Wednesday, August 31, 2011

women’s equality day

Women’s Equality Day is a day proclaimed each year by the President of the United States to celebrate the adoption of the 19th Amendment, which on August 26th, 1920 gave women in the US the right to vote. It is a day to celebrate the achievements of suffragists and allies throughout history who fought for, and are still fighting for, gender equality in this country. ywca clark county didn’t wasted any time in recognizing this important day and organized a league of women’s voter branch in 1920. 91 years later, ywca continues to work toward empowering women and supporting equal rights. The Women’s Economic Justice (WEJ) Work Group, a subcommittee of the ywca Public Policy Committee is committed to discussing and taking a stand on issues related to women’s economic justice with programming, written appeals, and community partnerships. The following interview with Susan Lalone, Public Policy Committee Member tells a bit more about the 19th amendment and why it’s so important.

How long had the 19th Amendment been in the making?

Beginning in 1848, at the Seneca Falls Convention in New York, the struggle for women’s right to vote nationwide officially began. In 1869 prominent activists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood in opposition to the 15th Amendment giving African American men the right to vote, as it did not give equal rights to women. Finally in 1920, the 19th Amendment was adopted which prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex.

How long has Women’s Equality Day been celebrated?

In 1971 U.S. Representative Bella Abzug introduced a resolution into Congress making August 26th Women’s Equality Day. Since then, every President has reinforced this with a Presidential Proclamation.

Is Women’s Equality Day strictly about voting rights?

The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.

How does ywca clark county celebrate Women’s Equality Day?

This year on August 26th, ywca clark county sponsored an open forum featuring three local women prominent in Clark County’s political and social arenas. The panel of speakers included Dena Horton, ywca Board Member and local citizen advocate, Tanisha  Harris, Secretary of the 17th Legislative District of the Democratic Party and Jeanne Harris, Vancouver City Council Member. Topics discussed included:

  • Women in Washington State & Federal political leadership
  • Barriers to women in politics
  • Suggestions for increasing women’s representation in government
  • Feminism, horizontal hostility and other factors affecting politics for women

In addition to the panelists, Kimberly Pincheira, a staff member from Senator Maria Cantwell’s office, presented a letter written by the Senator. In her letter, Senator Cantwell reminds us that the struggle for equality is not over.

“Women’s political power has never been a sure thing. Our gains have been built on the back-breaking labor of the generations who came before us to carve out a just and equitable position in society. Today I encourage everyone to remember those pioneers whose bravery and determination in the face of ignorance made it possible for young girls to find role models in the highest chambers of our country’s political system.”

How can you help?

Though the scales of justice are more balanced than they have ever been for women, the fact remains that only 17 percent of national legislative seats are held by women. The struggle is not over and your help is needed to create a more just society.

You can make a difference by becoming involved.

Vote. It is your right and responsibility.
Educate yourself about issues facing women, minorities, and other marginalized communities.
Become involved with ywca clark county and start making a difference in your community. For more information visit

Beaches Cruisin’ benefits ywca clark county

ywca clark county’s Y’s Care Program is happy to have received a $10,000 donation from the Beaches Summer Cruisin’ on July 27th.

Beaches Restaurant and Bar, owned by Mark Matthias, is known not only for their great food, service and views, but also for their generous giving efforts to community. This year Beaches Cruisin’ goal is to raise over $200,000 for local charities which support children in our community.

Y’s Care is grateful to Mark Mathias, Beaches and all the volunteers, sponsors and partners who have made this contribution possible. “We so appreciate Mark’s continued support of our pre school program. Many children will be able to get scholarships thanks to his generosity,” said Leah Reitz, Y’s Care Director.

About Y’s Care
The ywca Y’s Care Program provides high-quality preschool education to children ages 2.5 to 5 from homeless, transitioning, or low-income circumstances. Y’s Care Children’s Program focuses on kindergarten readiness and social skills, and also has dedicated parent-teacher partnerships and offers opportunities for parent education and involvement via classes, events, and individualized support service.

About ywca clark county
ywca clark county’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. ywca clark county serves more than 11,000 people each year who are victims of domestic violence, homelessness, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect, and oppression, as well as youth in foster care and incarcerated women.


For more information, contact:
Sharon Svec, Communications Specialist
360-906-9153 or

Leah Reitz, Y’s Care Program Director
360-906-9128 or

August 2011 Y's Words

I have been blessed, and I am excited to give back to the community through service to ywca. I have a political science background, experience as congressional staff, communications and public relations skills, and experience in political party leadership. I have legislative advocacy and campaign experience as well. I look forward to using all my skills and contacts to be an effective legislative advocate and strong voice of support for the programs and employees of this outstanding organization. Recently, I joined the Public Policy Committee and was asked to help on behalf of the CASA program.

Nationally, the CASA program suffered cuts of approximately 17% in the FY 2011 Justice Department budget which impacts 2,500 to 2,900 vulnerable children in need of advocacy. As a ywca clark county board member, I attended Rep. Herrera Beutler’s town hall meeting to voice my support for restoring the CASA funding back to $15 million for the FY 2012 budget.  I spoke with her district director and I also took the time to write to Rep. Herrera Beutler’s office as well. I hope that others will join in support of the CASA Program and all the programs of ywca clark county by assisting with efforts to engage the state and federal legislators at every opportunity.

I take my involvement at ywca clark county very personally. You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I was molested twice by the time I was eight years old.  Fortunately, I had a wonderful family support system and was able to put the incidents behind me and create a happy and successful life.  However, many others are not as fortunate.  As a survivor and as someone who has the ability and time, I see serving on the board not only as a personal responsibility, but also as a tremendous honor.  I am continually humbled by the commitment, dedication, and compassion demonstrated by the management, staff, board, supporters, and donors of ywca.  As you read this newsletter, I hope you enjoy learning about the programs and events, and that you are inspired to apply your talents, efforts, and resources in support of ywca clark county.

-Dena Horton, ywca board member

community foundation provides over $350,000 to ywca programs in 10 years

It is said that in times of great need comes great innovation. This was the case in 1984 when the economy, much like today, was in a recession and support at the state and federal levels was decreasing. Our community was struggling and searching for ways to improve the livability of its members, and from this hardship emerged great leaders who believed in the power of local philanthropy; thus, The Community Foundation for Southwest Washington was born.

“The entrepreneurial spirit of those local leaders coupled with the generosity and compassion of many who supported them in establishing the Community Foundation continues to live on,” notes Anne Digenis, Donor Services and Grants Manager. “Especially in these times of economic hardship, we feel fortunate to have an ongoing role in positively impacting the lives of countless people in need in our community. The clear vision of those who came before us serves as an example of how we all, working together, can make a big difference.”

Jump forward 25 years, and the Community Foundation continues to be a backbone of support for local nonprofits serving vulnerable populations – nonprofits like ywca clark county. Our partnership with the Community Foundation spans over a decade, and in that time the Community Foundation has generously granted over $350,000 to ywca programs. Together we have sheltered victims of domestic violence, provided stability to homeless preschoolers, advocated for abused and neglected children, created a catalyst of social change in neighboring communities, and taught independence to youth aging out of foster care.

This year, ywca again received funding to improve the lives of children and families in our community. On June 22nd, ywca clark county received two grants from two separate charitable funds held at the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington. $14,572 was awarded from the Community Giving Fund to the ywca’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program to increase advocacy for abused and neglected children, and $5,000 was awarded from the Children’s Trust Fund to the Y’s Care Children’s Program to initiate the Music Matters Project which will provide a music-focused curriculum for preschool children.

“We are proud to work with nonprofits such as ywca clark county, who wisely use the funds we invest in their programs. We will continue to connect our grantmaking priorities and our donor’s passions and resources to community needs, furthering our vision to inspire even stronger partnerships and growth in charitable giving.”

Thursday, August 11, 2011

ywca scores at golf benefit

Wilcox & Flegel Oil Company
The Third Annual Classic Wines Auction Charity Golf Tournament was held on August 8th at Columbia Edgewater Country Club. The weather was spectacular for this year’s event and the day proved to be both sunny and exciting as both teams representing ywca clark county played amazingly well and won the two 1st place awards.

  • Wilcox & Flegel Oil Company won 1st place gross
  • Team ywca clark county won 1st place net

Team ywca clark county
This annual event is the kickoff for a year’s worth of endeavors leading up to the signature event, the Classic Wines Auction, in March. In addition to a beautiful course that impresses even the most elite golfer, the tournament included wine sampling, a $75 voucher for the Nike Experience, and hole-in-one prizes worth $10,000 cash provided by KeyBank and a luxury automobile provided by Kuni BMW.

To learn more about Classic Wines Auction golf tournament or register your own foursome in next year’s tournament, please contact Shawna Burkholder, Director of Development: 360 906 9123 or