More than fifty supporters gathered at The Grove Thursday night to kick off the Community Foundation's newly formed Women's Fund. Hosted by Rabobank and the Church Brothers, the event allowed donors to learn more about the lives of women and girls in San Benito County.

"The Women’s Fund is a unique opportunity for all women to come together in a shared vision, creating a lasting impact in the lives of many deserving women and girls in our community," said Stephanie Hicks, Director of Development for the Community Foundation for San Benito County.  "Through collaborations, strategic grantmaking, and focused goals, the Women’s Fund will tackle the most pressing needs that face women and girls in our community.  It is an opportunity for all women and girls to collectively 'pay it forward' in a shared vision of change."

Researchers from Stanford University released preliminary data on local women, including statistics on employment, education, income and domestic violence. Their findings showed that women in the county are at significant disadvantages when it comes to income levels and opportunities. The fund plans to publish the final report in coming weeks. 

To date, the fund has raised $125,000. Their goal is to create an endowment of $1 million, which will be used in perpetuity for women's causes in the county. Advisors expect to begin giving grants to local programs early next year, according to Hicks. 

The Women’s Fund Founders are Sallie Calhoun, Rebecca Medeiros Wolf, Delta Kappa Gamma, Women’s Club of Hollister, Anne Morris, Susan Schwabacher Modic, Nenette Corotto, Beverley Meamber, Mary McCullough and San Benito Bene. For information on how you can donate, please contact Stephanie Hicks at 630-1924.