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Click here to learn more about our 8 new grantees

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Click here for May 14 public briefing on women, families and the economy


Changing Lives Together: WF donates $3.6 million since 2004

If you missed the Women's Fund's 8th Annual Presentation of Funds luncheon on April 30, you missed quite a show!

Eight outstanding new 2011-12 grant recipients each moved us with their powerful stories of how $520,000 in Women's Fund grants will change lives in our community. From foster youth to seniors, from kids at-risk to parents - our grants will help serve the needs of the most vulnerable in our local area.

And if that wasn't enough, Women's Fund member Betty Elings Wells surprised the whole room by announcing that she was making another $250,000 matching grant pledge for the coming year. Betty made the surprise announcement as she accepted a bouquet of flowers thanking her for the $250,000 she had donated in 2010 that had increased memberships and created larger grant pools for the past two years. "I could not sleep last night as it all registered what transpired yesterday." Betty said on Tuesday. "I have never had a standing ovation and I was overwhelmed to look out at that huge crowd of amazing women on their feet."

For more information about the April 30 Presentation of Funds Luncheon, see excerpt below from Women's Fund member and local journalist, Leslie Dinaberg. For Leslie's full story in Noozhawk, go to:

Women's Fund of Santa Barbara Grants $520,000 to Local Nonprofits

By Leslie Dinaberg

The power of collective giving was out in full force Monday when more than 300 members of the Women's Fund of Santa Barbara gathered for the 8th Annual Presentation of Funds Luncheon, doling out $520,000 to support the work of eight local nonprofits. These new grants bring the total contributions by the Women's Fund to the community to $3.6 million.

"Our membership growth has been equally amazing. Our founders launched the Women's Fund in 2004 with just 68 members. At the end of 2011, we had grown to nearly 600 members-almost ten times the size of our first year," said Women's Fund chair Sarah de Tagyos.

Spurred in part by a matching grant from member and local philanthropist, Betty Elings Wells, who again upped the ante with a last minute $250,000 challenge grant for the next giving cycle, the fund was able to provide funds to eight local nonprofit organizations listed below.

As in prior years, every dollar members donated goes to meet critical community needs because generous members underwrote all Women's Fund 2011 expenses in addition to their membership donations. Kathryn Calise underwrote the entire cost of the luncheon, held at Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort.

Eight nonprofits receive 2011–12 Women’s Fund awards

The nonprofits receiving 2011 - 2012 Women's Fund awards (click here for more information):


The 2011/12 Women's Fund of Santa Barbara grant recipients, in order from left to right: Scott Whiteley, Executive Director, Family Service Agency; Irene Macias, Library Director, Santa Barbara Public Library System; Ladeen Miller, Board Secretary, St. Cecilia Society; Kim Colby Davis, Executive Director, CASA of Santa Barbara County; J.P. Herrada, Executive Director, Palabra; Cynder Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics; Linda Guerena, Parent Project Coordinator, The Parent Project; Ernesto Paredes, Executive Director, Easy Lift Transportation.
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates, CASA ($60,000)-for a case supervisor to work with trained volunteers who act as court-appointed advocates for foster children.
  • Easy Lift ($65,000)-for the purchase of a van and associated expenses to expand transportation services for low-income children participating in youth-serving programs.
  • Family Service Agency ($80,000)-for case management supervision to support vulnerable seniors with a comprehensive care system that provides independence and dignity.
  • Friends of the Santa Barbara Public Library ($65,000)-for the purchase of literacy learning stations serving young children in all south Santa Barbara County libraries.
  • Palabra ($50,000)-for program support, expansion and evaluation of an intervention and prevention program to address local youth-on-youth violence and gang involvement.
  • The Parent Project ($50,000)-for additional parent education and mentoring classes using a research-based curriculum in ten S.B. Unified School District schools.
  • St. Cecilia Society ($50,000)-for funding to meet the critical dental needs of the low-income, uninsured residents of south Santa Barbara County.
  • Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics ($100,000)-for a lead gift to implement an Electronic Health Record system to improve the quality and coordination of health care for low-income patients.

May 14 briefing on economy’s effect on women, families

Click here to learn more about the findings from a recent report commissioned by the Women's Foundation of California on the impact of the economy on California's women and families. Sign up to attend a Public Briefing:

Monday, May 14, 2012 
7:00 - 8:30 PM,
Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 105 East Anapamu St., Santa Barbara

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