OGLESBY — On Nov. 19, the Women Inspired Network, or WIN, held its final celebration of the year, the Women Inspired Network Celebration of Giving, at Senica’s Deer Park Golf Club in Oglseby.
The Celebration of Giving was held to present awards to this year’s grant recipients — Starved Rock Regional Center in Ottawa, Freedom House of Princeton and ADV SAS, a group that provides counseling for victims of domestic and sexual violence in LaSalle and Livingston counties. The grants totaled $9,500 and all recipients were voted on by members of the Women Inspired Network over the course of a few weeks.
The Starved Rock Regional Center of Ottawa received $500 to advance its Illinois Valley Autism Resource Center, which provides much needed resources such as books and kits for families with Autistic children to use.
ADV SAS received $2,500 to help fund its initiative to increase domestic violence awareness with brochures and other forms of advertising. Before receiving the grant, residents of Mendota, LaSalle and Peru were being seen in local libraries and schools because there was no physical location for them to meet. Now, ADV SAS have been awarded a new office in the area for which they will use some of its grant money to help furnish and prepare for residents in need.
Freedom House of Princeton received the highest award of the evening, $6,500, to further fund its Youth Empowerment Program. This program offers a series of five week-long summer camps for preteen boys and girls, aged 9-12, that helps them improve self-esteem, promotes a positive body image, and teaches them how to deal with peer pressure and prevent bullying.
The evening not only included grant presentations, but also offered attendees the chance to hear Annette Schnabel, CEO of Perry Memorial Hospital, speak and present awards. Pamela Beckett, WIN founding member and president of the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation, also spoke about the journey she and the members of WIN have been on since its establishment only a year ago. Founding member Cheri Reynolds also spoke about the strides the initiative has made in such a short amount of time and gave thanks to all those involved.
Unfortunately, the scheduled distinguished speaker, administrative law judge Melissa Olivero, was unable to attend, but expressed her support and admiration for the Women Inspired Network and everything they do for Starved Rock Country.
To learn about more about WIN and how to become involved, visit srccf.org.
WIN will be offering more grant rewards next year to the organizations in Starved Rock Country that members wish to help.