Women's economic growth priority at Jefferson 'soiree'
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Jefferson County Community Foundation
At the Jefferson County Fund for Women and Girls Soiree earlier this month are mistress of ceremonies Shelly Randall, fund Chairwoman Debbi Steele and keynote speaker Lou Anne Sterbick-Nelson of Renaissance House in Bisbee, Ariz., from left. The group raised more than $10,000 for the fund, which provides grants to local nonprofits.

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — With treats donated by Elevated Ice Cream, Olympic Cellars and Mount Townsend Creamery, the Jefferson County Fund for Women and Girls' fourth annual soiree drew 130 attendees to the Northwest Maritime Center earlier this month.

Their mission was to choose a category for the Fund for Women and Girls' 2013 grant, an award that supports local nonprofit programs that provide new opportunities for girls and women.

Economic development for women was chosen as the highest priority, said fund Chairwoman Debbi Steele, and a request for proposals will go out this September to Jefferson County nonprofit organizations with that mission.

The March 7 soiree also was a major fundraiser for the fund. Supporters there donated $10,300, Steele noted.

The fund campaign is continuing toward its $15,000 goal, with information about donating at www.JCCFgives.org.

Housing program

Among the speakers at the soiree were Kathy Morgan of Olympic Community Action Programs, whose transitional housing program is the recipient of the Fund for Women and Girls' 2012 grant.

Morgan, OlyCAP's property manager, emphasized the value of community support in helping homeless women and their children find permanent housing.

The soiree's keynote speaker, Lou Ann Sterbick-Nelson, received a standing ovation after her talk on the Women's Transition Project's Renaissance House, which she founded in Bisbee, Ariz.

The project offers job training while helping women discover their personal power, Sterbick-Nelson said.

She also told attendees about a belief that drives her.

“In any given situation,” she said, “the only thing that is ever missing is the love that you are not giving.”

Wearable Art Show

The soiree also featured a quick fashion display, with models sporting dresses from the 2012 Wearable Art Show.

That event, another benefit for the fund, will return this year: Two performances of the show are set for 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 11, the Saturday before Mother's Day.

The venue is the Port Townsend Elks Lodge, 555 Otto St.

The soiree was a collaboration between the Jefferson County Community Foundation and a variety of sponsors and donors: QFC Port Hadlock, Safeway of Port Townsend, Kristin Manwaring Insurance and Connie Segal Natural Skincare.

To find out more about the Fund for Women and Girls and the Wearable Art Show, phone 360-385-1729 or visit www.jccfgives.org.

Contributions to the fund also may be mailed to the Jefferson County Community Foundation, 219 W. Patison St., Suite A, Port Hadlock, WA 98339.

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 21. 2013 4:22PM
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