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The five-year-old Park City Community Foundation has already made a big splash on the local nonprofit scene with successful community-wide endeavors like Save Our Snow and Live PC Give PC. During its relatively short existence, the foundation has also helped private donors direct more than $100,000 in grants to local programs.

Friday, the foundation kicked off a new initiative that it hopes will establish a permanent endowment to support programs for women and children in Summit County.

The concept is simple - to find 1,000 women willing to make one-time contributions of $1,000 each. The goal, according to Park City Community Foundation Executive Director Trisha Worthington, is to establish a $1 million endowment in one year.

"Usually donations come in and go out. But the idea here is to have a one-time gift and make it permanent," she said.

If successful, the Women's Giving Fund will be able to generate enough in earnings to distribute as much as $50,000 per year in grants.

"We love this idea because it is an endowment and it will be here forever," she said.

According to Worthington, the goal is to use the funds for "high-impact grants" of $25,000 each, or more. "These will be big grants that can help an organization get a new project off the ground."

The fundraising blitz began with a private luncheon Friday in Deer Valley and will continue with a public event at Gallery MAR on Main Street in Park City on April 11.


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But even before its official unveiling this week, Worthington said the project had signed up 103 members. "We are already finding women, and men, who want to make donations in honor of women who are special to them," she said.

And those donors will have a large role to play in determining where the funds will go. The Women's Giving Fund will have its own committee that will meet once a year to review and narrow the field of grant requests to two or three finalists. The whole membership will then have the opportunity to vote on the final selection. Each person's donation comes with a lifetime membership, she explained.

According to Worthington, grant applicants will be limited to organizations that provide services to women and children in Summit County.

The Park City Community Foundation, she said, was inspired by a similar effort spearheaded by the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation where $1 million was raised in less than a year.

It is also similar to the philanthropic group "Women Moving Millions" currently under the leadership of Park City resident Jackie Zehner. The threshold for joining "Women Moving Millions" is a gift of $1 million or more. According to its website, more than $182 million had been raised as of 2009.

Zehner established her career in the financial world, becoming the first woman invited into the partnership at Goldman Sachs. She has since concentrated her efforts on philanthropic organizations, mostly those that support women and girls around the world. Locally, she serves on the boards of the Sundance Institute and the Christian Center of Park City.

Zehner will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming launch of the Women's Giving Fund in April.

To learn more about the Women's Giving Fund and/or to RSVP to the event on April 11, log on to theparkcityfoundation.org/womensgivingfund or call Trisha Worthington, (435) 214-7475

Summit County women and children need support

  • 7.3 percent of Summit County's residents live in poverty

  • 18 percent of the adults and 15.5 percent of the children in Summit County are uninsured

  • 22.2 percent of Summit County's children receive free or reduced lunch

    prices based on their families' low-income level.

  • The People's Health Clinic saw almost 9,500 patients

    last year

  • Peace House sheltered 900 women and children due to domestic violence in their homes

  • The Park City Christian Center served 1,314 households per month through their food pantry.

    --information provided by The Park City Community Foundation