Women’s Fund Awards Grants
By Maura TeynorNovember 6, 2023
(Photo: (L) Women’s Fund Vice Chair Amy Hiner and (R) Women’s Fund Chairwoman Elizabeth Daniels award a grant to Melissa Lawhorn from Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring.)
The Women’s Fund of the Richland County Foundation recently held its annual luncheon and awarded over $17,000 in grants and announced the JoAnn Dutton Award honoree.
For the fifth year in a row, the WF awarded a grant to the Richland County Youth and Family Council for the childcare initiative. This year’s grant will support coaching and mentoring along with training materials for in-home childcare providers. In its strategic plan, the Women’s Fund is committed to making quality childcare affordable and accessible to all women. The Women’s Fund believes that childcare is important to the economic security of women.
Other grants were awarded to Third Street Family Health Services to provide new mothers with crucial supplies, Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring to provide feminine hygiene products, and The Domestic Violence Shelter to provide clothes at the hospital to sexual assault victims.
Since 1998, the WF has awarded $541,000 through 322 grants impacting hundreds of lives.
The WF also announced the JoAnn Dutton Volunteer Community Service Award winner during the luncheon. The award was named in honor of JoAnn Dutton, former executive director of the Mansfield YWCA. It celebrates women who devote a significant amount of time and energy in a meaningful way to local charitable organizations.
This year’s winner is Christine Myers, the cofounder of The Visual Bucket List Foundation, a charitable nonprofit organization created in 2016 that grants wishes to children losing their vision. The organization was created as a pay-it-forward for her daughter, Elizabeth, who, after receiving a medical diagnosis that could one day rob her of her vision, was granted a trip to Istanbul and Rome where she was blessed by Pope Francis and given a once-in-a-lifetime trip. The gift was so grand, that Christine and her husband, Steven, felt compelled to pass along their gift to whatever extent they could and provide lasting memories for children in a similar position as their daughter.