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Dear Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge Supporter,

As the saying goes, patience is a virtue, and over the past 18 months, our patience has been tested. But our patience was rewarded with a successful Power of the Purse luncheon and silent auction.  

Our outdoor event at Blue Ridge Mountain Club was awe-inspiring. The views were breathtaking, our speaker was enlightening, gathering with friends and spending the afternoon together after the year we have all experienced was truly magical!

Because of our caring and supportive community and sponsors, we raised over $145,000. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to make a difference in the lives of women and girls who live in the High Country.
Save the date!  The 2022 Power of the Purse luncheon is scheduled for June 16, 2022, and Erin Brockovich is our speaker!

Karen Marinelli
Executive Director

Thank you to all who supported the Power of the Purse event!
2021 Bourbon and Barbeque
During these uncertain times, the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge continues to focus on our mission to create positive change for women and girls in the High Country. With all the news concerning COVID-19 and the Delta variant, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 100 Men’s 2021 Bourbon and Barbeque event that was scheduled for September 16.

If you want to donate to the 100 Men event, use the link below. Thank you for your commitment to our community. We are stronger together!
Grantee Spotlight

The Women's Fund of the Blue Ridge was able to provide over $125,000 in grants to 20 organizations.  We are going to spotlight organizations in each newsletter so supporters like you can see how your money is making a difference in our area.
Ashe Family Literacy
Ashe Family Literacy (AFL) began as a Hispanic women’s support group in the late nineties. Over the years, through community partnerships, the program has grown into an all-inclusive Family Literacy program. Now a program of Wilkes Community College, we offer classes to adults and out-of-school youth who want to further their education, learn English and improve their parenting skills.
AFL offers classes tailored to women with young children, but anyone who needs them can attend. Students prepare for a high school equivalency or learn English as a second language while their young children develop new skills in a literacy-driven childcare setting. Thanks to grants from the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge, AFL can offer quality childcare to parents while they work to achieve their educational and career training goals.
Topics of instruction include helping children prepare for and succeed in school, healthcare and healthy living, job and career-building skills, accessing community resources, and other topics that are relevant to the students. We partner with the library, health department, cooperative extension, and other agencies to provide diverse learning experiences. Time is set aside each week for parents to spend one-on-one time with their children.
Of course, during the pandemic, we had to resort to virtual classes, but we are returning to face-to-face instruction this month. Classes are held weekdays at Family Central in Jefferson throughout the school year.
  • Living in a safe place to learn, grow, laugh, and play.
  • Getting our local youth together to gain self-confidence, learn skills, and develop community.
  • Spending time in the natural world, immersed in the forests and the cool waters of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.  
Sound like a great thing after such a difficult time navigating the pandemic?  Shucks, this sounds like fun no matter how you look at it!!
Buffalo Cove Outdoor Education Center, an NC non-profit serving youth in the outdoors, has been holding onto a generous grant from the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge, just waiting for Covid conditions to allow all of this to happen.  And happen it did, during the first week of August 2021. 
Six wonderful, adventurous young ladies (ages 10-13) came together to experience a camp session at Buffalo Cove OEC.  All six campers were part of the WYN (Western Youth Network) program serving youth in the High Country area.  We learned how to build fires and create rope from tree bark.  We immersed ourselves in the lessons on plant medicines and salve making. We adventured down rivers in tandem canoes, spending time exploring the banks and swimming in the flowing waters!  We played games, told stories around the campfire, and did so much more.  This crew was amazing!  They supported each other, tried new things, welded friendships, grew as individuals, and learned how to operate as a team! 
Some of the letters from the campers:
Thank You, Women’s Fund, for supporting ideas and experiences like this.  Your grant made this possible!  Your dedication to the youth of our area - coupled with your vision of creating healthy, compassionate, and well-rounded young women – really served these six young individuals in a beautiful way!
The New Opportunity School for Women (NOSW) at Lees-McRae College had to change its program format due to the COVID 19 Pandemic.  Instead of the three-week residential program in June, the program was offered virtually, with thirteen women completing the program on June 25th of this year.  Five of the women reside in Avery County, and three are residents of Watauga County. Each woman was provided a Chromebook for use during the session, and it became hers to keep upon successful completion of the three weeks.

The women attended virtual classes from 9 to 11 each morning, with an opportunity to network with each other and staff before and after class.  Topics included: Appalachian Literature, Creative Writing, Entrepreneurship, Educational Opportunities, Leadership Training, Job Search/Resume Preparation, and Self Care. NOSW continued with its weekly Stephenson Lecture series each Wednesday evening, which included two lectures and one musical concert.  These events were also virtual and streamed via Facebook Live. Finally, personal enrichment classes were done via ZOOM on Thursday evenings. 

While there were no internships or weekend events, the session was successful as several of the women have found employment, and others are exploring educational opportunities at local community colleges. A series of follow-up classes are being offered on using varied forms of social media.  This is an area of interest to women, and it is an area that is becoming increasingly important and visible for both work and leisure activities.
Membership 2021
In 2020, 79 women answered the call to become a member of WFBR raising almost $36,000 for our grant program.  You too can be a part of a passionate community of women with diverse perspectives. 

We believe our collective spirit thrives when we hear all voices.  When we join together, combine our resources and work as a team, we can accomplish what none of us can do on our own.

When you become a member in 2021, you are supporting our grants program as 92% of funds raised through the WFBR membership program goes to our granting program. Membership is an important part of our success in making a difference in the lives of women and girls in the High Country.

Thank you to all of those who have joined already! Please consider joining as a member this year. Membership levels are as follows:
Change Maker
Friend of the Fund
$2,400/yr. - $200/mo.
$1,200/yr. - $100/mo.
$600/yr. - $50/mo.
$300/yr. - $25/mo.
Join us at our website:
Meet Our Board Members
WFBR is fortunate to have 13 dedicated Board members who meet monthly and make decisions regarding the direction of the Women's Fund of the Blue Ridge.  Each newsletter, we are going to highlight a couple of these extraordinary Board members.  

Frances Magruder was born and raised in Durham. She has been spending her summers in the mountains since she was eight years old. She moved to the mountains full time in 2012. First and foremost she is a mother of four and stepmother of two.

She is a teacher by trade and still substitutes in the Avery County school system. She received her BA from Hollins College, now Hollins University. Frances taught for two years in Richmond, Virginia before moving to Rocky Mount North Carolina, where she taught for four years before becoming a full time mom.

Frances has always enjoyed being involved with the community she lives in. She champions causes that support women and children, cancer research, addressing childhood learning differences, and animal protection. Frances has been involved in several civic organizations and fundraising events over the years. She is passionate about Avery County and the people that live there!

Anné Wright is an Appstate alumna. While there she studied English and Interdisciplinary Studies and received a Master’s degree in Library Science. After law school, Anné returned to the high country that she loves. She lives in Boone and practices law with the Reeves DiVenere Wright law firm. She also practices law and owns Walker Title in Mountain City, Tennessee. Anné has served as President and Member on the Board of Directors of Watauga Habitat for Humanity. She regularly provides pro bono legal services through Legal Aid of North Carolina and, while in law school, was on the Executive Board for the NCCU Public Interest Law Organization. She has volunteered with the NC Center on Actual Innocence.

In her down time, Anné can be seen walking her dog, Sampson, or reading a book at The Cardinal Food & Spirits, which is owned by her husband Scott. Anné agrees with Michelle Obama that: "There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish." She is enthusiastic about working with the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge to accomplish a great deal.

Basic Needs Totes Wish List
WFBR distributes Basic Needs Totes that are filled with necessary toiletries and/or cleaning supplies to various non-profits throughout the High Country to pass on to women and girls who are in transition.  In support of this effort, the following items are requested:
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Feminine Products
  • Razors and shaving cream
  • Hair brushes, combs, and elastics
  • Shampoo, conditioner, and bodywash
  • Hand soap
  • Deodorant
  • House cleaning supplies (all purpose wipes, pine sol, laundry detergent)
You can view our Amazon wish list at the following link:
Shop Amazon through our link and Amazonsmile will donate to
the Women's Fund of the Blue Ridge.
The Women's Fund of the Blue Ridge has earned the 2021 Platinum GuideStar Seal of Transparency

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Copyright © 2021 WFBR, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
895 State Farm Rd., Suite 403 - 8, Boone, NC  28607
Our website address is:
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Women's Fund of the Blue Ridge · 895 State Farm Rd., Suite 403-8 · Boone, NC 28607 · USA

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