Board Chair MaryLouise Sterge
MaryLouise Sterge – Why She Gives
“Giving to your neighbor is what makes a community,” says MaryLouise Sterge who has an open-hearted, common sense approach to giving. “Mary Lou” as she is known, is the Fund’s new board chair. She has been an active volunteer with the Fund since 1998 and has served on the board since 2002. She has strengthened communities in every state she has lived in by helping out at schools, volunteering with different organizations, and improving the lives of those around her.
It was when Mary Lou became involved with the Fund, that she began to examine the ways in which her service and generosity could more deeply impact her Chester County community. “Women and girls are underserved,” Mary Lou says as she explains the importance of the Fund’s mission. Nurturing women and girls benefits the family and the entire community. For example, “if a mother is healthy and thriving, then the odds are the whole household will do a lot better.” Mary Lou said that donating to the Fund is an easy decision for her. You know that when you give critical resources will go to organizations who have an impact on families all over Chester County.
The Fund’s Girls Advisory Board is near and dear to Mary Lou who has long played a leading role with the Fund’s girls grantmaking program, one of only 11 in the country.She loves the significant impact the program has on the teenage girls and firmly believes it changes every girl who is a part of it. She fondly recalls one of the girls from the first class who believed the program saved her life. “Girls in the program get to see what actual needs look like and it transforms them forever.”
As Board Chair, Mary Lou says, “we have to be far thinking and get ahead of the game, there will be some exciting changes as a result of our strategic planning this coming year.” She appreciates everything her sister board members bring to the Fund mission, contributing diverse backgrounds and talents.
Mary Lou’s advice for anyone who wants to get involved? “Find out what you are passionate about! If you see something you find to be a need or a problem, most likely there is a group that addresses it and a way you can get involved to help. Once you start looking, the needs are very clear!”
Betty Moran’s Story
Betty says her philosophy is to “get up, get out, and get going!” Mrs. J. Maxwell “Betty” Moran has been a valued, consistent behind-the-scenes advisor and generous donor since the formation of the Fund in 1996. Her active leadership roles with many of the Fund’s grantee agencies across the county throughout the years bring first-hand knowledge to her of the persisting needs in our county such as food and medical needs. When asked why it’s important to give back, Betty says, “that’s a choice each person has to make for themselves. I was very fortunate to be able to make that choice.”
“There are so many families who need a warm home, love, care and attention. The Chester County Fund for Women and Girls has such a worthwhile purpose in Chester County. The Fund not only helps provide this, they let others know about the needs,” said Betty upon being honored with the Fund’s Kitchen Table Award at our 8th Annual Making a Difference Luncheon.
“Women in families often do so much for the young and for their own children. When women are supported, it benefits families,” said Betty. “Many of us are fortunate to have a comfortable home and a nice address and I feel blessed to be able to give back.”
Photo courtesy of Karen Gowen Photography.