Get the link for our live International Women's Day webcast; read about a special member connection to our featured grantee; and get ready for Chapter Leader Appreciation Month in April.
View this email in your browser
The Dish
8,000 Ambassadors

Be a Part of the Largest DFW Chapter Meeting Ever! 

What is our 8,000 Ambassadors Campaign?
As part of our 2020 Vision, we plan to expand the number of DFW chapters. This year, we want to add 96 new chapters across the U.S. The first phase of our chapter growth strategy is to harness the collective power of our members to spread the word about DFW -- that’s 8,000 ambassadors sharing their passion for DFW and helping us to grow!
What is happening on March 8?
March 8 is International Women’s Day, a great day to launch our 8,000 Ambassadors Campaign with the biggest DFW chapter meeting ever! All our chapters are encouraged to meet on March 8 in recognition of International Women’s Day and to join DFW’s live webcast. The details are:
When:  The program will start at 8:00 pm EST although you can access the link earlier so you are all ready to go. It will last about 20 minutes or so.
How:  Simply click on this link, or access it from the homepage of our website.  You can even go to this link now and set up a notification on your calendar.
What:  A nationwide, joint chapter meeting, where we will read DFW’s Dinner Affirmation together, watch the featured grantee video, and hear from one of our members who has a special connection to our featured grantee. We will also have an exciting announcement that you will not want to miss!
If your chapter is unable to meet on March 8, please join the live webcast on your home computer, tablet, or phone. The webcast will also be recorded for on-demand viewing. 
How can I help DFW grow?
Over the next few months, we ask you to brainstorm and plan with your chapter members how you can spread the word about DFW. We are mailing each chapter a toolbox with resource materials, including DFW rack cards and brochures, as well as a list of simple suggestions for actions you can take. We challenge each chapter member to select three actions from this list. If we all pitch in, we will meet our goal this year!
Make Some News
Many news media outlets will be looking for local stories to cover for International Women’s Day – it’s a great time to let them know about DFW and your local chapter. We have an easy-to-use template for you, along with tips for getting media coverage about DFW.  
Tell Us About Your Actions
We want to hear about your efforts to grow DFW and how they turned out. We want to share your successes so that we can learn from each other! Email and tell us about any actions you take.

DFW:  A Recipe for Connection and Purpose

President Beth Ellen Holimon talks about how we, as DFW members, are part of an empowering community that benefits US TOO.

Read Blog

Why Do 8,000 Members Matter?

DFW member Corinne Blakemore shares the power of DFW's 8,000 members and why chapter growth is important.

Read Blog

Our Featured Grantee for March: Caravan to Class

Caravan to Class
This month’s grantee operates in the Timbuktu region of Mali, a country where the literacy rate for women is only 20.2 percent. DFW’s grant of $42,260 will help former nomadic women develop basic literacy skills so they can improve their livelihoods and those of their families. Women will also know the joy and hope that comes with literacy, and will become strong advocates for educating their own children, thereby breaking the cycle of illiteracy.
Our conversation with Barry Hoffner,
Founder and Director of Caravan to Class, is here.

3 Things You Need to Know about our Featured Grantee

In the Timbuktu region, more than 77 percent of the population lives in severe poverty. The United Nations Development Program has ranked Mali 150 out of 155 in its gender inequality index.
The Female Adult Literacy project will promote self-sufficiency for women and girls by providing them with a greater ability to make decisions about personal and family health. Women who are literate can contribute to their families’ income and are better able to participate in local decision-making in their communities.
This project will teach 200 women basic reading, writing, and calculating skills in their own language. It will indirectly serve 1,000 family members and 6,750 individuals in 10 villages.
Eileen Rogers

A Special DFW Member Connection to our Featured Grantee

When DFW member Eileen Rogers celebrated a big birthday, she used it to impact the world. Read more about how Eileen’s “big wish” and this month’s featured grantee, Caravan to Class, are connected.

Read Blog

Proven Platter

The Proven Platter- Beans in Bean Mushroom Sauce
By Linda McElroy, DFW Recipe Curator and Chapter Leader of WA, Seattle-1

Humble beans are given the star treatment in this dish that represents a typical meal in Mali. Enjoy this vegan, gluten-free treat for good health!


Our Sustained Grantee for February:
Nepal Youth Foundation

Nepal Youth Foundation
DFW’s sustained funding grant to the Nepal Youth Foundation is increasing the employability and helping to end poverty of girls freed from the “Kamlari” system in Western Nepal. Kamlari is the centuries-old custom of selling young girls from impoverished families into bonded servitude. The sustained funding grant of $20,000 per year from 2016 – 2018 provides vocational skills for 90 girls, enabling them to support themselves and their families.
Learn More »

Appreciate Your Chapter Leader in April!

April is our first ever Chapter Leader Appreciation Month, and we hope each chapter will celebrate by giving their leaders a little extra attention and affection!  Need ideas? Click here. And please tell us why your chapter leaders are special. Send a line or two to, and we will include your comments in the April issue of The Dish.  In the meantime, here's a profile sent to us by Mary Crawley, member of our Recognition Committee, about the wonderful leaders of the GA, Tucker-1 chapter.

Read Chapter Leader Profile

Warmest Wishes for Retiring RL Ruth Bates

Ruth BatesDFW extends warmest wishes and gratitude to retiring Northeast Regional Leader (RL) Ruth Bates. Ruth has proven time and again to be willing to step in to help, no matter what the need. Though she minimizes her own contribution, Ruth said DFW has been an important way for her to give back.

“It means I'm helping a women or a girl educate herself and grow in so many areas,” she said. “I have been so blessed to have access to wonderful education, healthcare, food, and clean water. I just want to pay forward what I can of those blessings. It's so wonderful to see how the little I do gets aggregated to do something big. My working with so many wonderful women at Dining for Women has expanded my community and knowledge so much – for that I am so grateful. It's been wonderful watching Dining for Women grow through the past five years I've been involved with the home office and being part of the regional leadership team.”

Ruth previously led DFW’s virtual chapter. She joined DFW in 2011 and quickly determined it was a great fit for her. Ruth has taken on a variety of positions at DFW, including assisting with website maintenance.

“We want to thank Ruth for running our past virtual chapter and for the many hours she has spent helping volunteers with technology and other issues,” DFW President Beth Ellen Holimon said. “DFW and the Regional Leader Committee are better because of Ruth. We are going to miss her so much as part of our Regional Leader team and I am so grateful for her service as a leadership volunteer. We are where we are today because of people like Ruth.”

We are currently recruiting a new Northeast RL to replace Ruth. For more info and to apply for this volunteer position, go here.

Welcome to New RL Kathy Williams

Kathy Williams DFW welcomes Kathy Williams as a new Regional Leader (RL) for our Northeast Region, replacing Leslye Heilig who completed her term at the end of January. Kathy started the first MA, Holbrook chapter in the Boston area in 2014 after moving there to be near family. She continues to lead this chapter.

Kathy spent 30 years in the nursing field and now pursues her passion for cooking. She loves to travel internationally to cooking schools and now runs a cooking school for small groups in her home. Kathy also shares her talents by volunteering with DFW’s education team, writing about the customs and cuisine of countries where grantees are located, as well as assisting with recipe development.

“Women's rights have been a very important focus for me,” she said. “Dining for Women and all the members that I met have been inspiring and motivating. I hope to inspire and motivate women in the Northeast in order to promote awareness about Dining for Women and grow our chapters and membership.”

New Grant Cycle Opens

Our new grant cycle – for featured grants that will be awarded for the first half of 2018 – opens April 1. Organizations that meet our criteria can submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) online via our application page from April 1 - 24. Information on the grant criteria is available online. We know that many of our members have connections with potential grantees. Please share this information with them so we can continue to support wonderful organizations that are changing the lives of women and girls around the world.

A Special Thank You to Our Grant Selection Volunteers

DFW has two formal grant cycles each year. In each grant cycle, we select six featured grantees from the numerous applications we receive. Our last grant cycle broke records when we received 137 applications in October 2016. The average in 2015 was 90 applications, and in 2014 we received 70 applications in each cycle.

Many thanks to the hard work of the tireless volunteers on our Grant Selection Committee (GSC) who maintain DFW’s high standards of grant screening, research vetting, and evaluation. The DFW home office fields queries and questions about grants from all over the world. Our grant interns – DFW members Megan Pomphrey and Jessica Fowler -- assist the Director of Grants and Partnerships, Veena Khandke, in screening all grant applications. The recent surge in applications necessitated newly-recruited GSC members-in-training (Team 3) and retired GSC members to pitch in to evaluate grants, supervised by Susan Garrity, GSC Chair, and Veena Khandke. Below is a list of GSC volunteers -- please acknowledge their work and thank them for all their efforts.

Current members:
Jada Tullos Anderson, NC, Greensboro-9
Lynn Broadbent, VA, Fairfax Station-1
Harriet Dichter, PA, Philadelphia-4
Kathryn Duffield, GA, Atlanta-7
Cindy Dyballa, DC, Washington-4
Stephanie Kelly, MA, Amherst-1
Sandy Lease, TX, Houston-6
Susan Malick, VA, Vienna-1
Lynn O'Connell, VA, Alexandria-3
Scott Osborne, FL, Sarasota-1
Retired GSC members:            
Corinne Blakemore, IN, South Bend-1
Janine Baumgartner, NC, Asheville-1
Susan Garrity, CA, San Jose-4
Karen O'Brien, OH, Toledo-6
Team 3
Debra Baldauff, AZ, Phoenix-2
Linda Baxter, MA, Great Barrington-1
Brighid Blake, PA, Philadelphia-4
Clare O'Brien, MA, Westford-1

GPOC Member Discussion Forum

2017 is the Year of Education for DFW’s Grants and Partnership Oversight Committee (GPOC). The following members applied and have been selected to participate on the Member Discussion Forum (MDF), which will provide the member perspective to the GPOC. DFW Board Member Sarah Durry is convening the MDF meetings and discussions. DFW deeply appreciates the many ways in which our members volunteer and stay engaged with DFW initiatives.

Shereen Arent, DC, Washington-4
Juliet McShannon Bornia, CA, Palm Desert-2
Marie Burkus, PA, Abington-1
Kiera Carlisle, MA, Wellesley-1
Lindy Cater, WA, Spokane-1
Patricia Erdmann, NM, Albuquerque-1
Mary Ellen Graham, PA, Philadelphia-8
Megan McClellan, IN, South Bend
Patricia Scheid, CA, San Jose-4
Judy Stober, OH, Cincinnati-2

Why DFW Loves Automatic Recurring Gifts

Automatic monthy giving allows you to make a bigger charitable impact. Month after month, your scheduled donations make a huge impact on DFW and our mission. Click here to read more about the benefits to you and to DFW.

Grantee Updates

Peace Corps' Let Girls Learn

Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Partnership

As part of DFW’s partnership with the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Program, we provided funding toward an Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) Lab at the Bayet School in Bayet Village, Kyrgyz Republic. This grant provided computers and laptops and allowed teachers and students to be trained in basic computer skills. Since its opening last November, the ICT Lab has facilitated more than 10 technology trainings, resulting in a significant improvement in computer literacy for the women and students at the Bayet School.
Click here for the Peace Corps’ third quarterly report of funded projects.

Starfish (Guatemala)

Starfish Impact School, the first school led by and for indigenous women in Guatemala, is now open. The project is one of DFW’s current sustained funding grantees (2016 -2018). Just a few weeks into the school year, Starfish reports remarkable growth in the first cohort of 48 seventh grade students. “On the first day, we started with English language immersion and it was tough,” Elizabeth, an English teacher at the school, said. “Girls were shy and nervous. Now, I have girls coming up to me between classes and asking me how to say certain words and phrases in English. Some of them are showing a real knack for languages, and it's exciting!”
Students have already conducted science experiments on pH levels, performed original skits demonstrating gender inequity, practiced multiplication through games like dominoes, and started reading “Esperanza Renace,” a book about a young girl’s rise above difficult circumstances. Most of the rising seventh graders have never had an individual copy of a book to read, let alone owned books at home. Congratulations to Starfish and thank you to DFW members who helped make this possible!
Anchal Sari Throw

Anchal Project (India)

Anchal Project was awarded the “Best in Market” Award by NY NOW, the Market for Home, Lifestye + Gift, in  conjunction with Apartment Therapy for its Sari Throw. Inspired by the strong women of Anchal’s artisan program, the Sari Throw revolutionizes traditional kantha quilting with contemporary geometric designs through aggregated stitch patterns. Anchal is a current DFW sustained funding grantee and a past featured grantee. Anchal expands employment opportunities in textiles and design for commercial sex workers in India. The Sari Throw received this recognition at the NY NOW Winter 2017 Market and is on display at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Grantee Reports Posted:

aSHEville Museum

DFW on Display in Asheville, North Carolina

The aSHEville Museum, the premier women’s cultural museum in the Southeast, is featuring a DFW exhibit through June 2017. The exhibit showcases DFW’s impact on women and girls and also highlights 12 of our past grantees.

The opening reception was held on January 29. DFW Board Chair Susan Stall spoke at the event, with other DFW board and staff members in attendance as well as DFW chapter leaders and members from the Asheville Downtown, Ten Thousand Villages, Weaverville, Fairview, Hendersonville/Brevard, Waynesville and Greenville chapters.

Our thanks go to museum founder, Heidi Swann, for hosting this exciting exhibit, and to DFW members Sue Fernbach and Nance Davidson for spearheading this initiative. Thanks also to the generous support of individuals and businesses in the Asheville area who sponsored this exhibit. 


The AZ, Goodyear-2 Chapter, led by Jane Richards and Elaine DeKruif, enjoyed Bolivian peanut soup (featured on our website) and learned about DFW’s grant to Etta Projects in February.
The CO, Boulder-1 Chapter, led by Susan Tocher and Lancene Cadora, recently celebrated five years of meeting together. Congratulations!

New Chapters Activated

CA, Brentwood - 1
led by Donna Corrigan
DC, Washington - 10
led by Nikki White & CJ Fritts
WA, Seattle - 3
led by Abbie Schindler
Congratulations to the NC, Charlotte-6 Chapter, led by Martha Daniel and Juliann Bannon, on its first meeting. The group had a great turnout, including some past members of the inactive Charlotte-5 chapter.
The WI, Brookfield-1 chapter recently spent a weekend together at one of the member's cabins in northern Wisconsin. They went snow shoeing, shared meal prep, practiced yoga, played ping pong, and learned about the month’s featured grantee. According to Chapter Leader Wendy Petersson, this group, which has been together for five years, is experimenting with other ways of holding meetings and having fun! This was a great weekend that bonded them together as a chapter.

Chapter Anniversaries

1 Year
CO, Denver - 4
led by Caitlin Narum
CO, Highlands Ranch - 3
led by Joanne Mandigo
MD, Baltimore - 3
led by Laurie Stroope & Kathy Porsella
2 Years
CA, Monterey - 1
led by Nancy Jarvi & Willa Hisle
CA, Santa Monica - 1
led by Natalie Smith
FL, Fort Myers - 1
led by Kathie Zunich & Christy Holimon
FL, Naples - 4
led by Abbie Sladick & Jay Kaye
FL, Venice - 2
led by Mary Gibson & Jan Richards
MA, Wellesley - 1
led by Kiera Carlisle & Dana Brennan
NJ, Montville - 1
led by Ellie Wasserman
SC, Indian Land - 3
led by Judith Stephens
SC, Indian Land - 4
led by Peggie Collins & Ronnie Zevon
3 Years
AZ, Goodyear - 3
led by Beverly Buck & Mary Gangl
CA, Tiburon - 1
led by Dayna West & Cynthia Sawtell
NJ, Tenafly - 1
led by Judy Manton & Sylvie Meyers
4 Years
FL, Naples - 3
led by Lynda Johnson
NH, Newfields - 1
led by Reiko Johnson & Jenna Roberts
NY, Fairport - 1
led by Susan Prener & Stephanie Anderson
OR, Tigard - 2
led by Leslie Crowder & Catherine Myers
TX, Austin - 4
led by Seema Mehta & Abha Sethi
VA, Fairfax - 1
led by Mary Thyfault Clark & Lorraine Sequera
5 Years
AZ, Scottsdale - 2
led by Susan McAuslan
CA, Danville - 1
led by Carrie Dinkelspiel & Nancy Vazquez
CA, Fresno - 1
led by Rita Bodine-Dei
CA, Lancaster - 1
led by Monika McQuarrie
CO, Erie - 1
led by Sue Garcia & Sandra Haas
5 Years Cont.
CO, Highlands Ranch - 2
led by Julie Hughes & Kathy England
CT, Farmington - 1
led by Tina MacDonald
CT, Newtown - 1
led by Barbara Myers
CT, S. Glastonbury - 1
led by Christine Seethaler
IA, Des Moines - 2
led by Teri Bedard
ID, Hayden - 1
led by Tami Savage
MA, Chatham - 1
led by Sally Davol
OH, Bowling Green - 1
led by Meg Sears & Sandra Mercurio
OH, Solon - 1
led by Minnie Gautam & Guniya Bafna
OH, Sylvania - 5
led by Kathy Benya
OK, Tulsa - 2
led by Anita Hall & Mary Anne Hale
UT, Bountiful - 1
led by Becky Kerr
WI, Brookfield - 1
led by Wendy Petersson & Amy Dexheimer
WV, Martinsburg - 1
led by Susan Lovell
6 Years
GA, Tucker - 1
led by Emilu Bailes & Laura Rose
IL, Western Springs - 1
led by Laurel Seidelman
MD, Perry Hall - 1
led by Heather Wade
PA, Pittsburgh - 1
led by Brenda Mellon & Kirsten Raether
VA, Ashland - 1
led by Nancy Kackley & Ann Martin
WA, Renton - 1
led by Amy Harmala
WI, Fontana - 1
led by Cherie Ackman
7 Years
DC, Washington - 4
led by Denise Woods & Shereen Arent
NC, Greensboro - 3
led by Bruce Anne Shook
8 Years
MO, Independence - 1
led by Suzanne McLaughlin
WI, New Lisbon - 2
led by Teresa Fish-Scott & Gail Novotny
11 Years
IL, La Grange Park - 1
led by Barbara Harris

Important Links

Follow Us:
Our Mission and Vision | Board of Directors
Copyright © 2016 Dining for Women, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you subscribed to our newsletter, or are a member of or donor to Dining for Women.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 25633, Greenville, SC 29616
tel. 864-335-8401

unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences