October 25th, 2019

Women’s Fund: Cultivating Confidence, Building Skills

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Learn more about the impact of local organizations supported by the Women’s Fund.  At our recent annual Women’s Fund Luncheon Janet Cotraccia, Chief Impact Officer, shared several examples.  Stories of individuals with a vision for how to solve complex problems, and women who have boldly participated in programs, shared new skills that they’ve learned and transformed the future for their children, their families, their neighborhoods and our communities.


2019 Cultivating Confidence, Building Skills 

The Women’s Fund Advisory Committee has been diving deep into learning more about the needs of local women.  They’ve been visiting programs and coming away feeling inspired with a desire to share this inspiration.  Here is more from two organizations and the innovative work they have been carrying out with the support of the Women’s Fund.  


Groundswell Women

Elizabeth Gabriel, Executive Director, of the Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming . Two years ago, the Women’s Fund supported their women-built wash-station at their Incubator Farm, many of whom were  refugees or were learning English as a New language.  Last year another grant supported a range of workshops such as a hands-on carpentry, supporting women to build individual capacity, self-sufficiency and confidence. Elizabeth’s passion for food production and equitable food access led her to transform a baseball field into a productive urban farm in Washington DC over a decade ago.  In 2016, she brought her collaborative style and hard working attitude to Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming, as the organization’s second Executive Director. She has led the organization on a path to re-center their commitment on equity while continuing to train and engage new farmers.   




CIU graduates WF lunch ppt

Suzanne Burnham, Academic Outreach and Program Coordinator , for College Initiative Upstate (a program of O.A.R. of Tompkins County). This program provides personalized support for women to tear down the barriers to education and lift up their potential, providing new skills and access to education, facilitating resiliency, and opening the door to new levels of confidence and capacity.  Suzanne is passionate about facilitating access to higher education for people who have been previously incarcerated, or are court involved; She is also passionate in her vocation to “love her neighbor as herself.”



Heidi Goldstein Honored for Volunteer Work with Laura Holmberg Award

Heidi Goldstein, founder of a project that delivers food to needy families has been awarded the 2019 Laura Holmberg Award, presented by the Women’s Fund of Tompkins County. The award, which recognized unsung heroes in the community was established by Anna Holmberg, an attorney with Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP in remembrance of her mother.


WF lunch Phoebe 

Women’s Fund 

 Learn more about the Women’s Fund and the important work building healthy communities; promoting educational, economic, and social equality for women.  Find out more under our funds section