co-chaired the Endowment Campaign with Diane Newman, thanked everyone for their contributions.
Judge Eve Belfance of the 9th District Court of Appeals and Cindy Johnson co-chaired the 20th anniversary celebration, which drew more than 400 people to the University of Akron’s Quaker Station. Akron Municipal Judge Joy Oldfield welcomed guests and invited them to visit the booths around the room, showcasing nonprofits whose programs encourage girls and women to lead healthy, productive lives. In 2013, the Women’s Endowment Fund awarded a record $95,000 to 11 nonprofit agencies.
Melissa McCain of Akron Children’s Hospital explained Respect, a teen dating violence and sexual assault prevention program. Laura Hnat checked out the OPEN M booth, while Tim Sisler, Dr. Doug Lefton and Sylvia Trundle visited the Victim Assistance Program.
Dr. Sandy Auburn enjoyed conversation with Madeline Bozzelli, Laura Fink, Vondea Sheaffer and Shari Whitfield, who had just returned from celebrating her husband Bob’s 80th birthday in New York City.
Guests ate at tables set with centerpieces of Fawn Germer’s books. The best-selling author came from Florida to share wisdom she has collected from the world’s most accomplished women. Germer said she was pleased to see that the Women’s Endowment Fund has built an infrastructure that will endure.
“The people of Akron are fabulous,” she said. “The support in this community is off the charts, people care.”
Board President Tracy Carter thanked guests for their support, and saluted the founders of the Women’s Endowment Fund: Carrie Herman, Norma Rist, Laurie Zuckerman, Marie Covington, Jody Bacon and Ilene Shapiro.
Also attending the event were Summit County Probate Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer, Linda Omobien, Rennick and Dee Andreoli, Cindy Ederer, Katie Wells Goodwin, Katie Downing, Barb Green, Jackie Silas Butler and Jody Miller.