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SAVANNAH, GA. – United Way of the Coastal Empire’s Women Who Rule campaign and event, held on March 14 at the Savannah Convention Center, set a new fundraising record this year, bringing in a net total of $63,652 for the Women United’s Transportation Fund.

Donations continued after the sold-out event, as people and groups took advantage of the ongoing opportunity to recognize women who rule in their own worlds by making contributions of $100 or more. Those honorees were recognized on United Way’s collection of active social media accounts throughout the month of March.

“We proudly celebrated our 10th Women Who Rule event this year. Thanks to this community, the event and the funds raised grow each year,” said Brynn Grant, president & CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire. “The urgency of helping people get where they need to go – to work, to the doctor, to buy food – resonates with our generous community.”

Presented by Step One Automotive Group, the 2023 Women Who Rule event honored longtime banking executive, community leader, and United Way donor and volunteer Kay Ford as the 2023 United Way “Woman of the Year.” Past honorees of this prestigious award have included Lois Wooten, Edna Jackson, and Ellen Bolch.

This year’s luncheon was chaired by Cecilia Tran Arango of Thomas & Hutton, who moderated a panel composed of outstanding businesswomen Ivy D. Council, Amy Perkins-Murphy, and Maria Whitfield. In addition, more than 30 other women volunteered their time and talents on the 2023 Women Who Rule Committee to ensure the event was a success.

This popular annual event raises funds for residents across our region who need dependable transportation. Each year an average of 2,000 individuals/families in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties receive support in the form of gas cards, bus passes, and even minor car repairs thanks to this effort. These funds are distributed through United Way’s 211 Information & Referral Service, county service centers in Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty counties, and nonprofit partners.

“The Women United Transportation Fund improves lives by breaking down transportation barriers, providing a safety net, and pathways for upward mobility,” says Grant. “For one young woman, who has been struggling to make ends meet and find stable housing, these funds provided rideshare vouchers to get to and from job interviews and eventually back and forth to her two jobs. For a single mother with three young children, these funds helped with critical car repairs to get her car back on the road, providing safe transportation, means to a higher paying job, and expanded housing opportunities.” 

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