Extraordinary Women event honors Clark County’s influential women, raises money to empower others

The Women’s Partnership Fund empowers women from all walks of life and has been for 14 consecutive years. 

The collective vision and results of that empowerment will be acknowledged at the annual Extraordinary Women of Clark County Luncheon on May 7. The Women’s Partnership Fund will host its 11th celebration of influential, hard-working women from the community at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts And Conference Center. 

The event is in keeping with the Women’s Partnership Fund’s mission is to “transform the lives of women and girls in Clark County by mobilizing the collective power and passion of women working together through philanthropy.” The organization strives to improve the quality of life for women of all ages in the region by supporting established organizations with various missions. 

Courtesy Women’s Partnership FundThe 2023 Women's Partnership Board — Back row: Tess Spencer, Suzie Carey, Cheryl Ayers, Dulce Hurst, Daragh Porter Wobbe, Amy Sues, Krissy Brown, Crystal Jones, Kristin Davis, Leslie Crew Front Row: Lashonda Miller, Jagdish Singh, Sarah McPherson, Andrea O’ConnorBoard member Daragh Porter-Wobbe explains their work, saying it is “identifying an issue, attacking that issue, supporting the person(s).” She is one of many founding members and says she felt motivated to get involved by its umbrella-styled operation plan. 

“The endowment was created to serve the community for the long term. When the founders created WPF (Women’s Partnership Fund) they saw a need in the region based on a variety of social data that were specific to problems facing women and girls. We don’t provide any type of service ourselves, we support existing initiatives, ultimately impacting the community as a whole.” 

This year they’ve chosen to collect funds to support Citilookout, a counseling and trauma recovery center, which strives to connect underserved and vulnerable populations to needed services and resources quickly and efficiently. 

The Women’s Partnership Fund has also chosen to subsidize ROX: Ruling Our Experience, another philanthropic group committed to helping young girls develop a sense of self-confidence and work on amplifying their voice by providing an opportunity to learn from role models. Porter-Wobbe says the idea of developing a sense of inner strength is exactly what the Women’s Partnership Fund seeks to provide for young women. 

Courtesy Women’s Partnership FundAt the The 2023 Women's Partnership Fund event.Young representatives from various programs have been invited to attend the Extraordinary Women of Clark County Luncheon this year. This includes members from Cliff Park High School, Project Jericho, Springfield Arts Council Youth Arts Ambassadors, Clark State Scholars, My Sister’s Keeper, Girls On The Run, and ROX.  

Porter-Webbe describes it as “a chance for girls to come and see these diverse women from different backgrounds and professions succeeding, and a chance for them to hear speakers and recognize their potential from accomplished members of the community…to see what the future could be.”

Sarah Hider, Executive Director of Girls On The Run of Central Ohio, will be the keynote speaker. The event is intended to offer networking exposure for the youth, and other women, and to influence the improvement of the community by inspiring progress for each individual woman. 

This event also features an award ceremony to highlight extraordinary women from the Clark County area. This year’s winners are Peggy Johnson, Wendy Doolittle, and Jackie Mounts. Daragh Porter-Wobbe has also been recognized at the 2017 Extraordinary Women of Clark County Luncheon. 

Courtesy of Women’s Partnership FundAt the The 2023 Women's Partnership Fund event.Dovetailed with these festivities, the assembly concurrently serves as the main fundraiser for Women’s Partnership Fund’s philanthropy. The minimum goal for the group is to attain $100,000. 

The organization is looking to grow so it can support more projects or offer more funds to the ones they already assist. “To use the resources we (Women’s Partnership Fund) have to support initiatives out there so they can do more and better things…” as Porter-Webbe puts it. They’re always looking for new members to get involved and make an impact. To join or donate, please follow this link ( Women's Partnership Fund : Partnerships: The Springfield Foundation ) to send your support and find more information. 

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Read more articles by Wil Hoffman.

Wil Hoffman is a Springfield Native and recent graduate of Ohio University. Having achieved a degree in Communication Studies with a concentration in the Performing Arts, it wasn’t until a screenwriting class that he became aware of his interest in writing. Upon his return hewas eager to get involved in the community that Springfield has to offer, and found the Springfield Hub to be a great opportunity to do just that while sharpening his typographic abilities. In his spare time he enjoys golf and exploring the nature trails of the area when it's warm enough, and enjoying the numerous live music acts from the region when it's cooler.