Summer Luncheons Offer Insights

Three summer lunches were sponsored by the Women to Women Giving Circle. The theme was “What Matters to Us?” and the idea was simply to foster conversation and connections. The response was overwhelming, with each lunch exceeding the 20-person goal. 

Dianne Schultz, CEO of The Baby Fold, was the July 8 kickoff speaker. She talked about issues related to children and families under stress. The group talked a lot about school readiness as an important theme requiring cooperative effort. Several championed Promise Councils and other mentoring programs. Little things can mean a lot: What can each of us do outside of the school day to support young moms and kids?

Beth Robb, retired chief judge, began the July 15 conversation by speaking about the philosophy of giving which she and husband Alan Sender have been working on. The couple focuses on local impact and sustainable programs. Others in the group talked about being involved and knowing where donated dollars are going. A participant shared the idea of teaching younger family members about the joy of giving through giving dollars to them to make their own gifts to a charity, and tell why. Nature, creating community, building hope. We loved talking about what matters to our philanthropic selves.

July 22 was the concluding lunch, led by Camille Rodriguez, McLean County Administrator. Camille opened with her personal story of being “the only little brown girl in Oshkosh, Wis.” That opened up the importance of sharing our stories and listening to others. After all, how does one really know another unless she listens? Group members shared why they are who they are, with many remembering a mom or a mentor who had gone the extra mile for them. The final lunch included a moment of silence remembering charter member Nancy Froelich, whose emphasis on collaborative problem-solving is a value we share.

Winter lunches are being planned!