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Women's Legacy Fund

Established in 2003, The Women's Legacy Fund is a permanent endowment held at The Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County. It is the only endowment fund in the County which targets the needs of women and girls alone. Only the earnings will be spent each year, allowing the Legacy to contribute to the community over time.

In just a short amount of time, the Women’s Legacy Fund has been embraced by the community with support from more than 250 Legacy Leaders contributing more than $1,000 to the fund. Each Legacy Leader has a voice in determining the focus of grants that are distributed each year.

Diamond Circle

To proudly celebrate our 10th anniversary, we created the Diamond Circle to recognize Legacy Leaders who have cumulatively donated (or pledged to donate) $10,000 or more to the Women's Legacy Fund.

We are excited to announce these founding members of the Diamond Circle:

  • Libbie Agran
  • Lyn Baker
  • Barbara Bell
  • Nancy Bruno
  • Marty Claus
  • Ann Freeman Endowment
  • Nella Girolo
  • iii Design
  • Carol Kiessig
  • Lisa Kilburn Maino
  • Noreen Martin
  • Coleen Mattison
  • Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Susan Polk
  • Ann Robinson
  • Jane Sinton
  • Mary Verdin
  • Tricia Volk

Please join us in thanking them for their generosity, leadership and support as the Women's Legacy Fund continues to make a meaningful difference in the lives of women and girls in San Luis Obispo County.

Diamond Circle members will be recognized permanently on our website and in printed materials. Those who joined at any time in 2012 are recognized as “founding members.”

To learn more about joining the Diamond Circle, please contact Janice Fong Wolf, 543-2323.

Why a Women's Legacy Fund?

In addition to compelling data both nationwide as well as in California, the need for a fund in San Luis Obispo County focusing on the needs of women is apparent.

Grants from the fund support organizations that assist women and girls to strengthen their physical, emotional, intellectual and financial well-being. Each year the Fund’s Advisory Committee identifies a focus area for grant making from the broad fields of economic independence, basic needs, safety, reproductive health, education, and mental health.

Legacy Leaders participate in establishing priority issues within the focus area for that year and have the opportunity to review and evaluate grant proposals.

Funds raised locally address issues such as these:

  • Over half (55.9%) of SLO County college-aged women surveyed identified self-esteem as one of the top five issues for women and girls.  What Do Women Need, a 2010 Report on SLO County Women and Girls
  • Of girls in San Luis Obispo County, 27% of those in grade 7 reported having chronic sad or hopeless feelings which increases to 43% of girls by grade 9. California Healthy Kids Survey, San Luis Obispo County 2013-2014
  • In the 30 days preceding the survey only 1% of grade 7 girls participated in binge drinking —defined as having 5 or more drinks of alcohol within a couple of hours. This increased to 12% of grade nine girls and 25% of girls in grade 11. California Healthy Kids Survey, San Luis Obispo County 2013-2014
  • Between, July 2012 and June 2013, the shelters of SLO County provided 114 clients with 4,332 nights of shelter, and provided over 1,256 hours of counseling services to 172 clients.Women’s Shelter Program of SLO County, RISE, 2014 
  • Studies show that access to shelter services leads to a 60-70% reduction  in incidence and severity of re-assault during the 3-12 months’ follow up period compared to women who did not access shelter. Shelter services led to greater reduction in severe re-assault than did seeking court or law enforcement protection, or moving to a new location Campbell, JC, PhD, RN, FAAN. Anna D. Wolf, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Protective Action and Re-assault: Findings from the RAVE study.
  • On average, a woman is beaten 9 times before she places the first call to police for help; only 7% of spousal assaults are reported to the police. Women’s Shelter Program of SLO County
  • In the United States 44% of lesbian women, 61% of bisexual women, and 35% of heterosexual women experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010
  • Of the 99,653 total households in SLO County, 5,392 of them are female-headed households with no husband present with children under the age of 18. The median income of a female-headed householder living with children is $36,627, compared to the total household median income of $53,978. American Fact Finder, US2010 Census
  • In 2013, 154 babies were born to girls ages 19 and under in San Luis Obispo County. California Department of Public Health, 2014
  • There are 8,424 licensed child care slots in SLO County but are only made available to 36% of children aged 0-12 years with parents in the work force. 2013 Child Care Portfolio
  • As of July 1st 2013 there were 377 children under the age of 21 in SLO County foster care. Child Welfare Services Reports for California, May 2014

Advisory Committee

Mary Verdin - Chair, Linda Reitner Vice-Chair, Barbie Butz-Associate, Sharon Beko, Barbara Bell, Marty Claus, Barbara George, Nella Girolo,Dee Lacey, Missy Reitner-Cameron, Ann Robinson

Associate Members: Sandy Dunn, Jane Sinton, Patricia Wilmore

Founding 100 Legacy Leaders

  • AAUW – San Luis Obispo County Branches
  • AAUW of San Luis Obispo in honor of women and girls
  • Anonymous (4)
  • Georgie & Dave Arnold in memory of Chlora Mary Rust
  • Catherine Baker
  • Lyn Baker
  • Sharon Beko
  • Barbara Bell
  • William C. & Shirley Bianchi in memory of Martha Mendoza Johnston
  • Linda J. Booker Family Trust
  • Bonnie & Mac Brinton in honor of our daughters Nikki Brinton Jakins and Traci Hobbs Brinton
  • Wendy Brown
  • Nancy Bruno in memory of Antonina Meli
  • Karen Burish in memory of Rosella Burish
  • Barbie Butz
  • Patricia W. Cairns
  • Vicki Carroll in memory of Anna Paiarola
  • Christine Cary & Joel McCormick
  • Mary Alice Chisholm in honor of Julia O’Grady Pollard
  • Carlyn Christianson in memory of Marjorie Blaha
  • Lucia Vanderheyden Cleveland
  • Barbara Clutter & Betty Hesters
  • Claudia Collier in memory of Harold & Jeanne Collier
  • Carol Conway
  • Donna & Julian Crocker in honor of our daughters Kelly & Karen, and in memory of our mothers Mary & Mary Alene
  • Frances W. Davidson in memory of Ethel Simmons
  • Virginia deLaval
  • Alison & John Denlinger in memory of Aldena Madruga Silva
  • Nancy & Christina DePue
  • Pamela Dunlap in memory of Mary Fitch
  • Sandy & John Dunn in honor of our granddaughters: Olivia and Sophia Taylor & Jayme and Maya Dunn
  • Denise Uhles el-Effendi
  • Valerie Endres
  • Kathy T. & Bud Evans
  • Karen Flagg
  • Vanessa & Warren Fujimoto in honor of our daughters: Colette & Wendi Fujimoto & Stephenie Bivens
  • Stacy Gardiner in memory of Martha K. Smith
  • Beverly & Bryan Gingg
  • Patricia Gomez
  • In memory of Eleanor Bell Gottesman
  • Christina Hatch
  • Lisa A. Hogarty, Attorney at Law
  • Elizabeth Lamont Johnson in memory of Frances & Barstow Johnson
  • Gail Johnson
  • Grigger Jones in honor of my wife Alice I. Jones and daughters Carolyn A. Jones and Nancy S. Jones
  • Anne Keller in honor of Gene Keller & in memory of Milton Lampe
  • Lisa Kilburn
  • Dee Lacey
  • Liz Lee Sportswear
  • Linda Lewis
  • Noreen Martin
  • Liz Maruska in memory of her godmother
  • Coleen Mattison
  • Diane & Pat McKeague
  • Linda Powell-McMillan
  • Carol & Leo Michaud
  • In memory of Vivien C. Milburn
  • Mission Community Bank
  • No. Co. Women’s Power Lunch
  • Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Nanci Lynn Parker in honor of Royce Eldridge Parker
  • Barbara Partridge
  • Mike & DD Patrick in honor of their daughters Allison, Michelle and Elise, and in memory of Elaine Sloane
  • Peggy Peterson
  • M. Ilda Pruneda in memory of Donald W. Haynes
  • Leigh Ramirez
  • Linda & Barney Reitner
  • Kate Riggins
  • Michel Cam & Ann Robb
  • Ann Robinson
  • Dr. Marie E. Rosenwasser in memory of Diane Epstein
  • Rotary Club of Arroyo Grande
  • Celeste Royer
  • Betty Schetzer
  • Anne Sinsheimer
  • Carol Sinsheimer
  • Jane Sinton
  • Jim & Norma Sinton
  • Julie Sinton
  • Steve Sinton in honor of Norma Sinton
  • Elizabeth “Biz” Steinberg
  • Barbara & Alan Stevens
  • Pat & Steve Stevens
  • Toni Sullivan
  • Liz Wagner Summer in memory of my mom, Marie Wagner
  • Mary L. Talbot
  • Johnine Talley
  • Paula Topley in memory of Goldie Bensilhe
  • Su Tsao
  • Natalie Wall, Esq.
  • Susan & Helen Waterbury in memory of Brian Waterbury
  • Cindy Wittstrom
  • Cindy Wittstrom in memory of Grace E. Wittstrom
  • Loretta Wofford in honor of my mother, sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, granddaughters, great granddaughters and those women who will follow
  • Janice Fong Wolf
  • The Women Lawyers Association of San Luis Obispo County
  • Mrs. Penny H. Woods
  • Hilda Zacarias & family in memory of Jacob Zacarias

For more information about the Women's Legacy Fund, please contact Janice Fong Wolf at (805) 543-2323.

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