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New United Way Women’s Leadership Council Co-Founded by Westchester, Putnam Women

Founding members of the United Way Women’s Leadership Council
Founding members of the United Way Women’s Leadership Council

Inaugural luncheon hosts 220 guests, inspires women to make a difference in the lives of others


The statistic is staggering: in Westchester, 44.8% of single moms, with children under five, are living below the national poverty line of $23,000 for a family of four. But the new Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) of the United Way of Westchester and Putnam is determined to do something about it. Women leaders from across Westchester and Putnam have joined hands as founding members of the WLC to harness leadership and philanthropy as agents of change to promote financial self-sufficiency, education, and health among women and their families.

The WLC engages its members in philanthropy and volunteerism through two compelling United Way initiatives. The “Teach Me to Fish” program gives hard-to-place women job training, work skills coaching, and professional opportunities. The second program, “Smart Start,” helps at-risk elementary school children to stay engaged in school and provides academic support.    

The WLC’s inaugural celebration and luncheon – titled “Pearls of Wisdom” – was held at Trump National Golf Club on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Approximately 220 honored guests, local leaders, and founding members gathered to share their commitment to building better communities.

Ruth Mahoney, President of KeyBank and a WLC founding member, introduced special keynote speaker Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead, the first female graduate of West Point to be promoted to General Officer rank.

“I am honored to be a part of the Women’s Leadership Council,” Mahoney said. “It is a group of women who are very committed to establishing self-sufficiency for women in our community who really need it. I believe we have a huge responsibility to help them.”

“You are all going make a difference in this community and in this nation and in the world by giving, advocating and doing it with United Way,” Halstead added.

Other guests included WLC national committee member Alina Klein from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and a slate of local business women and community leaders. The event was emceed by Lisa Salvadorini, News 12 Westchester anchor and managing editor.

Luncheon guests joined in the congratulatory champagne toast, learned about the real challenges women are experiencing in our community, and networked with other women of influence.   

Founding members of the United Way Women’s Leadership Council are:

Angela Derecas Taylor and Angela Brock-Kyle (New Rochelle); Robin Colner and Emily Sherwood (Scarsdale); Kate McDonough (Edgemont); Leslie Lampert (White Plains); Andrea Wolfert (Irvington); Hon. Judy Myers (Larchmont); Janet Hasson (Mamaroneck); Wendy Kaufman (Ossining); Donna Goldman (Katonah); Stacey Cohen (Mount Kisco); Ruth H. Mahoney (Yorktown); Marissa Brett (Carmel); Elizabeth Bracken-Thompson (Croton-on-Hudson); and Bernadette H. Schopfer (Sherman, CT).

For additional information about the Women’s Leadership Council, visit www.uwwp.org/wlc.

About United Way of Westchester and Putnam

United Way of Westchester and Putnam operates with the fundamental belief that all people deserve a quality education, enough income to support a family, and opportunities for a healthy lifestyle. The not-for-profit organization works with agency partners, government, businesses and community leaders to solve problems that are too complex for any one entity alone. All contributions go toward improving the education, income, and health of the children, youth and families throughout Putnam and Westchester. United Way’s 2-1-1, which covers Putnam as well as Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties, answers hundreds of online inquiries and calls per day ranging from tax, heating, and mortgage questions to childcare, basic needs, natural disaster and crisis calls. United Way of Westchester and Putnam is located at 336 Central Park Ave., White Plains, NY 10606. They can be reached at 914-997-6700 or by visiting www.uwwp.org. Follow United Way on Facebook (www.facebook.com/UnitedWayWP) and Twitter (@UnitedWayWP) for the latest news and updates. 

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