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Sisterhood for Good presents $110,800 in grants

Maria MacDonald and Angela Massaro-Fain of Sisterhood for Good get ready to give out $110,800 in grants at the nonprofit's annual grant presentation.
Maria MacDonald and Angela Massaro-Fain of Sisterhood for Good get ready to give out $110,800 in grants at the nonprofit's annual grant presentation.
Photo by Jay Heater
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Maria MacDonald, the board chair for Sisterhood for Good, said her job was to bring the tissues.

Esplanade's MacDonald figured there would be plenty of tears June 22 during the Lakewood Ranch nonprofit's annual grant presentation at Gold Coast Eagle Distributing.

Each nonprofit was going to tell a touching story about why the money was needed upon accepting their check.

"Oh my God, I get emotional," said Sisterhood for Good founder Angela Massaro-Fain. "I already packed a bag of tissues."

But before the event began, all the Sisterhood for Good members were smiling. They were presenting 32 grants for a organization record $110,800.

The amount smashed last year's record of $76,850 which had crushed the previous year's total by $30,000. Those two years combined represent 59% of the $319,241 Sisterhood for Good has awarded since its first year of 2011 when it presented two $500 grants.

"When you think of $110,800 directly impacting life in the community, it is incredible," MacDonald said. "When I hear people talk of Sisterhood for Good, I am humbled. And I know the incredible amount of time and effort this small organization puts into this community, without asking for anything in return."

Massaro-Fain said her nonprofit has been "transformed."

Jacqueline Woish of Operation Warrior Resolution receives a $2,350 grant from Sisterhood for Good's Lorri Kidder.
Photo by Jay Heater

"We've grown so much," she said. "Our ability to raise funds is different now. Our bigger fundraisers are almost always sold out and we net a bigger profit. 

"I had no clue it would get this big, that we would have this kind of support. I thought we would have 20 to 25 women. We have 247. That's a lot of ladies who want to give back."

Barbara Braun of Mothers Helping Mothers said her organization's $5,000 grant would provide 25 car seats and 30 "Pack 'N Plays," along with funds to help families in crisis.

"This grant makes a huge difference," Braun said. "These (Sisterhood for Good members) are fabulous."

Jacqueline Woish collected a $2,350 check for Sarasota's Operation Warrior Resolution, that was using the funds to provide 10 female veterans with brain-based Cortina Method therapy sessions. The method is a holistic approach to healing and easing trauma and PTSD. The grant was underwritten by Grapevine Communications, which is owned by Allison Imre, a Sisterhood for Good member.

"What they are doing is absolutely amazing," Woish said of Sisterhood for Good members. "They are women who are motivating others. What they do is powerful, and it is a beautiful thing."

Sisterhood for Good received 95 applications for grants and held an expo in May that was attended by 81 of those nonprofits. The demand is considerable but Sisterhood for Good has been able to greatly increase its reach.

"We have more recognition now," MacDonald said. "I know the recognition in my community has grown and that's a positive sign. I can't wait until we reach a half million dollars (in grants paid out)."

She said Sisterhood for Good's growth is "not by accident." She said the board has looked strategically on ways to grow. She said much of it is accomplished by leveraging the board members' many skills and abilities.

"There is no guarantee that we will continue to grow," Massaro-Fain said. "But Sisterhood for Good knows how to throw a heck of a party."

Their next event is Designer Bag Bingo on Sept. 21 at Gold Coast Eagle Distributing. Tickets just went out for the event and 101 tickets already have been sold. The "Phantom — A Masquerade Ball" gala will be Feb. 16 at the Hyatt Regency in Sarasota. 

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Jay Heater

Jay Heater is the managing editor of the East County Observer. Overall, he has been in the business more than 41 years, 26 spent at the Contra Costa Times in the San Francisco Bay area as a sportswriter covering college football and basketball, boxing and horse racing.

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