January 2016 Table of Contents
Message from the CEO
Spotlight on Impact: Boys to Men
Women of Maine: Highlighting Triumphs from Around the State
2016 Leadership Luncheon Theme Announced
News, Grant Opportunities & Events
Save the Date: 2016 Leadership Luncheon
A Message from the CEO

Happy New Year! 2016 is off to a great start at the Fund as our grants committee works on making its 2016 selections (to be announced in March) and many are making plans for the May 18, 2016 Leadership Luncheon: Celebrating Maine Women in the Arts! The arts in Maine have such a rich history of women leaders, and provide tremendous economic opportunity and even revitalization to communities like Portland, Rockland, Belfast, Eastport and beyond.

We are so pleased to be presenting awards to a group of women whose work in the arts is truly inspirational and building economic security across Maine. Our Tribute to Women in Industry recipient is award-winning children's book illustrator, Rockport artist Melissa Sweet, whose Balloons Over Broadway won her recent national acclaim, and whose Girls Think of Everything and The Sky's the Limit: Stories of Discoveries by Women promise to inspire girls to great things for generations.  This year's Visionary Partner awardee is Women of the Commons, nine women whose collaborative waterfront revitalization project in Eastport, Washington County is fueling economic development through the arts. The Sarah Orne Jewett and Samantha Smith awardees will be announced in the coming months. We hope you will join us on May 18, 2016 to learn more about them, their work and our featured grantee organizations who are making a difference in the lives of Maine women and girls. This year's Master of Ceremonies will be our friend Cathy Plourde, founder of Add Verb Productions and 2004 award recipient.

In our midst is a community leader and visionary who is transforming the region of Skowhegan through something as simple as grains. Read more about Amber Lambke below in this issue.

Our Impact Spotlight this month features the work of Boys to Men, 2015 grantee and their mission to reduce sexism and violence throughout the state.

We hope your year is off to a great start, too. We have much to celebrate, including your support. Thank you for all you do for Maine women and girls!   

Sarah Ruef-Lindquist 

Spotlight on Impact: Reducing Sexism and Violence in Maine
What's in a greeting? A group of middle school boys wander around a classroom considering whether to greet each other with a wave, handshake or a hug. Sam Eley, a Trainer for the Reducing Sexism and Violence Program (RSVP) explains, "The boys have to decide how to greet each other and then practice reciprocating with the least physical contact." It's a bit like rock-paper-scissors. A wave beats a handshake, a handshake beats a hug and a hug only wins when both participants offer one. "It's an exercise in consent, and it gets the boys all talking about why there's so little hugging going on. At first they always say that hugging is awkward. But why is it awkward?" The group inevitably comes to the conclusion that hugging is 'what girls do,' a physical manifestation of affection associated with the feminine and this insight segues into a conversation about gendered expectations and the purpose of RSVP--to challenge masculine stereotypes.

"This group is an opportunity to talk about very important topics that don't get talked about or addressed anywhere else." - RSVP High School Participant

Boys to Men, the organization behind RSVP, is on a mission to reduce interpersonal violence, specifically male violence against women and girls, and to support the development of emotionally fluent, civically engaged boys. In order to help break the cycle of interpersonal violence, Boys to Men offers unique programs like RSVP that challenge traditional gender stereotypes and support the healthy development of boys and men.

In middle schools, the RSVP curriculum is broken into three, one-hour segments and it's expanded at the high school level into a twelve-hour training. Both versions empower students to take an active role in creating safe and caring communities, enabling young men and women to recognize and challenge sexist attitudes and behaviors that are disrespectful and lead to harassment, abuse and violence. Continue reading... 
Women of Maine: Highlighting Triumphs from Around the State

A recipe for success: take one former jail building, add one woman's vision, mix with community support and bake in Skowhegan, Maine. 
Amber Lambke 
In 2007 Amber Lambke was not an accomplished baker. She did not churn out dense loaves of crispy, crusted, flour-dusted peasant bread. No french baguettes. No focaccia. Today, she is the president of Maine Grains, a manufacturer of locally grown, stone-milled grains as well as executive director of the Maine Grain Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting grain traditions and co-founder of Somerset Grist Mill in Skowhegan, a historical county jail repurposed into an entrepreneurial base for local farmers and small businesses. 
Lambke's journey started with an interest in downtown revitalization, volunteering for Main Street Skowhegan. She was tapped to help organize the first Maine Kneading Conference in 2007, which brought farmers and bakers together around the art and science of growing and milling grains and baking artisan breads. Together they discovered the missing link between farm field and bread basket: processing. Maine farmers were willing to grow and harvest the non-GMO grains artisanal bakers wanted, but there were no facilities in the state to manufacture the flour.
"The talent and assets we need to create solutions are already here." 
The Somerset Grist Mill follows in the footsteps of Skowhegan tradition. There were thirteen mills in the Skowhegan area at the industry's peak in the mid-nineteenth century, with the last one closing down across the street from the Somerset County Jail in 1955. In 2009 Lambke and her business partner, Michael Scholz, owner of the Albion Bread Farm, bought the former jail. After several years of fundraising, including a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $35,000, Lambke and Schulz opened the Grist Mill in September 2012 and started processing grain in Skowhegan for the first time in fifty years. Continue reading...

2016 Leadership Luncheon Theme Announced 

This year's event will celebrate Maine women in the arts, recognizing the accomplishments and legacy of women in Maine who have enriched our communities, refined our perspectives and fueled economic security for women and girls through the arts. The luncheon will also feature inspiring stories from Maine Women's Fund grantees that promote and inspire social change.

"The arts have proven to be a powerful driver of economic development for Maine in likely places like Portland, but also in unlikely places like Eastport, Belfast and Rockland, where a renaissance has saved communities relying on traditional industries like fishing, canning, tanneries and textile mills from otherwise certain decline," remarked CEO Sarah Ruef-Lindquist.

Mark May 18 on your calendar and join us for Celebrating Women in the Arts the Maine Women's Fund 2016 Leadership Luncheon. 



Grants of up to $50,000 for Reproductive Health Programs
Lalor Foundation for advancing research and innovation in reproductive health is accepting applications for reproductive health programs. Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded in support of programs for young women who have inadequate access to information regarding sexual and reproductive health, including comprehensive and unbiased information on contraception and pregnancy termination. See the full RFP for application details. 

Domestic Violence Safe Housing Grants
In cooperation with Sheltering Animals and Families Together, RedRover is accepting applications for grants of up to $6,000 from emergency shelter organizations to help victims of domestic violence and their animal companions stay together during times of crisis. See the full RFP for application details. 

Open Meadows Foundation Invites Applications for Women-Led Projects
The Open Meadows Foundationinvites applications for grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded for projects that are designed and implemented by women and girls; reflect the diversity of the community served by the project in both its leadership and organization; promote building community power; and have limited financial access or have encountered obstacles in their search for funding. Small and start-up organizations are strongly encouraged to apply. See the full RFP for application details.


Maine Women's Day at the State House
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Wear red and register here

Professional Advisor's Newsletter

The Maine Women's Fund has launched a newsletter for professionals in the estate and financial planning fields. Quarterly, we share information about planning ideas and opportunities that trust and estate attorneys, trust officers, accountants, investment advisors, financial planners and others can use to advise charitably inclined clients interested in economic security for Maine women and girls. The Fund offers charitable gift annuities and Donor Advised Funds along with a whole range of options to give donors as many choices as possible to fit their planning goals while creating a legacy of economic security for women and girls.
To receive the newsletter use this LINK or to read the first two issues, click HERE.

Lead Sponsor:


The Maine Women's Fund has awarded grants totaling $98,000 to organizations working to build the economic security of Maine women and girls. This includes grants from donor-advised funds, resources established by individuals who make recommendations as to how the funds are spent. Read More...



The Maine Women's Fund thanks MaineShare for its ongoing support. MaineShare makes it easy to donate to more than 30 statewide organizations working every day to make Maine a better place to live. For more information, please visit the website.

On behalf of the staff and board of the Maine Women's Fund, thank you for reading and for all you do to support Maine women and girls.

Office locations:
74 Lunt Road, Suite 100, Falmouth, ME 04105 | 41 Mechanic Street, Suite 328, Camden, ME 04843

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