RACINE — Lynda Jackson thought she’d been invited to the final luncheon of the Woman’s Club of Racine Foundation to talk about the domestic abuse shelter she runs.
But after the food was eaten Wednesday, instead of having Jackson give a presentation, the women handed her a giant $25,000 check. It brought tears to her eyes.
“I just could not contain myself,” Jackson, the executive director of Bethany Apartments, said later. “I did not come expecting to receive anything other than an audience.”
The Woman’s Club of Racine Foundation surprised Jackson and the directors of four other organizations with $25,000 checks during its last luncheon Wednesday at Infusino’s, 3325 Rapids Drive.
The foundation is disbanding as accounts are settled, following the folding of the Woman’s Club in 2010 due to dwindling membership. The nonprofit club, formed in 1896, started Racine’s first free library and supported many other programs over the years, according to Journal Times archives and foundation vice president Karen Jansson.
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The Woman’s Club held an estate sale in January 2011 and has since sold its building, located at 740 Lake Ave. and now owned by Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home, Jansson said.
Money from those transactions, combined with some other remaining miscellaneous funds, allowed the foundation to award nearly $200,000 Wednesday, said Cathy Anderson, foundation president.
“This final meeting has a somber atmosphere,” Anderson said. “But we are raising the spirits of many charitable organizations.”
Bethany Apartments, the Racine Public Library, Health Care Network, the Racine Heritage Museum and Family Literacy of Racine each received $25,000. Seventeen other organizations also received about $4,400.
The organizations were chosen by the foundation after much discussion, Anderson said.
Other Woman’s Club donations
The following organizations were awarded $4,400 from the Women’s Club of Racine Foundation Wednesday:
- Women’s Resource Center
- HALO (children’s mentoring)
- Cops ’N Kids Reading Center Inc.
- Honor Flight
- Next Generation Now (Cribs for Kids, and parenting classes)
- Girl Scouts of Wisconsin-Southeast
- Racine Zoological Society (educational programs)
- Racine Symphony Orchestra (youth)
- Racine Art Museum (RAM on the Road, and SPARK)
- Russian Orphan Opportunity Fund
- Lakeside Curative Services
- Lutheran Social Services (sexual assault services)
- Doctors Without Borders (field hospitals)
- Racine Vocational Ministry
- The Racine County Food Bank will also receive about $5,000.