Community Foundation Women’s Fund Celebrates 10 Years of Giving

WINCHESTER, INDIANA March 10, 2020 – The Community Foundation of Randolph County will host its 10th annual spring brunch and auction on Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the St. Joseph Catholic Church Parish Hall in Winchester. Old National Bank is sponsoring the Art Auction portion of the event for the second year. Proceeds from the event go to the Women’s Fund of Randolph County for grants that empower women and children.

Tickets for the brunch are $20 each and must be purchased by March 27 at the Community Foundation office, 120 W. Washington Street in Winchester, or online at

“Only 125 tickets will be sold for this event and none will be sold at the door,” explained Women’s Fund Committee Co-Chair Shelly Symmes. “We encourage ladies to purchase tickets early.”

Guests at the April 18 event will enjoy mimosa punch and a catered meal prepared by Café at Twelve Hundred. All ladies are welcome and are encouraged to bring friends, sisters, mothers and daughters. America’s Majestic Ms., Lyndsea Burke, will make an appearance and assist with various aspects of the event.

Elizabeth Helms will speak at the brunch and help present grant checks to non-profit organizations for projects that empower women and children in Randolph County. Helms is a Family Nurse Practitioner at Ascension St. Vincent and an advocate for projects and organizations that empower women and youth. She was instrumental in helping to bring the Creating Positive Relationships Program to Randolph County Schools to help reduce teen pregnancy. She also brought the Reach Out and Read Program to four rural Randolph County health clinics. The program ensures that children ages six months to six years receive a free book during their well child check. Helms has served as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and helped secure funding for the Randolph County Sexual Assault Response Team. She has also served as a Girl Scout leader and volleyball coach.

“Elizabeth Helms’s Girl Scout Troupe was one of the first recipients of a Women’s Fund Grant and the planning committee felt strongly that she should be there when we present grant awards on the 10th anniversary of the fund,” Symmes shared.

Other popular components of the event are the silent auction, live auction, and art auction, which feature tables full of beautiful items donated by local businesses, individuals, and organizations. This year’s auction will also feature tickets donated by Kings Island, Cincinnati Reds, Sky Zone, Holiday World, Indianapolis Indians, and more.

“Last year’s art auction was a huge success and we are excited to be doing it again this year,” stated Co-Chair Stephanie Ward. “Old National Bank has generously donated cash prizes for artwork. All donated artwork will be judged and there will be one $300 first place award plus four $50 honorable mention awards. The Art Association of Randolph County has generously offered to donate a stipend for the judge and we are very grateful to them,” Ward added.

Proceeds from sold artwork and other auction items will be used to fund future grants for projects that empower women and children and to grow the Women’s Endowment Fund.

The theme of this year’s event is Reflections on 10 Years of Giving.  However, artists are not required to incorporate the theme into their artwork.  Mediums of all types will be accepted but should be a size and weight that will allow one person to carry it (50 lbs). Pieces should be stable when on a flat surface or be able to be hung on a wall.

Studio and plein air artist, Lawrence Sexton, will judge the artwork. Sexton’s paintings, drawings, and prints feature regional landscapes as well as scenes from his travels around the world. He has taught in public and private classrooms and was an Assistant Professor of Art at Earlham College. He is also a founding member of the Whitewater Artists Guild of East Central Indiana.

Artists interested in donating artwork should confirm their participation by calling Ward at 765.305.2409 by March 27 or via email at

Artwork should be delivered to the Community Foundation of Randolph County on Monday, April 6 or Tuesday, April 7 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Art will be judged on Wednesday, April 8. Winners will be notified on April 9 and recognized at the brunch on April 18.

The Women’s Fund is a component fund of the Community Foundation of Randolph County. It was opened in 2011 by the late Rev. Cherie Isakson to create better futures for the women and children of Randolph County.  Isakson passed away in 2013 but the fund lives on.

Since its inception, the fund has granted more than $20,000 to Randolph County non-profit organizations. Past grant recipients include the Girl Scouts, Pregnancy Care Center, and YMCA Girls on the Run, to name a few.

In addition, enough money has been saved to open an endowment fund, which has a balance of more than $25,000. Anyone may become a member of the Women’s Fund by making a yearly donation of $50. All members are welcome to serve on the committee that selects grant recipients and plans the brunch.