The Fund for Women and Girls Hosts 17th Annual Luncheon

Meghan CaryLocal musicians Meghan Cary and Peter Farrell kicked off the program with an empowering musical selection. (Submitted Images, Photos courtesy of Jay Wiley)

WEST CHESTER, PA — The Fund for Women and Girls marked 26 years of serving local women and girls at the 17th Annual Making a Difference Luncheon on May 6th at the Desmond Hotel in Malvern. An in-person event welcoming nearly 300 attendees, The Fund’s annual Luncheon recognized the power of local impact, honored the contributions of Kitchen Table Award winner Matrie Johnson, highlighted the wisdom of keynote speaker Renay Loper, and leaned into a bold future for women and girls. The Fund also introduced its new Executive Director Kim Andrews to the Chester County community.

The event kicked off with an empowering musical selection from local singer songwriter Meghan Cary, in concert with Peter Farrell. Attendees also had a chance to bid on themed raffle baskets featuring local women-owned businesses, gardening and summer fun items, a mother-daughter cooking experience, tickets to Brandywine River Museum of Art and Winterthur, local golf outings and restaurant offerings, dance lessons, health and wellness gift cards, and more.

Kim, Renay, Matrie, Denise
From left to right: New Fund Executive Director Kim Andrews, Keynote Speaker Renay Loper, Kitchen Table Award honoree Matrie Johnson, and Board Chair Denise Wine pose for a photo at the Luncheon.

Board Chair Denise Wine began the program with a reflection on the challenges and lessons learned throughout her tenure as Board Chair during a transitional period for The Fund as it sought its new executive director. Following Denise, The Fund’s new Executive Director Kim Andrews shared her journey to The Fund, touching on aspects of her personal story as a single mother of three that resonated with the organization’s mission to uplift and empower women and girls.

READ:  Judge Paula Ott Honored with Piece of Pennsylvania History

The Luncheon also featured remarks from inspiring keynote speaker Renay Loper. As the Vice President of Program Innovation at PYXERA Global, Renay empowers underrepresented populations, facilitates change, and creates sustainable impact in individual lives and communities. Renay spoke to Luncheon attendees about the power of authentic leadership: “Leaders lead from where they are. Not from a title, from an office, from a salary, from a stage, from the spotlight, a degree, and they are not even of a certain age – they lead from where they are.” Her remarks also highlighted the importance of growth during a period of uncertainty for our community and world: “The way things were, were not ok. And the way the pandemic is leaving them is not okay…I say we are in a period of becoming. Becoming that new, better, just society… and in this period of becoming, it is our responsibility to do 4 things – rebirth, reinvest, rebuild, for regeneration.” Renay closed by asking the crowd to repeat the following in unison: “I am all in and committed to doing my part in driving us forward to new, better, just for the women and girls of Chester County.”

READ:  The Fund for Women and Girls’ Community-Based Grants Allocation Committee Awards $239,680 in Grants

The Fund also presented Matrie Johnson with this year’s Kitchen Table Award. The Kitchen Table Award was established in 2011 to honor a woman in Chester County for her leadership and philanthropic contributions to her community. In a heartwarming tribute, friends and colleagues of Matrie recognized her incredible passion for giving back to women and girls in Chester County. In her remarks, Matrie touched on the power of collaboration and community in uniting together to get things done.

Board Co-Chair Tiffany Scott concluded the Luncheon by highlighting the importance of supporting The Fund through uncertain times for women and girls: “We’ve witnessed the transformative power of philanthropy, advocacy, and leadership in the women and girls whose lives we’ve touched. We have seen the investment in women and girls make a difference in our communities and make our communities stronger.” Learn more about ways to support The Fund’s mission at thefundcc.org.

“The Luncheon was a proud day for The Fund. We brought together voices and experiences of amazing women while raising dollars to ensure a brighter, safer and healthier future for women and girls in Chester County. We are grateful to the many who made this event and our work possible,” said The Fund’s Executive Director Kim Andrews.

Since 1996, The Fund has distributed over $3.8 million in grants to 82 regional non-profit agencies to support women and girls. Now, 26 years later, it remains a bold, strategic and creative leader in uniting community partners and individuals around a shared commitment to women, girls and their families.

READ:  Chester County Recognized Among Nation's Healthiest Communities by U.S. News & World Report

To watch the Kitchen Table Award video tribute to Matrie Johnson, visit The Fund’s YouTube channel. Click here to view the Luncheon Program Book.

Generous support for this event was provided by West Pharmaceutical Services; Barbara M. Jordan; Judi and Tim Bell; Anonymous; Connie and Tom Fogarty; M&T Bank/Wilmington Trust; WSFS Cares Foundation; Denise Wine and Neil Kinch; CCRES; Pattie and Mike Diggin; Genesis Health Care; Jackson Cross; MacElree Harvey; Mill Creek Capital Advisors; Cate and Tom Sennett; West Chester University Foundation; Nora Alvarez; Alice Bierer; Chester County Intermediate Unite (CCIU); Coatesville Youth Initiative; CTDI; Mary Beth Morrissey; OpExecs; Lisa Passante and Mike Kaplan; Roberta Torian; Pam and Jeff Bryer; Carroll Engineering Corporation; Countryside Consulting; DARE Auto; Gawthrop Greenwood, PC; Northwestern Mutual; Marybeth DiVincenzo; Barbara Spellman; Sugartown Communications; Land Services USA; Comcast NBC Universal; Pareez Golub; Mary Lou Sterge; Tolsdorf Oil Lube Express; Brite Realty Services, Inc.; Capacity for Change; Anges Irwin Center for the Advancement of Girls; Church Farm School; Fox Rothschild LLP; Hankin Group; The Haverford Trust Company; Haverford Systems Integration; Lamb McErlane PC; Wegmans; Pat Augusterfer; and Debbie and David Gawrylowicz.

Thanks for visiting! MyChesCo brings reliable information and resources to Chester County, Pennsylvania. Please consider supporting us in our efforts. Your generous donation will help us continue this work and keep it free of charge. Show your support today by clicking here and becoming a patron.