Thank you to everyone who participated in making the recent Jan Swanson Benefit Auction a success. To the donors, the volunteers, the hard-working board and staff, and finally to the bidders, you were all fabulous and each played an integral part in the execution of our annual event. This year we had both a live and a silent auction, the proceeds of which will go to fund our ongoing medical grants program. You can view a slideshow of the event by going to our website.

As we have done for many years, school supplies were collected for CAST (Community Action Southold Town), an organization dedicated to helping Southold residents meet their basic needs. In addition, this year NFWFWF and the 50/50 raffle winner donated full proceeds to CAST as a restricted gift for school supplies. We thank the raffle winner, Sue Worth for generously donating her prize back to help local school kids. In all, this gift totaled well over $600. Holding an event where we can convene as a community, raise funds to help us to fulfill our mission, and to still be able to give back to our local in-need population is what we are all about. I am told that CAST was grateful for the unexpected gift.

A surprising announcement was made as the final live auction item, a sculpture by Founders Award winner Tommy Thomas, went on the block. Mary Dorman explained to the audience that she had received a check in the mail payable to ‘North Fork Women for Women Fund’ from the Ellen (Pucky) M. Violett and Mary (Tommy) P.R. Thomas Foundation, Inc. The check was for $100,000. We are so thankful for this thoughtful generosity. The board will begin to review opportunities for these funds when we meet later this month. If you could not be at the auction watch the announcement of the gift and the sentiment delivered with it here.

There were four American women who won their quarter-final matches at the U.S. Open last week, moving them all to the semi-finals in Flushing, Queens and of course guaranteeing an American champion this year. Exciting times for U.S. Women’s tennis. Does this score look familiar: 6-4, 6-3, 6-3? The time was 1973 and Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs played a tennis match that became the most watched televised sports event of all time. Following that epic victory King would go on to lay the groundwork for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the Women’s Sports Foundation (a consistent donor to our auction.) King is said to believe she was born with a destiny to work for gender equity in sports. I noted while watching the recent matches a new film being released: “Battle of the Sexes” starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell. It appears to be a great look back at the fight for women’s rights and there is a big focus on Billie’s sexual awakening. King’s dominant win was a societal statement about women’s sports and the equal respect they deserve. The film opens on September 29th.

FFF (First Friday Friends) is on Friday, October 6th from 6–7 p.m. and will be at Front Street Station in Greenport. We hope to see you there.

Kathleen Bresnan
NFWFWF President