Foundation passes hat for women’s education
In 1976, a group of like-minded women formed a foundation to help other women get back into school and earn college degrees. Thirty years later, a new group of women, many of them young enough to be the founders’ daughters, are preparing to carry on their legacy.
The Jeanette Rankin Foundation, which awarded 78 scholarships this year to low-income women over the age of 35 who are going back to college to finish their degrees, held its 30th annual High Hat Tea & Silent Auction to help raise money for the foundation’s endowment. Close to 80 people, all donning their most whimsical hats, attended the tea. And about a fourth of them were under 35 and experiencing the tea for only the first or second time.
“We have attracted a lot more young people to the foundation in the last couple of years,” said Margaret Holt, one of the foundation’s founders. “But there has always been diversity in the political direction, age and everything in our membership.”
This was first time attending the tea for Katie Hooper, who is about as old as the organization itself. Originally, she was drawn to the event because it gave her a chance to show off her hat – a black straw number embellished with a 4-foot long pheasant feather – but it’s also good to find of group of people who feel that education is as important as she feels it is.
“These women (who started the foundation) want it to last and they want to share it with new members,” Hooper said.
“Things have to be multi-generational if they’re going to continue to work, and I think they realize that,” added Halene Halstead, who attended the tea with Hooper.
The tea is one of the foundation’s largest annual fundraisers.
The foundation began with the $16,000 bequest of Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress. The endowment now is valued at $700,000.
Laura Bierema, the foundation’s president, said that some of the money the foundation raises this year will be used to launch a nation-wide fundraising effort.
The foundation now receives most of its funding from donors in the Atlanta and Athens area.
JRF Awarded a Silver Addy
ATHENS, Ga. (March 21st, 2006)— The 2006 Jeannette Rankin Foundation Calendar, “Women Succeeding Through Education” earned a Silver Addy for excellence from the Athens Advertising Federation. The Addy Awards are the world’s largest and arguably toughest advertising competition. They recognize the true spirit of creative excellence by recognizing all forms of advertising. The calendar tells about the work of the foundation through 12 JRF recipients, each with a story and photo throughout the year.
The calendar was made possible with the help of the sponsors: Change Partners LLC, Kay Giese & David Sweat, Plato’s Closet, Plexus Web Creations, The Georgian Press, Chastain, Jenkins & Leathers LLC, and The Leaders Real Estate Group. Other contributors to the project were McGinnis Leathers, photography; Tim Rogan, design; Allyn Jenkins, typography; Yvonne Williams, production; and Sue Lawrence, art direction.
The Jeannette Rankin Foundation (JRF) is a nonprofit organization that awards grants to low-income women, ages 35 and older, who are pursuing a college education. Since 1976, JRF has awarded grants to 442 women. JRF supports success as 80 percent of recipients have either graduated or are still in school.