At the Friends of Southwest DC (FOS) annual meeting on March 17 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, the big news was a triple match being offered during its spring fundraising. Every dollar donated, up to $10,000, by July 4, will be worth three dollars, thanks to an anonymous donor (see the ad in this issue of The Southwester).

President Coralie Farlee conducted the meeting, which was attended by donors and representatives of organizations that received FOS grants in 2014 and early 2015.  Presentations concerning the grants were the highlights of the meeting. In all cases, FOS grants benefit Southwest residents—in most cases our youth.

Julia Malecki and Rebecca Campana of Arena Stage described the two programs FOS helped support, Camp Arena Stage, a two-week summer program for youth; and Voices of Now, an after-school program with participants from Jefferson Middle School.

Brian McNally of DC Sail, which received a grant for multiple scholarships for a two-week program on the tall ship American Spirit, described that program.

Emma Ward of EmmaUS has taken Southwest Youth on educational trips to Philadelphia for several years thanks to FOS grants. She talked about the success she had in adding a visit for them to the National Archives prior to going to Philadelphia.

Jane Jackson Harley, president of Kemet Productions, described the Hal Jackson’s Washington Bears “How to Be a Man” mentoring program for young African American men. It offers an educational and broadcasting opportunity, providing experience with internet radio.

Vyllora Evans and Thelma Jones represented the Youth Activities Task Force of SWNA, which received funding from FOS for two $1,500 scholarships in 2014.

Paul Taylor reported on “Summer in Lansburgh Park,” sponsored by the Southwest Comm-Unity Forum and aided by an FOS grant.

The local Girl Scout trip received its first FOS grant this year, and troop leader Monica Evans told of their planned overnight camp out trip to experience life on the Underground Railroad. The trip had been “snowed out” a couple weeks before but has been rescheduled.

Board member Donald Flanders was honored upon his retirement from the board of directors.  Mr. Flanders had played an important role in the founding of FOS, originally incorporated in 1998 as River Park Friends. As president of River Park Mutual Homes, Inc. at that time, he appointed a committee to consider the feasibility of starting a grant-making nonprofit organization in Southwest DC.

Current board members are Coralie Farlee, president; C.W. Hargrave, treasurer; Joyce Bouvier, secretary; Cecilie Jones; Farley Fisher; Rodney Ross; and Jean Sammon.

By: Joyce Bouvier, FOS Secretary, and Cecilie Jones, Board Member

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