Women & Girls Fund Grant Awards Luncheon on April 29

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Representatives from seventeen Mid-Shore non-profits will accept checks totaling $48,750 at the Women & Girls Fund’s 17th Annual Grants & Awards Luncheon on April 29. That will bring the Fund’s overall grant total to $601,767, awarded to 93 organizations whose programs benefit women and girls in one or more of the five Mid-Shore counties of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot.

The grants will go to 5 new organizations and 12 non-profits that have been awarded Women & Girls Fund grants at least once before. New this year are: Anchor Point, Maryland Community for Life, Mid-Shore Meals til Monday, Soroptimist International of Talbot County, and The Gratitude House.

“The programs offered by our grant recipients address critical needs facing women and girls,” said Emily Sparks, board member and Grants Committee co-chair along with Beth Spurry and Susan Wilford. “From literacy and education to addiction recovery services to home repairs, they have the potential to make significant differences in our community and we are proud to be able to support their efforts.”

In addition to handing out grant checks at the luncheon, the Fund will present two annual awards.

The Women & Girls Fund Award for 2019 will be presented to Krista Pettit of Centreville. For the past fifteen years, Krista has tirelessly advocated for the most vulnerable residents of Queen Anne’s County. She is the founder and executive director of Haven Ministries, which began as a cold weather nighttime shelter, and now includes two food pantries, resource assistance center, street outreach program, thrift shop, and job-training center. Her leadership, dedication, integrity, compassion, and commitment are the hallmarks of this annual award.

Previous recipients of this award are the following women of distinction: the late Lois S. Duffey, the late Harriet S. Critchlow, Sandra W. King, Maria Boria, M.D., Sr. Patricia Gamgort, OSB, Tracy Davenport, Sandra Redd, Sara Jane Davidson, The Hon. Karen Murphy Jensen, Kathleen Francis, Maureen Jacobs, Janet Pfeffer, Joy Price, the late Nancy Wilson, Mary Lou McAllister, Diana Mautz, Kathy Weaver, Ellen Rajacich, and Susan Stockman.

The 2019 recipient of the Sheryl V. Kerr Award is Debbye Jackson, of Easton, executive director of Channel Markers. The organization provides a long list of comprehensive mental health services to clients in Caroline, Dorchester, and Talbot Counties. For more than thirty years, and seventeen as executive director, it has been Debbye’s creative and strategic leadership that has provided the impetus for expanding services, addressing and reducing the stigma around mental illness, and encouraging teamwork at the staff level. She epitomizes the Sheryl V. Kerr Award in every respect having excelled in her field with resolute vision, integrity, and respect for others. She has, in short, “empowered” – one the late Shery Kerr’s favorite words – everyone she’s worked with, including clients, families, staff, as well as the community at large through her extensive community volunteer work.

Previous recipients of the Sheryl V. Kerr Award are Maria D’Arcy, Estela Ramirez, Cheryl Hughes, and Robbin Hill.

“The Women & Girls Fund Annual Grants & Awards Luncheon celebrates the importance of improving the lives of women and girls every day on the Mid-Shore. With our grants and awards, we are excited each year to showcase those organizations and community leaders that truly make a difference!” said board president Talli Oxnam.

The Grants & Awards Luncheon will be held on Monday, April 29, 11:30am, at The Milestone in Easton. Ticket price is $50 and the event is open to the public. For more information, call 410-770-8347, email info@womenandgirlsfund.org or visit www.womenandgirlsfund.org.

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