United Way Spring 2014The members of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council are not content to simply meet, network, exchange business tips and forge new relationships. This thriving group of women leaders is so deeply invested in their community that they worked hand-in-hand with United Way to identify pressing problems that needed immediate solutions in the areas of education, health and financial stability.

During the Women’s Leadership Council 2014 Luncheon Fashion Show held Feb. 21 at Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, the WLC announced its 2014 projects and discussed the impact the group has made in Southern Nevada over the last six years.

“Our hopes are to educate the audience on the projects we are funding and encourage them to join us in helping make southern Nevada a better place,” said Deb Mele-Blanchard, WLC co-chair.

One of the 2014 priorities for the WLC is a medical clinic operated by Positively Kids for over 700 students at Reynaldo Martinez Elementary School.

“The Reynaldo Martinez Elementary School clinic did not have enough funds to open this year,” said Nancy Reel, WLC Project Funding co-chair. “This left a huge void in this school community as it has served many, many families in the past.”

According to Fred Schultz, founder and CEO of Positively Kids, the support of WLC is critical to opening the clinic.

“Without the Women’s Leadership Council, we couldn’t open this clinic, it wouldn’t survive,” Schultz said.

The clinic will help a wide demographic of children including those who are homeless or live in cars that have no access to health care in many cases.

“All the money for schools and teachers will never be enough if the children are not healthy,” said Judy Kropid, WLC Project Funding co-chair.

The group’s support of community initiatives does not end there. They are also investing in the future leaders of our community through two scholarships for female Clark County School District students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher, who are attending a four-year accredited college in Southern Nevada.

“It is the epitome of what WLC stands for and endeavors to achieve,” Kropid said. “It made us all very proud to be WLC members.”

The group will also provide health services to children during a community immunization clinic and to seniors during a shingles vaccination clinic.

WLC will continue to sponsor Breakfast with Books program at Dean Petersen Elementary School to encourage good reading habits, stimulate the love of reading, encourage family participation and provide a nutritious breakfast.

Through the group’s leadership, over the past four years more than 35,000 high school students and their families have received support and resources to increase on-time graduation, preparing them to enter a career or college and succeed through its Family Engagement Resource Centers located at five local high schools. With the first class of FERC students graduating in June, WLC has contributed more than $500,000 to FERC, which has helped participating students to increase attendance and GPAs and other markers indicating an increase of on-time graduation for this group of future community leaders.

To help further the mission of FERC to achieve better attendance and an ultimate on-time graduation, WLC will provide 24-hour bus passes at no cost to students and parents that will make it easier to attend after school, evening and weekend events and presentations at FERC.

To learn more about United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, contact Lawrel Larsen at 702.892.2319 or lawrell@uwsn.org.

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