This year Severna Park Womenade celebrates its fifth year of assisting local women in temporary need due to illness, the economy and other unexpected reversals.
The group is an offshoot of Annapolis Womenade which was started in 2001. "It started in Annapolis but after about five years we realized that the group was just getting too large to be hosted in private homes," said founding member Liz Montaner. "That's when Carolie Noyes, Livie McCleary and Linda Schaible and I put our heads together and decided to start a Severna Park branch. It has really exceeded our wildest expectations."
The group now boasts more than 100 members, all residents of Severna Park. Thus far it has given more than $30,000 to women in temporary distress. A social worker from from Anne Arundel County assesses each request and then makes recommendations to the Womenade board on who should receive funds.
"We've been able to help women who can't get to work because they can't pay for a car repair, women whose children are in need of a bed or medicine and women who can't pay their heating bills. Most recently we paid the fee for a young mother to take a medical technician exam so that she could find work. And she has," Montaner said. "Our goal is to be able to step in and give temporary help so that women who are facing immediate crisis can receive immediate assistance with little to no red tape."
All of the funds disbursed are given directly to the provider of the service, whether it's an auto repair shop or the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. Only one grant per year is given to any single individual. The idea has become somewhat of a national sensation with more than 50 Womenade organizations across the country.
More than 75 women attended last week's meeting at Kim Lank's sensational waterfront home in Linstead. Some who attended included Miriam Morrow, Cindy Schaefer, Kristyn Kuhn, Joan Duffy, Karen Strange, Debbie Howard, Sharon Flagler, Ann Lloyd, Lisa Krawchyk, Jodi Meisenberg, Maureen O'Brien, Ann Danneberger, Peggy O'Connor and many more.