I recently served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the Jeannette Rankin Foundation annual dinner, held in Athens, GA. I’ve known of this organization for a number of years and had the opportunity to interview its Executive Director, Sue Lawrence on my former tv show several years back. The Jeannette Rankin Foundation, based out of Athens, is an organization whose sole (or I might say, ‘soul’) mission is to expand the possibilities for deserving women in need of scholarship funds to further their education.
Having heard the individual testimonies of several scholarship recipients, I am moved by the difference it makes when someone is celebrated by a champion, (in this case, the Jeannette Rankin Foundation) and given the opportunity to explore their capabilities to move into their individual talents to genuinely and with great confidence, excel. (I know)!
About Jeannette Rankin:
1880–1973, American pacifist, b. Missoula, Mont. She was active in social work and campaigned for woman suffrage. A Republican, she was the first woman in the United States to serve (1917–19) in Congress and also was (1941–43) a member of the 77th Congress. She voted against the declaration of war on Germany in 1917 and in 1941 cast the only vote in the House against entering the war. A member of various antiwar organizations, she led (1968) the Jeannette Rankin Brigade, a peace group, to Washington to protest the Vietnam War.
I met yesterday with the foundation’s visionary Executive Director, Sue Lawrence and Board President, Juniper Burrows, who donates countless hours to the organization. Most of the financial support for the foundation currently comes from the Athens community. It is my personal mission to build national awareness of what this fine organization does and to champion their cause as my personal efforts expand beyond my immediate Atlanta based circle.
We intend to have a fundraiser to gather monies at my very own Carl House venue to enable more women throughout the country to receive scholarships. Currently, hundreds upon hundreds of women have been given scholarships to further their educations. Upon viewing a map at their offices, I saw these hundreds of scholarship recipients marked by individual pins throughout the entire United States. Many women have come from abusive situations, poverty and environments where the possibility to better themselves seemed nil at best.
From their website: www.rankinfoundation.org
‘By awarding scholarships to low-income women 35 and older, JRF provides opportunities for women nationwide to secure careers and break the cycle of poverty. Each scholarship recipient has a vision of how education will benefit herself, her family and her community. While the women come from diverse backgrounds, they are all united and motivated by their goal to succeed through education.‘
Consider a visit to this site and if you have the desire to help, a donation, however small or large, of money or time, will be deeply appreciated.
The Jeaneatte Rankin High Hat tea is among my favorite of their various fundraising events. I was in fact, the 2008 High Hat Tea first place winner for my ‘Garden Hat’, complete with spider, (as seen in orange on the right of my hat…name: Dagwood), weighing in at more pounds than my frame could rightly carry. (An award in which I am MOST proud)! They have a wonderful silent auction at this tea and some great people in attendance.
Stay tuned for our fundraising shindig slated for sometime in July at Carl House. It will be a winner, I promise!
So, thank you Sue Lawrence and your team. You heard it here, it’s time to go national!
And thank you Jeannette Rankin for your vision, courage and leadership. A woman among men, among women, indeed!
“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.” — Jeannette Rankin.