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Representing the Women & Girls Fund's grantees were Busy Graham, Carpe Diem Arts Outreach Fund; Matthew Peters and Peter Byrnes, Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center; Lanie Seikaly and Diane Landskroener; Chestertown RiverArts; Penni Walker Doyle, Community Mediation Upper Shore; Betsy McCown and Tricia Biles, Echo Hill Outdoor School; Beth Anne Langrell, Jackie Messix and Ivy Garcia, For All Seasons Inc.; Stacey Woodworth, Healthy Families Mid-Shore; Malica Dunnock, Tamara Ellis and Landra Roy, The Ladies of Nia; Cynthia Jurrius and Megan Timms, Mid-Shore Community Mediation; Alicia Myers, Megan Ryan and Mandy Caulk, Mid-Shore Pro Bono; Pam O'Brien, Partners in Care Talbot County site; Patrice Morrison and Fil Morrison, Rebuilding Together Caroline County; Lindsey Buckless and Dawn Webb, Rebuilding Together Kent County; Dana Limpert, SOAR in the SADDLE; Kathy Boskin, Talbot Interfaith Shelther; and Gary Pearce, Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug
Abuse Prevention.
Thank you to the Women & Girls Fund's lead corporate sponsor
for generously underwriting this year's luncheon.

McAllister, Cox honored by Women & Girls Fund
By BETHANY ZIEGLER, The Star Democrat

EASTON — “I want to grow up to be Mary Lou McAllister,” Alice Ryan, founder and board member of the Women & Girls Fund, said at the group’s 12th anniversary spring luncheon Monday, April 28.

Held at the River House at Easton Club, the event’s lead corporate sponsor, the afternoon saw two local women honored and 16 grants totaling $38,950 awarded to Mid-Shore organizations.

Mary Lou McAllister was the recipient of the 2014 Women & Girls Fund Award for her work to improve the lives of children and families in St. Michaels. McAllister, who also was presented with proclamations from both houses of the Maryland General Assembly, founded Christmas in St. Michaels, convinced Easton Day Care — now Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers — to build a St. Michaels site and persuaded Talbot County’s Public School superintendent at the time to provide a portable classroom for the day care program for free.

McAllister also serves on the boards of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the the Academy Art Museum, CASA of Talbot and Dorchester counties, St. Michaels After School and Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers. She also is board president of the Children’s Home Foundation, president and endowment committee chair for the Bay Hundred Pool Committee — built and funded by Christmas in St. Michaels — and a vestry member at Christ Church.

McAllister said she was touched by the award, and gave credit to her friends and those who had supported and worked with her in all of her efforts.

“(We found) wondrous things that we thought that should be in our town. And I am so grateful to them and I thank them with all my heart,” McAllister said. “This award would not be happening today without you all.”

Also recognized was Kelley Phillips Cox, founder and president of the Phillips Wharf Environmental Center. Cox was presented with a proclamation from the Maryland House of Delegates and a check for the center from the fund’s “Honor Someone Special” donation program, which allows supporters to make contributions in the name of relatives and friends.

According to the Women & Girls Fund, this will bring its 12-year grant total to nearly $380,000, money that has gone to 62 different Mid-Shore organizations for programs that benefit the needs of women, girls and families.

A representative from each of this year’s grantees came forward to accept the check as the chairmen of the fund’s grants committee, Hilary Spence and Beth Spurry, read a brief description of what they were funding.

The grant recipients were Carpe Diem Arts Outreach Fund, Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center, Chestertown RiverArts, Community Mediation Upper Shore, Echo Hill Outdoor School, For All Seasons, Healthy Families Mid-Shore, Ladies of Nia, Mid-Shore Community Mediation Center, Mid-Shore Pro Bono, Partners in Care, Rebuilding Together Caroline County, Rebuilding Together Kent County, Soar in the Saddle Horsemanship Program, Talbot Interfaith Shelter and Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention.

Women & Girls Fund to distribute $38,950 at grant awards
luncheon on April 28
Mary Lou McAllister to receive 2014 Women & Girls Fund Award

Representatives from sixteen Mid-Shore non-profits will accept checks totaling $38,950 at the Women & Girls Fund’s annual spring luncheon on April 28.  That will bring the Fund’s 12-year grant total to nearly $380,000, money that’s gone to programs run by 62 organizations in the five Mid-Shore counties.
Women & Girls Fund grants go out annually to programs that benefit women and girls in one or more of the five Mid-Shore counties:  Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Dorchester, Caroline and Kent. 

The Fund’s 2014 “Women & Girls Fund Award” will go to Mary Lou McAllister, who has long dedicated herself to enriching the lives of the residents—especially children—of St. Michaels.  She attracted Easton Day Care (now Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers) to St. Michaels ,  and volunteers for organizations such as CASA, the Children’s Home Foundation,  and the St. Michaels Food Bank.

“Our spring luncheon is when we thank our donors for making the grants possible, it’s when we gift the grants so great work can go on, and it’s when we applaud individuals who’ve done so much for our communities,” said Paige Evans, president of the Women & Girls Fund. 

“I love the luncheon,” Evans continued, “because every year I meet amazing people who have found creative ways to remove barriers so women and girls can succeed.” 

This year’s recipient organizations are Carpe Diem Arts Outreach, Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center, Chestertown RiverArts, Community Mediation-Upper Shore, Echo Hill Outdoor School, For All Seasons, Healthy Families Mid-Shore, Ladies of Nia, Mid-Shore Community Mediation, Mid-Shore Pro Bono, Partners in Care, Rebuilding Together Caroline County, Rebuilding Together Kent County, SOAR Horsemanship Program, Talbot Interfaith Shelter, and Talbot Partnership.

The programs that will get a boost from Fund grants this year are wide-ranging, benefitting young children, teens, adults and the elderly, including women and girls who are isolated by poverty, disabilities, poor English language skills or, as in two cases, by incarceration or someone else’s criminal behavior.  All of the non-profits typically provide advice, assistance and skill-building for little or no money.


book signing

Author of "Secret Life of Bees" Packs Avalon Theatre

EASTON — The author of “The Secret Life of Bees” captivated the audience at the Avalon Theatre Friday evening, Oct. 4, along with with her daughter as they talked about their most recent literary work.

Renowned author Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor were the keynote speakers for the annual fundraiser for the Women and Girls Fund of the Mid-Shore.
Sue Monk Kidd’s 2002 novel, “The Secret Life of Bees” has sold nearly even million copies and was on the New York Times Bestseller List for 2 1/2 years.

Her latest book is co-authored with her daughter, a mother-daughter memoir of their relationship told in the setting of their travels together in Greece and France. “Traveling with Pomegranates” contains the wise and intimate reflections of a 50-something and 20-something, each on a mission to rediscover herself.... Read the rest of the article here.

Watch Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor's moving commencement address to the 2010 graduates of Scripps College, The Women's College, Claremont, California

To learn more about our guest speakers, please visit their websites

Women & Girls Fund's 11th Annual Spring Luncheon

Women & Girls Fund Recongizes for All Seasons
5/1/13 By Bethany Zegler @Bethany_StarDem

luncheonEASTON — During a luncheon at the Tidewater Inn on Monday, April 29, the Women & Girls Fund of the Mid-Shore awarded more than $36,000 in grants, and gave out its annual award to the five founders of For All Seasons Inc., which serves the Mid-Shore counties as a provider of mental health programs and services, and as a rape crisis center.

Joy Price, Maureen Jacobs, Nancy Wilson, Kathleen Francis and Janet Pfeffer each received the Women & Girls Fund Award for their work and were applauded for their efforts by those in the room, and especially Women & Girls Fund board president Elizabeth Spurry, who said For All Seasons is a perfect example of the purpose of the fund.

"Our mission is to use the power of pooled resources to improve the lives of women and girls on the Mid-Shore," Spurry said.


For All Seasons sprang from a graduate school paper written by Price and aided by Wilson, who was her advisor at the time. The idea was to create a nonprofit agency in a rural community dedicated to support victims of sexual abuse. From there it turned into a place that was willing to help anyone, regardless of ability to pay.

"When For All Seasons started I said we could do anything social work could do," Price said. "We could even help little green men adjust to life on Earth."

Today For All Seasons has more than 30 staff members, offices in each of the five Mid-Shore counties and provides services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round.


The luncheon, the fund's 11th annual, also served to recognize each of the 2013 grant recipients. Fifteen organizations were recognized and awarded a piece of more than $36,000 to help with their efforts to assist women on the Mid-Shore. Spurry said this year many of the grants related to education.

"We think of access to education as a right in this county. But it's really a privilege," Spurry said. "(Education) opens a girl's mind to the possibility of change."

The organizations awarded grants from the fund are: CASA of Queen Anne's and Kent counties, Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center, Community Mediation Upper Shore, Corsica River Mental Health Services, Dixon House Independent and Assisted Living, HomePorts Inc., Ladies of Nia Inc., Mid-Shore Community Mediation Center, New Beginnings Youth & Family Services, PageTurners, Partners in Care Talbot County, Phillips Wharf Environmental Center, Healthy Families Queen Anne's and Talbot counties, Rebuilding Together Caroline County and Rebuilding Together Kent County.

Photo credit: Boxhill Photography

The Women & Girls Fund of the Mid-Shore
provides grants to non-profit organizations each year for programs addressing unmet or underserved needs of women and girls in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties in Maryland.

Created in 2002 as a grass roots effort of a small group of women looking for an effective way to address significant local problems, the Fund has grown to include more than 750 donors who have, as of June 1st, 2013 created a permanent endowment of over $650,000.

Contribute to The Women and Girls FundCampaign For One Thousand Friends
We invite you to join the Women & Girls Fund in helping us meet our exciting and challenging goal: "Campaign For 1000 Friends"

We seek to enlist 1000 sustaining Friends who will make gifts of or pledge $1000 to the endowment.  (Pledges may be made on a convenient multi-year payment schedule.)  With such Friends we will be able to give $50,000 in grants annually out of the permanent endowment.  This will ensure that the Fund can sustain the positive work begun in 2003 and help achieve our ultimate goal: improving the lives of current and future generations of women and girls.

A circle of Friends 1,000 strong would truly be an embodiment of the power of pooled resources.  Let us use the precious gift of friendship that enhances our own lives by uniting to make a difference in the lives of those who need our help.