In August 2010, this letter was sent to Women of Achievement and Young Women of Achievement honorees by Clark College and YWCA Clark County.
August 17, 2010
To our Women of Achievement and Young Women of Achievement honorees:
For 26 years, through the annual Women of Achievement celebration, Clark College and YWCA Clark County have honored local women and young women for their outstanding leadership, community involvement, and inspirational achievement in volunteer and professional roles.
Each year, following the luncheon, both organizations have met to assess the event and look to the future. During the past few years, it has become increasingly clear that the event, as it is currently structured, is no longer viable in terms of the cost and the resources provided by each organization. In fact, the expenses for the event have far exceeded the revenues for several years.
This year’s conversations were particularly difficult. Both organizations take great pride – not just in honoring women – but in the high standards that have been established for the Women of Achievement celebration, which has become a signature event in Southwest Washington.
The needs in our region are great, and both organizations are facing increased demands. It is vital that YWCA Clark County be able to focus on providing needed services. As a result, the YWCA is working harder than ever to solicit funding to make that possible. At the same time, Clark College is dealing with record student enrollments during a time of significant state budget cuts.
Turning the event into a fundraiser for YWCA Clark County would require increasing the ticket prices to an extent that could make it difficult for many of our past honorees and loyal friends to attend. In addition, Clark College is a state-funded institution and cannot contribute dollars or staff time in support of a fundraiser for a regional organization – not even a valued partner such as YWCA Clark County.
Against this backdrop – and because neither organization wishes to diminish the high standards that we have set – we have jointly made the decision to discontinue the Women of Achievement luncheon.
Please know that Clark College and YWCA Clark County are each committed to honoring the contributions of women in our region and the global community. During the weeks and months to come, we anticipate that each of our organizations will explore ways in which to recognize women of achievement (past, present and future) in a meaningful way. Additionally, we are committed to continuing our valued partnership in support of the citizens we both serve.
Please also know that this decision was not made lightly. We know how meaningful the Women of Achievement luncheon is to our honorees and guests and the pride that it brings to our region. We feel that same pride, which is why this decision was so difficult.
Your legacy will continue to inspire women of all ages in our region to dream and to achieve. We thank you for your leadership and hope that you, too, will continue to find meaningful ways to inspire, celebrate, and honor the lives of women in Southwest Washington and beyond.
YWCA Clark County
|Robert K. Knight