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At its recent annual meeting the City Federation of Women's Organizations (CFWO) celebrated the fifth anniversary of its Women Building Community (WBC) Grants and announced its future plans to make more resources and opportunities available.

"We have allocated $60,000, twice as much as in past annual cycles, because we've seen the impact WBC Grants can have, and because CFWO will now be operating as a private foundation," announced Diane Shafer, outgoing board president and Grants Committee member.

A new type of grant became available starting in June. 'WBC Unexpected Needs Grants up to $1000' is a rolling-application opportunity to help not-for-profits fund unexpected needs or emergencies.

On Thursday, September 6, CFWO will hold its annual Grants Information Session, 4:30-5:30 pm in the Tompkins County Public Library's BorgWarner Room. This meeting is scheduled to assist those interested in submitting applications due on September 21, or in the future.

CFWO's purpose is to act as a catalyst for the improvement of the lives of all Tompkins County women and girls, thus making a contribution to the community as a whole. Project areas considered for WBC Grant funding address needs and opportunities that improve the quality of life for area women and girls. One of the following criteria must be addressed: Community Development, Education, Health, Human Services, and Activities that address Gender Equity.

In its first five annual cycles, CFWO awarded 52 grants totaling $134,245 to 29 different organizations. Since last May 2017, CFWO made 12 WBC Grants in various amounts under $5,000 to 11 different organizations, and a WBC Innovation Grant of $10,000 to Mama's Comfort Camp. These grants totaled $31,690.

President Liz Colucci remarked, "The CFWO is poised and ready to launch its sixth grant cycle. With increased funding, three grant options, and an enthusiastic and engaged Board, we look forward to opportunities to support the many local organizations that work to improve the lives of women and girls in Tompkins County. We are continually impressed with the ideas for programs and activities to support women and girls that are presented to us, and as we learn more about the needs and associated gaps in services that support these activities, we will do our best to find ways to assist local organizations as effectively as we can."

In addition, CFWO will be working with Tompkins Cortland Community College to establish an endowed scholarship for women students to use for tuition and fees and/or for childcare. The CFWO Legacy Scholarship will honor the CFWO founding organizations and individuals.

Colucci expressed, "We are proud to continue the legacy and mission of the women who founded the CFWO 108 years ago to provide for "education, recreation, philanthropy, health, safety and civic betterment" of women and girls."

CFWO's Annual Meeting also included election of new officers: M. Elizabeth Colucci, president; Cora Yao, vice president; Susan Schattschneider, treasurer; Kathleen Yen, recording secretary and Diane Shafer, corresponding secretary. Three board members were thanked for their service as their terms concluded: Betty Falcao, Sally Grubb and Mary Grainger. Four new board members were welcomed: Ruth Hopkins, Alene Wyatt, Ellen Hartman and Jennifer Kozlowski.

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