Table of Contents
Message from the CEO
2016 Leadership Luncheon: Tickets On Sale
Spotlight on Impact: Wayfinder Schools
Women of Maine: Highlighting Triumphs from Around the State
A Message from the CEO

Seems like spring has finally arrived... certainly not because of the weather (wasn't it just snowing a few days ago?) but because at the Fund we are preparing once again for the Luncheon on May 18! We love seeing so many of you, and celebrating together the accomplishments of Maine women, girls and the organizations doing great work to build their economic security through education, healthcare, personal safety, building leadership, financial literacy and supportive policy necessary for positive social change. This is currently the only annual fundraising event for the Maine Women's Fund...and we hear from you that it's one of the best events you attend all year, and we're working hard to maintain that reputation!

We hope we will see you, and encourage you visit the website or call 774-5513 to get your tickets before they're all gone!

In addition to the awards, we'll be sharing stories from Maine Inside Out, a highly-acclaimed performance-based program at the Long Creek Youth Development Center and Elder Abuse Institute of Maine, caring for survivors who are discovering freedom from abuse late in life. Come learn about these programs, innovative Tree Street Youth working with first-generation Americans in Lewiston, and the energetic and entrepreneurial Washington County-based Women of the Commons, along with acclaimed photographer Rose Marasco and award-winning writer/illustrator Melissa Sweet. And of course, we'll be featuring the 2016 grant recipients chosen in March, who will have booths and staff for the 11AM reception before we sit down to lunch at noon.

In case I don't get to see you in person to say this, thank you for all you do for Maine women and girls!

Sarah Ruef-Lindquist 

2016 Leadership Luncheon
WHEN:  Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Grantee Speakers and Networking
Emcee: Cathy Plourde


Lead Sponsor:

Cornerstone Sponsor:




Video Underwriter:


2016 Grantees Announced

The Maine Women's Fund has awarded grants totaling $111,400 to organizations working to build the economic security of Maine women and girls. The 2016 grantees will be recognized at the Fund's annual Leadership Luncheon on May 18, 2016, at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. 

Spotlight on Impact: Wayfinder Schools
"After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world." 
-Philip Pullman

Storytelling is an age old art; stories can educate, inform and entertain and they provide a means to relay the narratives of our lives and those of others. Stories can also help us process and their telling can be a rite of passage. This is Jasmine's story.

In her junior year at Woodland High School Jasmine became pregnant. Without daycare for her daughter Savannah, or a driver's license (much less a vehicle) the hour round-trip to attend school wasn't logistically possible. Through a friend and then formally through her guidance councilor Jasmine enrolled in the Passages Program at Wayfinder Schools.

Passages Program for teen parents provides individualized instruction to students in their own homes. Students work to complete course work related to academics, parenting and life skills, including everything from social studies and English Language Arts to budgeting, nutrition and child development. This home-based instruction is complemented by monthly life-skills workshops with other young parents and children in the program, as well as service learning work in the community with transportation and childcare provided by Passages staff and volunteers. Service learning work allows students to gain new confidence, community connections and job skills and the regular curriculum of home-based instruction is provided at pace with each students' need.

 In order to complete the Passages Program and graduate with her high school degree Jasmine and her classmates each must design a 'capstone project' or 'Passage' which addresses or confronts a personal fear, challenge, need, interest or passion in their lives. For Jasmine, it was creating a book telling her own story and stories of other teen mothers around the world. Continue reading... 

Women of Maine: Melissa Raftery & Megan Wood

"Creating a space where people can come together and share their day-to-day lives and a cup of coffee is what local rural island life is all about."
-44 North Coffee owners, Megan Wood and Melissa Raftery
On a chilly, raw March morning on coast of Maine nothing warms you better than a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Seven years ago, Melissa Raftery and Megan Wood started brainstorming over steaming mugs of their favorite brew. How could they work for themselves and build a year-round life on Deer Isle? Previous experience in sales and logistics at an outdoor design and gear company gave the pair a taste for small business management and entrepreneurship. Self-employment is common on the island but most often takes the form of lobstering or seasonal industries related to summer tourist trade.

For fun, the pair of coffee aficionados started ordering random bags of US-roasted coffee from across the country. This caffeine-fueled pastime quickly turned into a product research mission. "When we were first floating the idea of coffee roasting, we took a road trip," explained Megan, "which introduced us to some outstanding and influential people in the coffee industry; folks who kindly answered our wild questions and allowed us a peek into their operations."

"We researched buying organic and fair trade coffee and found our first roasting machine on eBay," mused Melissa. "It was a trial by fire education method-preferably without the fire!"

The two started with a business model that promoted three main sales avenues: wholesale, direct/cafe  /retail and internet sales, the three avenues which would allow for seasonal customer fluctuations in their rural proximity. Prior to opening their doors, Melissa and Megan worked with SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) to build a foundation and projects. "We would definitely recommend them to anyone at the beginning stages of developing a business plan," they agreed. Continue reading...

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 | 87 Elm Street, Suite 215, Camden, ME 04843

  Find us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter    View our profile on LinkedIn 


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.