Susan Church, our Executive Director, died of cancer on July 4, 1995. This loss has personally affected many across the state of Michigan, and has left a permanent legacy for those of us who believe in her work, her dedication and her vision.
Susan planned he own memorial service. She asked several of her closest friends and colleagues to speak about her life. Following are portions of the speeches that were made on that hot July day:
"Susan had a carefully construed philosophy of life, for equality for women, with a passionate commitment to social and economic justice for all human kind. Further she believed mightily in putting her beliefs into action...She was a competent woman with skills, talents and conscience. She was principled, moral and ethical. She dealt forthrightly with the tough issues of gender and race. More so, she had the courage to act on it in public and private settings. She was a gracious and savvy woman with determination and guts ... I was first attracted to her as a friend because she had the ability to perceive truth in a person or a situation, and she wasn't afraid to express her views. She brought her intelligence and her education and culture with her and didn't trim her sails to make things easy or comfortable. At the same time, she didn't seek confrontation for its own sake, she didn't have to be right, she could disagree and yet maintain warm relationships... A committed feminist, she was devoted to Robert, Nicholas and Douglas; as urban a person as I ever knew, she loved her Michigan farmhouse; as committed to our society's undeserved and disadvantaged as she was, she maintained her taste for fine chocolate...Susan's last days were a profile in courage, a final lesson for us all in how to die with grace. The dignity and care, courage and love with which she left us in her final legacy in thoughtfulness and generosity."
The Michigan Women's Foundation will carry on the vision of Susan -- that of a viable, endowed foundation for Michigan's women and girls. A special fund within our endowment has been named in her honor, the Susan Church Fund for Girls. Through the generosity of the Frey Foundation, and so many individuals who loved and respected Susan, this fund now totals nearly $400,000. (Please see the article about the Kent County Girls Initiative below which describes the first project we have undertaken through this fund.) Please contact our office if you are interested in making a contribution in Susan's honor.
We will miss Susan; but we are all so fortunate to have worked with her, and for her. As one of her colleagues concluded at the memorial service, Susan is exhorting us in the words of her foremother Mary Jones, to "pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.""
On September 19, the Michigan Women's Foundation and the Michigan Political History Society co-hosted a very special benefit dinner honoring Mildred Jeffrey and Elly Peterson. Over 300 people attended this unique tribute at the University Club in Lansing, which celebrated the 75th anniversary of women's suffrage and brought together two icons of Michigan political history. The dinner was a tremendous success, raising $27,000 for MWF.
The crowd was filled with supporters and friends of the two extraordinary honorees, who paved the way for Michigan women in politics. Mildred Jeffrey has long been admired for her work in civil rights and women's rights; Elly Peterson served as Chair of the Michigan Republican Party and was the first Michigan woman to run for U.S. Senate. Ms. Jeffrey spoke about her experiences in Beijing during the Fourth World Conference on Women; Ms. Peterson reminded the audience of the need for civility in politics today.
The Michigan Political History Society, co-host of the dinner, is an organization dedicated to preserving and appreciating Michigan's political history in order to better envision the future of our state. The Michigan Women's Foundation was delighted to partner with this organization for the dinner, which united the two groups' missions around the anniversary of women's right to vote.
Special thanks to Sharman Moore, the President of MPHS, and Pat Curran, MWF Trustee, for their hard work as Co-Chairs of the event. Thanks also to our Planning Committee, a dedicated group of Lansing-area volunteers who worked hard to make the dinner a huge success. We are delighted to have reached out to the Lansing community in this way, and hope to host more Lansing events in the future.
In order to recognize its most generous contributors, the Michigan Women's Foundation has created the Trillium Circles. These Circles honor donors who have achieved a cumulative record of outright gifts and pledges to MWF since its inception in 1986. We are very grateful to these individuals, corporations, and foundations who have played a major role in making our work possible.
Our since thanks to the over 900 individuals and organizations who made generous contributions to the work of the Foundation during the year ending 9/30/95.
Major Contributors: Liz Bauer, Hon. James Brickley & Joyce Braithwaite, Carole L. Chiamp, Robert Church, Julia Darlow, Teresa S. Decker, Katharine B. Democoeur, J. Kay Felt, Rebecca N. Fleischman, Beth Goebel, Paul Goebel, Pauline M. Hewitt, Barbara Hill, Pearl Holforty, Irma Elder, Kyle & Earle Smith Irwin, Calvin & Shirley Jeter, Barbara Labadie, Joan Lovell, Hon. Barbara Mackenzie, Florine Mark, Hon. William G. & Helen Milliken, Ruth Mott, ann Parfet, Peggy & Michael Pitt, Lana Pollack, Mary Jo Pulte, William Pulte, Hon. Maureen Pulte Reilly, Ritta Rosenberg, Norman & Dulcie Rosenfeld, Marilyn & Tom Steele, Jane & Edward Thomas, Marilyn Williamson, Kate Pew Wolters, Women in State Government, Robert & Aleicia Woodrick.
Special thanks to those who made contributions to this Fund, which was established in memory of our Executive Director, Susan Church. This endowment fund, initiated with a gift from the Frey Foundation, is designated to projects that improve the well-being of Michigan girls.
96 Contributors Identified...
All-Star Printing / Ambleside Gallery / Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan / Community Foundation of Greater Flint / Detroit Edison / Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C. / Lindsay Gardner / GM Foundation / Beth Goebel / Florine Mark / Meijer, Inc. / Michigan National Bank / NBD Bank
Too numerous to list.
Too numerous to list.
Too numerous to list.
Too numerous to list.
With an eye toward an exciting 1996, the Michigan Women's Foundation is recruiting volunteers for a variety of activities and tasks. If you are already a volunteer or would like to become a volunteer, read on! Some examples of our volunteer needs for 1996 include:
Public Relations: writers, public speakers, graphic designers, photographers, and individuals with marketing experience.
Special Events: Day of event volunteers, and individuals to serve on planning committees.
Fundraising: Mailing assistance, and individuals willing to work on opening up new workplaces or serving as a liaison between MWF and their workplace.
Technical Assistance: Individuals with specific nonprofit management, accounting, or fundraising skills willing to work with other women's nonprofit agencies as the need arises.
Internships: MWF accepts one intern per academic semester.
If you are interested in these volunteer opportunities, please call our office: (517) 374/7270.
We're in the process of updating our mailing list. If we haven't heard from you since 1993, your name will be deleted from our mailing list. We don't want to get rid of you -- so please return the following form if you still want to receive our newsletter!
In 1994, MWF received a grant from the Nokomis Foundation to compile a report on women's health issues, with the objective to evaluate the role that health issues play in women's lives. The Fragmented Woman is the culmination of a full year of research and writing about the status of Michigan women's health, and this report confirms our initial beliefs that health issues are intertwined with the ability of women to achieve personal and economic self-sufficiency.
The 62-page report covers topics such as: access to care, nutrition, heart disease, cancer, reproductive health, menopause, mental health, and substance abuse. The primary conclusions of the report are:
MWF, in partnership with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, the Metro Health Foundation and the Michigan Department of Public Health, has begun funding projects aimed specifically at tending some of the systemic problems in the health care system related to the fragmentation of services for women. In 1995, grants totalling $100,000 were made through this partnership to Alternatives for Girls in Detroit and the Berrien County YWCA.
MWF is in the early stages of the second year of the Women's Health Funding Initiative. For more information, or to receive a copy of the report ($10 each) please contact the MWF office.
HIV and AIDS
The committee of the Kent County Girls Community Initiative is off and running! Fifteen young women were selected this summer to serve on the committee, which began meeting in September. through a grant from the Frey Foundation, these girls will be giving away $20,000 annually to programs in Kent County serving girls and young women. In the process, they will be gaining leadership skills nd experience in philanthropy. Committee members include: Crystal Andrews, East Kentwood High School; Katie Bode, Catholic Central; Elsie Boncher, Caledonia Middle School; Caroline Crawford, Northview High School; Rachel Dooley, Catholic Central; Laura Furst, Caledonia High School; Linda Karadsheh, East Kentwood High School; Missy Lake, Rockford Senior High School; Elizabeth Luong, Rogers High School; Leslie Manning, Excalibur Prep; Tracey O'Neill, Northview High School; Kreena Padron, Excalibur Prep; Leslie Rusche, Kenowa Hills High School; Kelly Steelman, Northview High School; and Lena Zwarensteyn, East Kentwood High School.
The committee will be trained in teamwork, girls' needs and issues, and philanthropy and grantmaking. They will use this knowledge to set funding priorities and guidelines and create a request for proposals. The reviewing of proposals and final decisions will be made solely by the young women of the committee. Requests for proposals should be released in November and grants will be made in March or April. If you have any questions about the Initiative or wish to be on the RFP mailing list, please contact Karen Schoneman, MWF Project Associate.
Bobbie S. Butler, Equal Employment Officer, Michigan Department of Corrections
Hilda Patricia Curran, Michigan Department of Labor
Teresa S. Decker, Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett
J. Kay Felt, Dykema Gossett
Judith C. Frey, President, The Issue Network Group, Social/Political Activist
Linda M. Gobler, President, Michigan Grocers Association
Beth Goebel, Executive Director, Dyer-Ives Foundation
Pearl M. Holforty, C.P.A., CEO, Liberty BIDCO
Kay Hunt, Detroit Edison Foundation
Mildred M. Jeffrey, Board of Governors, Wayne State University (Emerita)
Florine Mark, President, The WW Group Inc.
Helen W. Milliken, Community Leader and Activist
Marjorie Peebles-Meyers, M.D., Chief Physician, Ford Motor Company (retired)
Lana Pollak, State Senator, 18th District
Tish Preston, Senior Associate, Henry Ford Health Care Corporation
Mary Jo Pulte, Owner, The Lodge at Yarrow
Maureen P. Reilly, Judge, Michigan Court of Appeals
Tessie Baltrip Sharp, Assistant to the Provost, Wayne State University
Marylin H. Steele, Ph.D., C.S. Mott Foundation (retired)
Jane R. Thomas, Ph.D., School of Medicine - Wayne State University
Sandra Bitonti Stewart, Executive Director
Andrea Piotrowski, Development Director
Karen Schoneman, Project Associate
Nicole La Rosa, Office Aide