Delaware First Lady Carla Markell was singled out this morning for her generosity, volunteerism and commitment to the community.
Markell is the ninth recipient of the the Fund for Women's First Founders Award.
"She's been very supportive of the Fund for Women for years," said Michele Whetsil, FFW chair. "[Markell] has a history of a lot of charity work and getting others to get involved in philanthropy and helping out, and she certainly embodies that."
June Peterson, wife of former governor Russell Peterson, presented the award to Markell at the Wilmington Country Club on Wednesday. She said she wanted to return the favor since Markell presented Peterson with her First Founders Award in 2010.
"The Fund for Women is an amazing organization that has reached our community on so many different levels," Markell said. "It's definitely an honor to be chosen to receive this award. It's very humbling because there are so many women who work really hard in our state every day."
Fund for Women History
Sixteen women established the fund in 1993 to financially support programs and nonprofits that benefit women and girls in Delaware. Each "First Founder" contributed $1,000 towards a $1 million endowment held by the Delaware Community Foundation. They also vowed to recruit 1,000 additional members.
One year after its founding, the FFW awarded its first $2,500 grants to two nonprofits. Twenty-two years later, more than 1,500 women, men and organizations have become "founders," the endowment exceeds $3.2 million and approximately $2 million in grants was awarded to 13 grantees throughout the state.
The FFW's mission has also expanded to include advocacy work on behalf of women and girls in the community.
"When I see how many organizations they reach, and how many nonprofits they are able to commit to and how many lives are affected in a positive way by those organizations -- it isn't about us, it isn't about me, it's about the people we can help," Markell said. "If we can get people of privilege and people who have been given many gifts to be able to give a little bit more to help others, it's truly a privilege."
Fund for Women Day
With Carla alongside, Gov. Jack Markell proclaimed Sept. 30 as "Fund for Women Day." He presented the statewide proclamation to FFW members on Wednesday afternoon in Dover.
Fund for Women Day was celebrated with event hosted in each of the state's three counties.