February 28, 2024
Local News

Women United raises $62K for early literacy programs

GURNEE – More than 165 women joined forces virtually Nov. 8 to raise $62,000 in support of early literacy programs that will ensure the foundation for strong and successful academic futures for Lake County’s most vulnerable children.

The money was raised through Women United’s signature fundraising event, Power of the Purse. The traditional champagne brunch was reimagined this year because of the pandemic. Power of the Purse turned into an online shopping experience featuring more than 50 designer bags and 20 silent auction purses, baskets and items.

Women also could help send underserved children to a Summer BOOST learning program for incoming kindergarten students with little to no preschool experience, as well as buy books and toys for preschool learning centers in Lake County’s low-income communities.

“We are thrilled about the success of this year’s Power of the Purse event, which surpassed our fundraising goals,” event Chair Judy Kotsiopoulos said in a news release. “While we were not able to be together in person due to the pandemic, we worked hard to transform this year’s event into a fun online experience knowing that our local children have never needed us more. We are extremely grateful for the generous support of Women United members and their friends who make this event possible every year.”

The Little Kids, Big Futures Fund is directed by members, and since 2014 nearly $700,000 has been raised and granted for early literacy programs with the goal of creating lasting change in Lake County.

United Way of Lake County recognizes the sponsors for this year’s event. Platinum sponsor was P&G. Gold sponsor was Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital nurses. Premium sponsor was High-Impact Consulting. Buy a Book, Build a Future sponsors were Kendra Scott, Taylor Enterprises and Nichols Crane Rental. Invitation sponsor was Great Lakes Credit Union. Buy a Supply Pack, Prepare a Kid for School sponsor was Bank of America. Buy a Toy, Build a Learning Center sponsors were Sysmex, Harris & Harris, Erin Cartwright-Weinstein, Mary Ellen Vanderventer, Holly Kim and Robin O’Connor. Kindergarten Summer BOOST learning program sponsors were JSS College Counseling and Frances Simons. Photography sponsor was photos.by.dev. Thank You sponsors were Pet Factory, Ericka Gorman - Great Lakes Credit Union, Waukegan Tire & Supply, Austin’s Saloon & Eatery and Patrice Maloney-Knauff.

To learn more about membership in Women United, join the Wine & Learn prospective member event from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9.

For more information, email Diana Nielander, manager of Women United, at Diana.Nielander@uwlakeco.org.