Women's Leadership Council Distributes $28,048 in Grants on June 13, 2018

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United Way of Lake County's Women's Leadership Council Awards Over $28,000 in Grants


Mentor, OH (June 14, 2018) – United Way of Lake County’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) awarded grants totaling $28,048 during an awards ceremony the evening of June 13, 2018.

The amount awarded represents a fifty percent increase over the $18,642 that was awarded during last year’s ceremony.

“We’ve been working hard to raise funds to uplift and empower women and girls in Lake County. The increase is due, in large part, to the record-breaking funds raised during last year’s Women’s Winterfest & Holiday Food Tasting Fundraiser. The event continues to grow year after year as word gets out about its popularity,” said WLC President Amber Thomas, Chief Clinical Officer of Crossroads.

The grant awards ceremony was held at United Way of Lake County’s office at 9285 Progress Parkway in Mentor. This is the fourth funding cycle since the WLC was reestablished in August of 2013. Since this time, the WLC has awarded grants totaling $85,199, which includes the newly distributed funds.

Grant applications for programs that support Lake County women and girls in need were accepted from February 1, 2018 through April 15, 2018 from parties whose mission similarly aligns with the WLC.

The mission of the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) is to positively impact the lives of women and girls through the philanthropic efforts of advocating, educating, giving and volunteering. They work toward this, in part, via the support of 501(c) (3) and nonprofit organizations in Lake County with programs that promote a similar mission. 

A total of seventeen grant submissions were received and WLC panel volunteers reviewed each, conducted on-site visits and considered those that would make the greatest impact before making a final decision on which submissions would be awarded funds.

Pam Valentine, Manager of Community Development for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio was on-hand to share the impact the grant funds awarded to their Journey Program last year had on those who completed the program. According to Valentine, girls realized the following benefits:

  • 64% developed a strong sense of self giving them confidence in themselves their abilities.
  • 71% developed positive values acting ethically, honestly, responsibly while showing concern for others.
  • 76% developed community problem solving skills by learning to contribute to the world in purposeful and meaningful ways.

“We are very grateful to the Women’s Leadership Council for awarding us this grant last year. The funds allowed us to make a lasting impact on the lives of young girls,” said Valentine.

Other past recipients on-hand to share how their clients were positively impacted by funds awarded to their organizations included Melanie Blasko, President and CEO of Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers and Yvonne Delgado Thomas, Director of Development of the Fine Arts Association.

Phyllis Wilcox, chair of the WLC Grants Committee awarded this year’s funds. “It’s been an honor and a pleasure to have served in this role. My eyes have really been opened to the need that exists in our community,” said Wilcox.

Representatives from each of the following twelve agencies grants were awarded to were present at the ceremony:

  • Lake County Community Network:  $5,000
    Funding provided for emergency assistance for women in need of monetary assistance with rent and utilities.
  • Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers:  $4,000
    Funding provided to help furnish their new Women’s Recovery House.
  • Project Hope for the Homeless:  $3,011
    Funding provided to cover 77 nights of shelter and care for women and girls.
  • Fine Arts Association:  $3,000
    Funding provided to help with Girl Power Scholarships for low-income families of girls.
  • The Salvation Army:  $2,500
    Funds provided in support of their S.S. Kids Project.
  • Crossroads:  $2,400
    Funding provided for Crossroads Girls on the Run program.
  • Lake County Juvenile Court:  $2,360
    Funding provided in support of their New Voices for Girls program which works to address low self-esteem in young women involved in the juvenile justice system. The program focuses on teaching girls to use their voices to speak for themselves and to recognize that they can make positive choices in their lives.
  • Lake County Educational Service Center:  $1,500
    Funding provided to cover scholarships for 6 girls to attend their Service & Leadership Engagement program.
  • Painesville Community Theater:  $1,500
    Funding provided to cover approximately 8 theater camp scholarships for girls.
  • Hospice of the Western Reserve:   $1,200
    Funding provided for girls to attend their children’s bereavement program at Red Oak Camp this summer. 
  • Hannah’s Home:  $870
    Funding provided for First Step Kits for mothers in their Maternity Program who are planning to transition into independent living.
  • Western Reserve Community Development:  $706
    Funds to help support their “Create a Healthy and Balanced You” program for women in the New Directions for living program.

In accepting a $5,000 grant, Melina Gilbert, Director of the Lake County Community Network, said, “Sometimes the best way to empower women is to make sure their basic needs are met. Thank you for helping us accomplish this.”

The Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of Lake County raises donations throughout the year to support the grant funding program through membership fees, speaker engagements, and their annual Women's Winterfest & Holiday Food Tasting Fundraiser in December.

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