As organizers emerge from the past year’s fundraising challenges, they are amazing themselves with the resilience of their membership. Case in point was the Northwood Woman’s Club’s “Give It Away” luncheon at Northwood Country Club on Thursday, May 27, when they closed the 2020 books with check presentations and handed over the gavel literally to the 2021 leadership . While the leadership change went seamlessly, the checks had a bit of a hiccup. More about that later.
As 2020-2021 NWC President Paula Austell started the day’s program, she warned the nearly 200 guests to silence their phones. If one interrupted the goings-on, the owner would pay the piper with a dance. With that there was the expected grabbing of purses and muting of phones. But when a cellphone sounded minutes later, everyone looked for the culprit. It was then that Paula left the stage to claim it was hers and promptly did a jig. Interestingly, she would dance a couple more times during the program due to her failed efforts to turn it off.
But it wasn’t all laughs. In addition to handing out more than $257K in grants and scholarships, there was a poignant moment when Jerry Andrews was called to the stage. His wife of 64 years, Lanette Andrews, had been a longtime active member of NWC before her death in 2019. As part of his continuing her legacy, Jerry had arranged to have his two daughters and two granddaughters become members of the club.
As for the presentation of the funds, Paula, Philanthropy Director Liz Martin and Liaison to the 2021 Beneficiaries Carmyn Neely presented five checks totaling $214,054.44* to the following beneficiaries:
- ManeGait Therapeutic Horsemanship – $30,000
- Youth With Faces – $40,000
- Mommies in Need – $50,000
- Bonton Farms — $50,000
- Northwood Woman’s Club Scholarship Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas – $34,000
Next up was the distribution $42,800 in scholarships to the following:
- Ashlee Nunez – $5,000
- Vanesa Trejo – $5,000
- Teresa Acosta – $5,000
- Julianna Cruz – $5,000
- Iman Baraso – $5,000
- Rooha Hagar – $5,000
- Emily Sedaghatfar -$6,400
- Christine Lindsey – $6,400
Then Carmyn announced that anonymous donors had made gifts of $10,644 honoring NWC 2019-2020 President Jan Folmar and Paula to the programs of their choices. Jan’s selection was a $5,000 honorary NWC Scholarship Fund at Communities Foundation of Texas for Emily Ayoubi and, according to Liz, “Paula choose [sic] to give an honorary scholarship to UT Dallas in the amount of $2,500 [for Lexi Jenson] plus $3,500 to Callier Center for Communication Disorders.”*
Paula revealed the recipient of the Mary Mc Award was out of town, but Paula played a videoed surprise presentation at Barbara Kutz’s home the week before. When asked where she was going, Barbara answered, “I’m going to Disney World!”
When Sharon Stapleton’s name was announced as the recipient of the President’s Award, the membership showed their approval of the choice with immediate applause as a surprised Sharon accepted the award.
After Paula presented key committee members with gifts, she swore in Phyllis Farragut as the 2021-2022 president and her 30+ member committee.
For a look or two or three of the checks and awards presented, head on over to MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.
* We apologize if these numbers aren't reflected in the checks. We reached out to the Northwood Woman's Club and they responded,
We were in error on the Grand Total Check to the Beneficiaries and you caught it. I’m so sorry to have put you through all of this. As to the amount on the presentation check presented to UTDallas in honor of Paula Austell, That is the full amount that went to UTD. Of that amount $2,500 was presented to Lexie in a scholarship certificate in honor of Paula Austell and $3,000 was given to Callier in her honor There were dividend amounts that went to the Endowment Fund.
“I must apologize that I have just realized that The Grand Total check is wrong 😑, but since we have it there in the photo, I can only say to go with that amount for the Beneficiaries. Then add that we gave an additional amount of $42,600 in the 8 Scholarships. (2) totaling $12,600 UTD and (6) totaling $30,000 CFT.
“I hope this makes a little bit of sense. And I’m so sorry to have you go thru all of this. Until you sent the pictures, I didn’t realize where the problem lay… right at our doorstep!
Editor’s note: Liz’s $42,600 in scholarships was off a bit. There were actually seven scholarships @$5,000 ($35,000), three UTD scholarships totaling $15,300 and a $3,000 gift for Callier resulting in the following numbers:
- $204,000 (5 beneficiaries)
- $35,000 (7 CFT scholarships @$5,000)
- $15,300 (3 UTD scholarship with 2 @$6,400 and 1 @$2,500)
- $3,000 (gift for Callier)
- $257,300 TOTAL
The error on the presentation checks and confusion about the total should not take away from the work of the past year by the committee members that resulted in the legitimate checks benefiting the non-profits and scholars.