Women United Launches Philanthropic Support and Advocacy Efforts for United Way Education Programs

United Way Santa Barbara County Founding Members

Front row (L to R): Andria Kahmann, Anne Kratz, Maryan Schall, Julie Karbula, Betty Noling, Emiko Hamill. Second row: Anne Towbes, Patty Bryant, Susan Hanna, Tina McEnroe, Susan Hersberger (volunteer chair), Amber Ortiz. Third row: Tamara Skov, Janet Garufis. Fourth row: Jackie Inskeep, Val Montgomery, Suzanne Danielson, Tina Nelson. 

United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) introduced the new Santa Barbara group of Women United during a sold out luncheon Monday, emphasizing the group’s role in supporting youth education programs.

Held at the Hotel Californian, the luncheon was attended by close to 150 women leaders from throughout the community and others to learn more about the group. Part of a national network, Women United will increase philanthropic support and spearhead advocacy efforts for targeted UWSBC K-12 educational initiatives, such as UWSBC’s Kindergarten Success Institute and United for Literacy.

“This network is made up of a diverse group of women with very different work experience, life experience, perspectives and political views,” said Susan Hersberger, local Women United volunteer chair. “But we all have one thing in common, and that is that we are all here to support our young students and the future of Santa Barbara County.”

Women United ensures that more underserved children and families succeed during crucial early elementary school years and beyond. Two-thirds of Santa Barbara County third graders read below grade level. UWSBC’s educational programs provide supplemental support for these students to read at or above grade level. Through Fun in the Sun, 100  percent of attendees measurably improved their reading skills over the summer.

The Santa Barbara Women United group consists of women who are community leaders committed to improving opportunities for local children and families. Internationally, Women United has more than 70,000 members who work together to address the most critical needs of more than 165 communities across six countries, raising more than $1.5 billion over 13 years.

“Individually and collectively, women do so much to improve our community,” UWSBC President & CEO Steve Ortiz said. “Research shows that women tend to volunteer more of their time compared to men to drive community change. Women tend to advocate more when they believe in a cause. Women take action.”

Keynote speakers included Tina McEnroe (founder of the McEnroe Reading & Language Arts Clinic in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UCSB) and Marni McGee (nationally-acclaimed children’s author).

Special thanks is given to lead sponsors Aera Energy, City National Bank, and Maryan Schall. Other sponsors include American Riviera Bank, Bryant & Sons, Damitz, Brooks, Nightingale, Turner & Morrisset, Val & Bob Montgomery, Myriad Flowers, Anne Kratz & Tamara Skov, Santa Barbara Real Estate Brokerage and Union Bank.

The mission of Women United is to mobilize a powerful leadership network of women to strengthen the Santa Barbara community through a focused investment of talent, compassion and philanthropy. Women United works to improve the community through participating in enriching volunteer, networking and educational activities. Through these programs Women United hopes to build better futures for all.

For more information, please visit: www.unitedwaysb.org/women-united.

About United Way of Santa Barbara County

United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has the unique and positive vision that “in our community, everyone has a hopeful future.” Since 1923, UWSBC has served Santa Barbara County community through funding, volunteer development, and by utilizing its own unique initiatives that involve dozens of local non-profit and public sector agencies. UWSBC’s local community driven Power of Partnership™priorities help children, families & seniors with a focus on Education, Income and Health.

Leave a Reply