YWCA kicks off annual fundraiser

WARREN – A table decorating contest, basket raffle and purse auction all helped raise money to benefit the YWCA of Warren as it kicked off its annual fundraising with one of the main events known as the Women Empowering Women “Y’s Women Event.”

With the theme “Proud Past, Progressive Future,” the event was attended by more than 250 people and raised more than $20,000.

Julie Vugrinovich, event co-chair, said the fundraiser helps with providing funds for the day-to-day needs, programs and services of the YWCA.

Vugrinovich said held at the event was the Power of the Purse fundraiser purse auction along with basket raffle and silent auction and over 100 items for the gift basket raffle.

“The money will be dispersed to best help to carry out the mission of the YWCA,” she said.

Vugrinovich said at the event three young women shared their personal testimonies of how programs and services at the YWCA have helped to benefit them.

Kenya Roberts-Howard, interim executive director, said the event was a way to showcase what the YWCA is doing with programs and services.

Linda Spence, event co-chair, said the event had a great turnout and really helps raise funds.

“We look forward to doing this again,” she said.

The winning table this year was Bocce Babes selected by celebrity judge Susan DeLeo who served as mistress of ceremony for the event.

Since its founding in 1915, the goal of the YWCA of Warren has been to aid the women and girls of the community in their efforts to improve their lives.

Over the following decades, the organization continued to grow and adapt to meet the changing needs of girls and women of Trumbull County. The YWCA moved to its current location on North Park Avenue in 1929.

By the year 2000, the harsh reality of rising costs, a dwindling local population and a weakened economy began to take its toll.

In 2005, the board temporarily ceased operations in order to be fiscally responsible and to preserve the organization’s endowment fund.

The board then spent a year getting feedback from the community current needs of Warren evaluating how to fulfill the mission through programming and working with an outside consultant on strategic planning.

This led to a new vision for YWCA refocused on eliminating racism and empowering women.