The women received the money at The Lincoln-Way Area Business Women’s Organization annual Scholarship Award Night, which was held on June 20 at Gatto’s Italian Restaurant & Bar in New Lenox.
The Lincoln-Way Area Business Women’s Organization is a network of more than 60 women living in the in the Frankfort, New Lenox, Manhattan and Mokena areas, according to the organization’s website.
Last year the organization gave $1,000 to 24 young women, so it was happy to increase both the amount awarded and the number of women it could serve, Jennifer M. McManus, a spokesperson for the organization said.
Here are the 2023 LWABWO scholarship recipients: Gianna Arizzi, Caslyn Battin, Gianna Cox, Brooke Croix, Ashley Doerr, Katherine Ehmen, Anna Fritz, Alexa Gilboe, Hailey Godbout. Alyssa Gorski, Elizabeth Hirschbeck. April Kamba, Riley Knoop, Tori Kozlowski, Emily Langlois, Olivia Langlois, Victoria Lucarelli, Ella Maldonado, Alyssa Maves, Kiera McClelland, Faith Nagy, Annalina Nelson, Maureen O’Brien, Madison Plesek, Margaret Schwerha, Sara Selph, Ellie Slowiak, Kealey Wujcik, WenLi Zekich and Anna Zheng.
About half of its 60-plus applicants were interviewed by members of the organization, McManus said.
The Lincoln-Way Area Business Women’s Organization was founded in 1970 in order to raise money for scholarships for women. These can be a graduating senior who will be attending a college, university, trade school or junior college or a woman in the community who is continuing her education, according to the organization’s website.
Most of the money for scholarships was raised through its annual holiday auction fundraiser, which was held Dec. 7, 2022, at the Harry E. Anderson VFW Post 9545 in New Lenox. McManus said the auction raised $28.000.
The Lincoln-Way Area Business Women’s Organization also raised about $1,100 each time from its online popcorn popup store, which was offered in October and then again before the Super Bowl, McManus said.
In addition, The Lincoln-Way Area Business Women’s Organization received a donation from a Ladies Night event in August 2022. It also received about $3,200 in November from a “shop local” community social event, she said.
“And then we do have a spring raffle that raised enough for just one scholarship,” McManus said.
In addition to raising scholarship money, McManus said. The Lincoln-Way Area Business Women’s Organization also performs “acts of kindness,” such as giving “toiletries to the troops” and donating to local food pantries, she said.
McManus said members of The Lincoln-Way Area Business Women’s Organization are women in business although they do not necessarily own businesses. McManus said she learned about the group from a friend and joined in 2012.
McManus said she was new in town at the time and found that The Lincoln-Way Area Business Women’s Organization was a wonderful way to meet people in her community.
“I would never have met these women had I not been involved in this group,” McManus said.
For information, visit lwabwo.org.