Women’s Initiative

Get Involved

The Women’s Initiative hosts annual fundraising and member events to drive awareness of our philanthropic and leadership group, highlight our support of adolescent girls, and raise funds to increase our impact.

Power of the Purse


Power of the Purse is a fun evening of camaraderie and solidarity to ignite positive change for women and girls. Enjoy a live and silent auction of designer purses and bag packages while networking with like-minded supporters.



June 7, 2022; 5-7PM

The Mercantile (2 Mercantile Street, Worcester)


$50 suggested donation. REGISTER TODAY! 

Download the 5th Annual Power of the Purse Invitation

For sponsor opportunities, download the WI Milestone Anniversary Sponsorship Packet 2022-2023

To make an auction donation, download our 2022 POP Purse Donation Letter and Form



Kimberly Salmon | The Hanover Insurance Group

Carolyn Stempler | Carolyn & June Designs

Monica Thomas-Bonnick | Webster Five Foundation

Kelsa Zereski | Reliant Foundation

20th Anniversary Year Sponsors

5th Annual Power of the Purse Sponsors

Lead Sponsors:


Corporate Sponsors:

Anna Maria College

Koopman Lumber




Support Sponsors:

Avidia Bank

Bay State Savings Bank

Bowditch & Dewey

Cornerstone Bank

Fletcher Tilton, PC

Fontaine Bros.



Food and Wine Sponsor:

Lamoureux Pagano Associates | Architects

Marketing Sponsor:





Media Sponsors:

Seven Hills Foundation

UMass Chan Medical School

UMass Memorial Health




Imperial Distributors

JCassand, Inc.

Main Street Bank

Kerri A. Melley – Commonwealth Financial Group

Pathways for Change, Inc.

Webster Five

Worcester State University












Stepping Up for Girls


A celebration of women’s philanthropy, leadership, and empowerment of adolescent girls, Stepping Up for Girls is the Women’s Initiative’s signature fundraiser to support future programming. The event highlights our funded programs, celebrates local women leaders, and features testaments to the possibilities of the future and the progress we as a community have made in supporting girls and women.


19th Annual Stepping Up for Girls Celebration

Tuesday, October 19, 2021; 5-7PM

View the event photo album on our Facebook page.

Watch back the honoree videos and girls’ recordings on the United Way’s YouTube page.



Lois B. Green Leadership Award

Linda Cavaioli, Former Executive Director of YWCA Central Massachusetts


Meridith D. Wesby Young Leader Award

Génesis Márquez Campos, Student and President/Co-Founder of Worcester Youth Cooperatives


Leadership Awards

The Women’s Initiative co-founders, Lois Green and Meridith Wesby, were leadership role models for many young women and their vision was to strengthen young girls and empower women. Named in their honor, the Lois B. Green Leadership Award and Meridith Wesby Young Leader Award recognize female leaders in our community.

WI Leadership Award Past Recipients

2006 Val Loring Monaye Leathers
2007 Marcy Reed Katarzyna Koscielska
2008 Marianne Felice, MD Iris Sanxhaku
2009 Suzanne Patton Hanh T. Lam
2010 Colleen O’Brien Andrea Siemaszko
2011 Patty Eppinger Dianara Nagrone, Shaleah Morgan, Yalitza Garcia
2013 Maureen Binienda Sabbatina Konadu
2014 Susan Mailman McKenzie Gratton
2015 Phyllis Pollack Tereza Ngendahoruri
2016 Maureen Gray Katherine Esparza
2017 Patsy Lewis Darhianys “Lula” Bethancourt
2018 Lucia Knoles Vianna Mercedes
2019 Kathleen Orengo Elizabeth Oluokun
2020 Liz Hamilton Chantale Zuzi

2021 Sponsors

Signature Sponsor:                                                                                                                                        

abbvie-logo hanover-insurance-group-logo



Lead Sponsors:

Corporate Sponsor

Little House Capital


UMass Memorial Health


Support Sponsors:                                                                                                                            


Bay State Savings Bank

Bowditch & Dewey

Coghlin Electrical

Cornerstone Bank

Country Bank
Fallon Health
Fidelity Bank

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care/Tufts Health Plan


Food and Wine Sponsor:      

LLB Architects

Webster Five




Media Sponsors:

Imperial Distributors

Interstate Specialty Products

Kerri A. Melley, Commonwealth Financial Group

Notre Dame Academy
Pathways for Change, Inc.

Seven Hills Foundation
UMass Chan Medical School

Worcester State University


Virtual Program Sponsors:      

Assumption University

College of the Holy Cross

Main Street Bank

National Grid

Worcester Business Development Corporation


Member Celebrations

The Women’s Initiative hosts member events throughout the year to give thanks to the hundreds of annual members and meet new supporters. Join our mailing list or follow us on FaceBook to get information on our next member event.