Women’s Fund Announces the Largest Grant in its History

By Maura Teynor

November 13, 2019

(Photo: Women’s Fund Advisory Committee; L to R front row: Susan Gentille, Jodie Dees, Lori Sjostedt, Heidi Jones, Edie Humphrey, Deanna West-Torrence, Kristine Lindeman; second row; Brigitte Coles, Carol Payton, Jill Haring, Linda Smith, Kristie Massa, Amy Hiner and Sally Gesouras.)

The Women’s Fund of the Richland County Foundation is excited to announce it has awarded its largest grant ever; $25,000 to Richland County Youth and Family Council for a childcare initiative. The grant was announced during the annual grant award luncheon held on November 13. The “Childcare Support for Step Up to Quality” grant will provide resources to local centers and in-home childcare providers so they can meet Ohio’s new Step Up to Quality standards. The goal is to retain and grow available high-quality childcare in the community. Richland County Job and Family Services provided matching funds of $25,000 for this initiative.

In its strategic plan, the Women’s Fund has committed three years of investment in making quality childcare affordable and accessible to all women. They decided to focus on childcare following a community survey and focus groups.  

The total amount awarded by the Women’s Fund this year is $32,293.82. Grants were awarded to the following agencies and programs:

Mansfield Art Center “Families Rising”

North Central State College Foundation “Essentials for Women Program”

Ohio State University at Mansfield “Voices for Change: A Student Leadership Conference”

Richland Astronomical Society “Astronomy for Girls”

Shelby High School for “GOLD Middle School Mentoring Program”

The Women’s Fund was established in 1996 as a permanent endowment to support programs that benefit women and girls in our community. The fund has grown to over $1.4 million and has now awarded almost $411,000 in grants impacting hundreds of lives.

The Women’s Fund also announced the JoAnn Dutton Volunteer Community Service Award winner; Pam Siegenthaler. Siegenthaler served as the president of the Richland County Foundation for 16 years, retiring in 2010. She currently is the chairwoman for the Third Street Family Health Services Board. She served on the Mansfield City School Board and the Ohio State University Mansfield Advisory Board. She has led the downtown beautification project in Mansfield, volunteers at The New Store and is a literacy mentor at Hedges and Prospect Elementary Schools.

The award was named in honor of JoAnn Dutton, former executive director of the Mansfield YWCA. It celebrates and honors women who devote a significant amount of time and energy in a meaningful way to local charitable organizations.

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