ALPENA, MI—The Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan (CFNEM) Women’s Giving Circle will feature guest speaker Jocelyn Benson, Dean of Wayne State University Law School and a 2015 Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, at a special event on Wednesday, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., Sept. 23, 2015 at Mich-e-ke-wis Park in Alpena. The event is being held in appreciation for all those who have contributed to the growth of the Women’s Giving Circle endowment fund.
“Dean Benson is a wonderful example of what women can do when they join forces for a common purpose, just as they have done on behalf of the Women’s Giving Circle in northeast Michigan,” said Barbara Frantz, CFNEM Executive Director. “She founded Military Spouses of Michigan, a network dedicated to providing support for military families and veterans, when she became a military spouse herself. We have a lot of military families in northeast Michigan and believe Dean Benson’s experience will resonate with those interested in the Women’s Giving Circle,” added Frantz.
The Women’s Giving Circle was created eight years ago to create an endowment fund dedicated to supporting programs and projects of interest to women in northeast Michigan. While the fund has benefited from some larger gifts, it has grown to nearly 700 donors due to the large number of smaller gifts. A minimum contribution of ten dollars enables membership in the Women’s Giving Circle. Members’ names are added annually to a donor recognition wall located in the CFNEM headquarters and include both men and women. Members can also volunteer to serve on the grant review committee each year to review grant applications and make recommendations as to which requests are funded.
In addition to Dean Benson addressing the Women’s Giving Circle on Sept. 23, the 2015 grant awards will be announced along with a fund update and other special announcements regarding the fund’s growth. The event will open with a performance by the Windsong Flute Ensemble, light refreshments and a warm welcome by Girls on the Run Sunrise Side, which is a multi-grant recipient of the Women’s Giving Circle “to empower girls to be joyful, healthy and confident.”
The Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment of the Humanities, has awarded the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan a $500 grant to assist with travel and an honorarium for Dean Benson, a highly respected scholar on voting rights and civil rights. The local chapter of the League for Women Voters also will be supporting the event.
Benson is a graduate of Oxford University and Harvard Law School. She was appointed Dean in 2012 at the age of 35, becoming the youngest woman in U.S. history to lead a top 100 law school. She also is an author and marathon runner, having completed 20 full marathons since 2005. She will be honored by the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame at its annual induction ceremony on Oct. 29 in Lansing, MI.
The event will take place under a tent and light refreshments will be served. (Dress for weather.) Entry to the event is $15 which can be waived for students or by request. To register for the event, please call 989-354-6881, toll-free: 877-354-6881 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, Sept. 21, 2015.