Third Trailblazer Luncheon
May 20, 2009
A sell-out crowd of over 300 people who share the Women’s Fund’s belief in investing in the future of the women and girls in our community attended at our third annual Trailblazer Luncheon at
Wolferts Roost Country Club on May 20th.
At this luncheon, we honored the three outstanding Trailblazing Women of 2009 in recognition of their philanthropy:
Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, Ms. Jan Smith and Mr. Russell Tharp, on behalf of his late wife Lorraine, shared stories
about personal challenges
and strong belief in
the importance of supporting
efforts on behalf of
women and girls in our community.
Shirley Ann Jackson, the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. from M.I.T., spoke of her
commitment to ensuring opportunities for other women and for African-Americans,
particularly in the Greater Capital Region. She quoted an oft-repeated African proverb:
“Educate a boy and you educate an individual. Educate
a girl and you educate a community.”
Jan Smith emphasized the importance of “being true to
yourself” as well as building competency and not being
afraid to try something new “just because it seems
impossible.” If one doesn’t know it is impossible, one is
much more likely to try, and often to succeed, she said.
Russell Tharp, Lorraine’s husband, accepted the award
on her behalf. He spoke of the discrimination Lorraine
often faced (and overcame), beginning in law school,
because she was typically the first
woman to accomplish most of what she did in her life.
For more information about the Trailblazing Women of 2009,
please click here.
The Women’s Fund 2009
grant awardees also were
announced at the luncheon.
Each program was selected because of its ability to
directly address the challenges faced by women and
girls striving for financial
stability and independence.
Including these grants,
The Women’s Fund
has awarded more than
$126,000 in three years to
Capital Region programs.
Our honorary event co-chairs were
Susan Houpt, Chair, The Women’s Fund of the Capital Region,
Jane Golub, a
Trailblazing Woman of 2008.
Our emcee was
Susan Arbetter of WMHT.
The success of this event was
due in large measure to The Women’s Fund’s Events
Committee, chaired by Steering Committee member
As part of the Third Annual Trailblazers Luncheon, The Women’s
Fund collected toiletries to help women and children served by domestic
The Fresh Start Project will benefit shelters in the five counties served by
The Women’s Fund.
The Women's Fund gratefully acknowledges the generosity and support of our sponsors.