Back in the 1990's, Muriel Templeton, Jim Gordon, Jodie O'Quist-Burrows, and Sharon Rhodes served as members of the Women's Resource Center Advisory Board at Columbia Basin College. Frustrated by the gaps in available community resources for women and children, these visionaries formed a committee, and after many meetings and much discussion, formed the non-profit agency GROW (Grass Roots Organization for Women).
The GROW board looked across the country for ideas as to how to address the unmet needs of women and children in the Tri-Cities area. They became familiar with the activities of the Women Helping Women Fund (WHWF) in Spokane which encouraged philanthropy among women, and held an annual fundraising luncheon featuring a dynamic keynote speaker discussing an issue of concern to women. Funds raised at the luncheon were distributed to programs benefiting women and children in the Spokane community. The GROW Board contacted WHWF Spokane about franchising this concept, and the Women Helping Women Fund Tri-Cities was born.
The first Women Helping Women Fund Tri-Cities luncheon was held in 2001 and featured then Washington State First Lady, Mona Locke. The luncheon raised funds for two innovative programs benefiting local women and children. The rest is a wonderful success story. Since our first luncheon in 2001, the Women Helping Women Fund Tri-Cities has funded 66 grants, totaling over 1 million dollars, for deserving programs in our community!