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Women’s Giving Circle of Harford County celebrates 10 years

The Women’s Giving Circle of Harford County celebrated its 10th anniversary with a reception and dinner Oct. 19 at the Vandiver Inn.

Postponed a year because of the pandemic, the celebration recognized the philanthropic efforts of the 100 members, who collectively over the years have donated nearly $450,000 to nonprofits supporting women, children and families in Harford County, according to a news release.

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“I am so grateful for the opportunity to reconnect our members and to celebrate our history and the impact of our collective giving over the years,” said Donna Kreis, chair of the Women’s Giving Circle of Harford County, in the release. “This was an inspiring event which energized our members. I’m looking forward to our members sharing this passion with their friends to further grow our membership.”

Founded in 2010, the Women’s Giving Circle of Harford County is dedicated to engaging women of all generations in the power of community philanthropy to address the needs of women and families.

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At the 10th anniversary celebration, founders Jayne Klein and Marlene Lieb described the founding of the organization. Klein was serving on the board of the Community Foundation of Harford County and looking for a way to engage women in philanthropy. Her experience with the Baltimore Women’s Giving Circle encouraged her efforts to start a similar organization in Harford County. Lieb worked with Klein and Tami Zavislan (former executive director of the Community Foundation of Harford County) to establish the organization.

Within 10 months Klein and Lieb, recruited 53 members to join the Women’s Giving Circle of Harford County, including 16 founding members, according to the release.

In addition to Klein and Lieb, the founding members were Kathy Beck, Susie Bowser, Drew Cook, Julie Cox, Jodi Davis, Terri Garland, Pat Hogan, Jane Howe, Gretta McGill, Tamera Rush, Terry Troy, Kim Wagner, Debi Williams and Orsia Young.

At the event, Davis shared comments from various members about why they joined and the importance of the organization in the Harford County community. A video of thanks from grant recipients, coordinated by Karen Blandford and Yvette Valentin, was shown.

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Over the past 11 years, the Women’s Giving Circle has awarded 133 grants to 55 nonprofits in Harford County, totaling $445,582.86.

More information about the Women’s Giving Circle of Harford County may be found at www.wgchco.wildapricot.org.

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