Author and political trailblazer Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is coming to Akron to share her experiences in women’s leadership and philanthropy. Townsend, who served as the first woman lieutenant governor of Maryland, will be the keynote speaker at the Women’s Endowment Fund’s “For Women, Forever” annual dinner March 12. Tickets for the event are on sale now at www.regonline.com/ForWomenForever.
Townsend, the eldest child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, was elected lieutenant governor of Maryland in 1995. During her eight years in office, she became known as a leading child advocate and created the first statewide office of character education to ensure students learned the importance of citizenship and civic involvement. As lieutenant governor, she also led Maryland’s economic development initiatives, creating more than 250,000 jobs. In addition, Townsend developed the nationally acclaimed HotSpots program, which brings together law enforcement and community leaders to fight violent crime.
Prior to becoming lieutenant governor, Townsend served as deputy assistant attorney general of the United States. She also founded the Maryland Student Service Alliance and led a campaign to make Maryland the first state in the nation to require high school students to complete community service acts as part of their graduation requirements.
In 2007, after leaving public office, Townsend published “Failing America’s Faithful: How Today’s Churches are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way” as a call to churches to reclaim their role as advocates for social progress. Her work has also been published in the New York Times, Washington Post and Washington Monthly.
Townsend is on the board of many nonprofit organizations, including the Points of Light Foundation and the Institute for Human Virology at the University of Maryland.
Townsend’s long history of encouraging women’s leadership will inspire guests at the Women’s Endowment Fund’s annual dinner, said event chair Debra Shifrin, partner at Shifrin Newman Smith Inc.
“Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is a true example of how women can make a positive difference in their communities, and we’re thrilled to welcome her to Akron,” Shifrin said.
This year’s “For Women, Forever” dinner will be held Thursday, March 12, at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn. Now in its 19th year, the annual event celebrates women’s philanthropy and raises money for the Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation. Tickets start at $75 per person and include a 5:30 p.m. cocktail reception with the fund’s most recent grantees, followed by dinner and the program at 6:30 p.m.
For more information about the event, visit www.akroncf.org/WEFAnnualDinner or call 330-376-8522. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. To learn more, contact Cindy Johnson at 330-255-2437 or [email protected].
About the Women’s Endowment Fund
The Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation was established in 1993 as a permanent endowment committed to encouraging the advancement of Summit County women and girls and their growth as philanthropists. To date, the fund has grown to nearly $3 million and awarded more than $668,000 in grants to improve the quality of life of women and girls. Contributions of any amount are welcome and can be made online at www.akroncf.org/give/WEF or mailed to Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation, 345 W. Cedar St., Akron, OH 44307. For more information, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org/WEF.
About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 59 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. Today, it is a philanthropic endowment of more than $180 million with a growing family of more than 450 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded nearly $118 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.