By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Women of Hope partnered with Barons Creek Vineyards recently to host a fundraising and awareness building event at the Steiner Ranch Steakhouse.
Barons Creek Vineyard and the Chase families hosted the wine tasting and pairing event with proceeds going to help Women of Hope, co-founded by local resident Ronda Gray.
“Barons Creek has been amazing tonight donating a percentage of the sales to Austin Children’s Shelter through Women of Hope,” Gray said.
Women of Hope is a philanthropic group of women who have come together around their common interest in making the world a better place for abused and neglected children and youth served by Austin Children’s Shelter.
Angela Glode, chief development officer at the SAFE Alliance, which is a partnership of Austin Children’s Shelter and SafePlace, said abuse is everywhere and even in the affluent communities like Four Points. All zip codes need to know where they can go for help, Glode said.
There is a song called “Draw the Line” by local band The Mrs and proceeds from the song are being donated to combat sexual assault, exploitation, child abuse and domestic violence, Glode encourages people to check out the song and video to help raise awareness.
Women of Hope has many local members and many who were at the tasting event on Apr. 13 in Steiner Ranch including Marta Chase, Kelli Brown, Jade Ausley, Michelle Long Held, and Jenny Palmieri.
The group has grown from its first 31 members recruited on Aug. 25, 2011 to over 100 members today. The next goal is to reach 120 members.
“From the start we were touched, but not surprised, by the support of our friends” Gray said. “We knew that once we made them aware of the important work of Austin Children’s Shelter they would want to do whatever they could to help us be successful.”
Since inception, Women of Hope has raised more than $600,000 through annual membership dues, third-party fundraisers and other gifts to Austin Children’s Shelter. Every woman who joins Women of Hope donates $1,000, which is more than $100,000 a year going to the cause, Gray said.
Lauren Zurbrugg is grateful for Women of Hope and their events to raise funds and awareness. , Zurbrugg is director of development at SAFE, and she sees first hand how funds from these events help those who have been through abuse.
Women of Hope has three goals: to raise $100,000 annually in support of Austin Children’s Shelter; provide an opportunity for a hands-on service project; and provide an opportunity to socialize with like minded, generous women in Austin.
Each fall, Women of Hope members collectively decide how to allocate the funds raised by their membership dues. Typically, this results in choosing a beneficiary from one of the residential programs at Austin Children’s Shelter: Emergency Shelter Care, the Teen Parent Program, Transitional Living Program, Supervised Independent Living and Respite Care.
“The children of Austin Children’s Shelter have no one, and we needed to find a way to provide as much support as possible so that everyone we serve has a chance to succeed,” said Irene Williams, co-founder who had the idea to start Women of Hope. “We wanted to give money, provide direct service, and spend time with some great people. And we think Women of Hope will give us the chance to do just that.”
To learn more about Women of Hope or to become a member, email email@example.com.