May 2018 News & Updates

Thank You! Together – We Made This Happen!

Thanks to your support, the Vermont Women’s Fund is proud to announce the winners of its 2018 competitive grant round. As a statewide philanthropic resource, our mission is to fund programs that serve Vermont’s women and girls with one driving goal: to achieve economic self-sufficiency. The 12 organizations chosen this year offer programs that focus on young women at critical entry points on pathways to viable careers. These inspiring projects include STEM training for girls, wrap-around residential programs for single parents, and business and entrepreneurial training designed specifically for women, to name a few.

We are most grateful to the Vermont Women’s Fund Council —ten dedicated volunteers who think strategically about how we move this goal forward for women, and how philanthropy can catalyze change. No surprise, there are more good programs than there are funding dollars, so the council’s decisions were not easy ones to make. Many thanks to them, to all of the organizations that applied for fundin g, and mos t of all, to YOU, dear readers, the ones who contribute to and support our work!!

2018 Vermont Women's Fund Grantees
  • Capstone Community Action 
  • Center for Women & Enterprise 
  • Generator 
  • Governor's Institutes of Vermont 
  • Howard Center 
  • John Graham Shelter 
  • NewStory Center 
  • Southern Vermont Area Health Education Center 
  • The DREAM Program 
  • United Way of Lamoille County 
  • Vermont Technical College 
  • WonderArts Vermont

Read more about our 2018 grantees in our press release . In addition to the competitive grant award winners, the Vermont Women's Fund continues to support  Change The Story in partnership with the Vermont Commission on Women and Vermont Works for Women to advance women's economic security in the state.
Reason #327: Why I love my work at the Vermont Women’s Fund:
Recently, I had the pleasure to meet the young women who sent this letter to me.

Dear Ms. Smith,
We are three sixth grade students from Lincoln Community School and we are doing a project on social change. We all strongly believe that women are equal to men, and in our research, we have recently come across the Vermont Women's Fund website, and we were advised to contact you for further information. We were hoping for more elaboration on what your mission for your program is, and we would really like to talk to you about the difficulties women face in the workforce. We were hoping we could interview you or one of your colleagues for the documentary we'll be making, and maybe even post our video on your website. Thank you for your consideration and time.
Photo of Emilia Colo & Grace Orvis at our interview at the Middlebury Co-op. We are sorry that Ellie was unable to make it.
See more photos on Studio 802's website .
And thanks to Mica Andersson for capturing this beautiful day.
Thank You PerSisters!
Mother’s Day has taken on new meaning for the Vermont Women Fund in the past two years, thanks to the energy and vitality of the organizers of the Persist5K race in Burlington. Inspired by the spirit of the Women’s March in 2017, this amazing group of women from Charlotte created the Mother’s Day morning run/walk, dedicating the proceeds to the Vermont Women’s Fund. 

Under sunny skies on Sunday, May 13, over 400 people assembled at the new Community Sailing Center in Burlington, most of them wearing custom headbands designed by Skida , the Vermont headwear and accessories manufacturer. Special “Persist” t-shirts were for sale, as well as some spirited political posters made by 14-year-old artist Sammie Blackmore. 

As the runners stretched their limbs and prepared to run, guest speaker Ida Sargent, a member of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team, addressed the crowd. A drum roll and a rousing rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” sung by Helen Lyons sent the crowd off along Burlington’s bike path. There was a sea of babies in strollers, junior runners, women, and men all wearing their Pink Alert headbands, a stunning visual reminder that the spirit of the Women’s March lives on!

Support for the Persist5K continues to grow, made evident by the tripling of sponsors this year. Many thanks go to the law firm of Gravel & Shea, First Republic Bank, the Community Sailing Center, and Vermont Gynecology who were the lead “Persister” sponsors. See below for all of the generous businesses who gave to this community event.

The importance of all of these sponsors cannot be underscored enough. We so appreciate their generosity of spirit and belief in the cause of the Vermont Women’s Fund – thank you! All in all, more than $16,000 was donated to the Vermont Women’s Fund by this incredible group of women. Please join me in thanking the PerSisters AND the sponsors who support this event! 

Finally, many thanks to everyone who ran, walked, and cheered! It was a rousing way to kick off Mother’s Day!
Thanks to these Persist5K Sponsors

Gravel & Shea, First Republic Bank, the Community Sailing Center, and Vermont Gynecology

Skida, Classic Home of Charlotte, L.Brown & Sons of Barre, Main Street Landing, Orbit Hair Design, The Alchemist, Perky Planet Coffee, and Rise and Shine/Run

be well Skin Clinic, Get It Done, Rise Boot Camp, Maitri, Common Deer, Sugarbush, Poulos Advisors, Leonardo’s Pizza, and Lis Robert

Middlebury Family Health, Clute Wealth Management, Girlington Garage, Yoga Roots, Marvin Design Gallery, Champlain Valley Compost Company, Petra Cliffs, Cheese & Wine Traders, College Essay Coach, VHB, and The Feldenkrais Method

In-kind Food Donations
Cabot Cheese, Burlington Bagel Bakery, Starbucks, Lantman’s Market, Love Local Catering, Trader Joe’s, Citizen Cider, Skinny Pancake, and August First
Upper Valley News
The Parish Players of Thetford, Vermont, are currently presenting " Out of Our Father's House " a play based on Eve Merriam's "Growing Up Female In America." It is a powerful portrayal of American women from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries struggling for social and financial independence. Each character, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and "Mother" Mary Jones, among others, speaks in her own words through monologues pulled from letters, diaries and journals.  

Inspired by today’s #MeToo Movement among other current experiences, Director Toni Eggers chose to honor the Vermont Women’s Fund on opening night, dedicating the proceeds of that evening’s performance to our organization.

Thank you, Toni and the Parish Players! The play runs through May 27. Information about the performance and tickets are available at or telephone (802)785-4344. This is well worth seeing!
Closing the Gender Gap – one step at a time…

In the last days of the Vermont legislative session, Governor Scott signed H.294 , a new law that prohibits employers from requesting salary history of prospective employees.
This will prevent hiring equally skilled or experienced employees at different rates simply because one person was paid more in a previous job. Prior to this bill, low wage workers could be held back from climbing the economic ladder, because they were required to reveal their past wages when applying for this new position.

Cary Brown, Executive Director of Vermont Commission on Women , provided testimony in both the House and the Senate on this bill and its relationship to the gender wage gap. She stated:

“When the pay at a new job is based on the pay at an old job,
this can force women, and especially women of color, to carry pay discrepancies with them from job to job. A pay disparity early on can
haunt a woman for her entire career.”
Save the Date for Our Annual Event: October 30, 2018
The Women’s Fund hosts our annual celebration this year on Tuesday, October 30 at UVM’s Davis Center in Burlington from 5:30-7:30 p.m. We kick off the evening with a cocktail reception with plenty of time to see friends and colleagues, as well as meet policy makers, business leaders, and community members from around the state.

This year, our guest speaker is Reshma Saujani, the national founder of Girls Who Code , an organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. Girls Who Code created a template for after school clubs and specialized summer courses for girls in 6 th -12 th grades.

There are currently over 90,000 girls involved in nearly all 50 states – except for Vermont! Hopefully, Reshma’s visit here might change that.

Please mark the date in your calendar!
Special thanks to and Gravel & Shea for stepping forward as our first event sponsor. Please contact Meg about how you can support this event.
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