Women Empowering Northern Arizona (WENA) has awarded the Flagstaff Arts Council one of its three annual donations in support of local non-profits. The total donation from WENA members is $7,700. WENA has been supporting local non-profits with similar contributions for the past two years; organizations receiving support in the past are the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Arizona, Northland Family Help Center, the JLB Project and Sharon’s Manor. WENA has raised over $38,000 since their 1st meeting in 2014.

WENA check inside

WENA members Susan Beaupre (left), Beth Thomas Schildgen (center) and Katie Woodward (second from right) present the donation check to Arts Council Board Members Jean Hockman (second from left) and Erin Evans (right).

WENA members meet three times per year at a gathering to consider a non-profit organization in Flagstaff to support. Only WENA members may nominate a non-profit for consideration, and then three are drawn at random during the gathering. The members of WENA who submitted the three nonprofits that are drawn are given five minutes to make a presentation about their organization and how funds will be spent. Finally, all WENA members vote for an organization to support. Majority rules, and the total donation goes to a single non-profit.

WENA check outsideEvery WENA member signs a form committing to participate in the three meetings (a one-year commitment, committing to give $300 that year). All members give $100 for each meeting regardless of their attendance and even if they voted for a different non-profit than the one that was awarded. A team of two (each person gives $50) is also an option.

Believe it or not, WENA is not a non-profit organization, nor is it associated with any institution or faith. The group is simply a gathering of local women who want to learn more about the many non-profits that have an impact on the community, and want to give back. They know that one person can donate only so much, but collectively, when they come together with common purpose, the group can have a big impact to make Flagstaff a better community.

To learn more about WENA and how to join the group, please visit their website.

The Board of Directors, staff and supporters of the Flagstaff Arts Council extend their deepest thanks and gratitude to this remarkable group of women for their support. This contribution means a great deal to the Arts Council and will support current and upcoming art exhibitions, youth access to the arts, and our work to bring crucial community issues to light through the arts.