☰ Menu

Women’s fund marks 20th anniversary by raising $2.013 million for women, girls

UPublish story by Kristen Ashby

Co-Chairs Judge Eve Belfance (L) and Cindy Johnson (R)
Dinner co-chairs Judge Eve Belfance (left) and Cindy Johnson (right).

AKRON, Ohio (March 14, 2013) – Last night, the Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation capped off its “For Women, Forever” campaign to raise $2.013 million for women’s and girls’ programs. Campaign co-chair Karen Lefton and GAR Distribution Committee member Kathryn Dindo announced a last-dollar grant from GAR Foundation to a crowd of more than 350 at the Women’s Endowment Fund’s 20th anniversary celebration. The event was held at Quaker Station on the University of Akron campus.

Lefton, a Copley resident and partner at Brouse McDowell, thanked the foundation; her “For Women, Forever” campaign co-chair, Fairlawn attorney Dianne Newman; and the nearly 200 donors whose combined gifts totaled more than $1.9 million as of Wednesday.

“On behalf of the thousands of women and girls in our community who will benefit forever, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your generosity is both awesome and inspiring,” she said. “We are proud to accept GAR Foundation’s gift and close our campaign because we have reached our goal of $2.013 million by 2013.”

Dindo said she and GAR Foundation President Christine Amer Mayer were pleased to share the good news with a room “full of enthusiastic supporters.”

“The work you are doing for the girls and women of this community is truly amazing and holds the power to transform lives,” she said. “GAR is thrilled to help you cross the finish line of this 20th anniversary goal.”

“For Women, Forever” is the largest endowment-building campaign in Akron Community Foundation’s 57-year history. West Akron resident Marie Covington and five other women established the field-of-interest fund at the community foundation in 1993 to improve the quality of life for women and girls in Summit County and to encourage their growth as philanthropists.

Community foundation President and CEO John T. Petures Jr. said the collaboration was one of the best decisions the community foundation has ever made.

“On behalf of the board of directors and the staff of Akron Community Foundation, I'm proud to acknowledge and celebrate the leadership of the Women’s Endowment Fund,” he said. “It’s a vision all of us continue to embrace as evidenced by our presence and participation in this evening’s celebration.”

This 20th anniversary event was chaired by West Akron resident and 9th District Court of Appeals Judge Eve Belfance and Bober Markey Fedorovich & Company partner Cindy Johnson, a resident of Warren. It featured presentations from the fund’s 2013 grantees, which provide programs in one or more of the fund’s three focus areas: safety from violence, economic empowerment, and health and wellness.

New York Times best-selling author, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and leadership speaker Fawn Germer delivered the keynote address.

“I salute you because you built a (fund) that is not going away,” Germer said. “The Women’s Endowment Fund is doing something that really matters. Every dollar you give affects people at a really human level.”

About the Women’s Endowment Fund

The Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation was established in 1993 as a permanent endowment committed to encouraging the advancement of Summit County women and girls. Its mission is to empower, educate and strengthen the well-being of women and girls, now and forever. To date, the fund has grown to more than $2.2 million and awarded nearly $600,000 in grants. Contributions of any amount are welcome. You can give online at or via mail to Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation, 345 W. Cedar St., Akron, Ohio, 44307. For more information about the Women’s Endowment Fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit

About Akron Community Foundation

Celebrating 57 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. Today, it is a philanthropic endowment of more than $140 million with a growing family of more than 400 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation welcomes gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded nearly $105 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit

This story was provided by an individual or organization for use on the community site, We do not endorse and cannot guarantee the accuracy of this posting, though we do reject announcements with inappropriate content. You can read our full user agreement here.

Story tools

Email  Email   Print  Print   Reprint  Reprint   Popular  Most Popular   Subscribe  Subscribe

Share this story


Prev Next