2006 luncheon highlights grantees’ work

June 21, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
This year was also the first time WFSA granted more than $100,000 in non-governmental funds. Luncheon emcee Helaine Levy and honoree Cande Grogan announced fifteen recipients from across southern Arizona.

At the luncheon, WFSA honored former Board Chair Cande Grogan for her work with the Foundation and in the greater Tucson community. Cande reminded the audience about the continued needs of women and girls, and emphasized the important work of our grant-making partners in meeting those needs.

A recent cancer survivor, Cande also spoke movingly about the support of her family and treatment team during her illness. Both Cande’s daughter, Emily Goodwin, and her long-time friend, Mary Ann Dobras, offered poignant tributes to this remarkable woman.

As part of the luncheon program, entrepreneur Debbie Rodriguez-Baggesen spoke about the help she received from the Microbusiness Advancement Center, a 2005 grant partner, in successfully launching her business, Tutoring Solutions. “Usually I like to do things on my own but through MAC, I was reminded of the importance of the team approach, to be open and flexible. I’m proud to be able to say that it worked and today I own and operate Tutoring Solutions with a staff of 30 wonderful individuals,” she said.

Guests also heard from Erin Jordan and Amy Tidwell, high school girls who participated in the Women’s Foundation’s revitalized girls’ philanthropy program, Unidas, this spring.

With a poise that belied their years, these two young women inspired the audience with their experiences as part of a teen grant-making team that awarded $10,000 to a local program that addresses sexual violence against girls.

Another “first” was made possible through the generous sponsorship of radio station MIXfm. WFSA was pleased to help the station honor the inaugural recipient of the “MIXfm Woman of the Year Award,” which was presented to Tina Tarin by radio personality Bobby Rich, co-host of “Bobby and Brad in the Morning.”

Also for the first time, Tom Philabaum’s Sonoran Glass Art Academy provided beautiful blown glass “table flowers” as centerpieces, which were eagerly purchased by luncheon guests. Proceeds from the sale benefit WFSA and the Art Academy’s programs for high-risk youth, predominantly girls.

We’d like to again thank our corporate partners, especially our title sponsors, Ventana Medical Systems, MIXfm, and the Arizona Daily Star, for their generous support. And congratulations to Sally Trattner, whose name was drawn for a spa day compliments of Miraval Life in Balance.