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LW Area Business Women Hold Christmas Fundraiser for Scholarships

Women business professionals in the Lincoln-Way area hold an auction to raise money for scholarships.

The Lincoln-Way Area Business Women's Organization raked in thousands at the annual Christmas dinner and auction to raise scholarship money to support girls heading off to college in the fall. Final figures will be available later.

After months of preparation and plenty of personal financial commitments, members of the Lincoln-Way Area Business Women's Association gathered Wednesday at the VFW in New Lenox for a dinner and auction to support young girls entering college in the fall. Last year, the organization managed to hand out eight scholarships for $1,000 along with three for $500. The organization reserves one scholarship a year for an adult woman from the area who is continuing her education, said LWABWA member Sue Wolf, Frankfort.

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Wolf has been a small business entrepreneur for years. She is a Mary Kay Cosmetics representative and sales agent for iZigg, a mobile marketing endeavor that advances services for text messaging. This is a way for business women in the Lincoln-Way area to reach out and support young girls from New Lenox, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and the southern portion of Tinley Park. LWABWA members were busy soliciting businesses for certificates, gift baskets and other donations of goods and services to auction off, she said.

New Lenox's Judy Niemann, partner at  Dunn & Niemann Real Estate, said the organization had collected hundreds of items for auction as well as a 100-plus gift certificates. The donations came from restaurants, hair salons, jewelry stores, florists, home-based entrepreneurs, grocery stores, banks and more. Trinity Services' Horticulture Division provided the table top decorations; each table was adorned with a lush poinsettia plant. The VFW offered donations as well.   

This type of response is proof that Lincoln-Way communities are supportive of the youth in the community, said Wolf. It lets them know that the community "stands behind them" and encourages them to dream.

Niemann said Silver Cross Hospital and Provena St. Joseph's Medical Center, Joliet, donated auction items. In addition, the Village of New Lenox provided 2013 Triple Play Concert Series tickets.

The LWABWA has been supporting women entrepreneurs for 35 years

A couple of the founding members, Niemann and Wolf, remembered how the club in the '70s was born out the  Business and Professional Women's organization, a national effort. "We wanted a local focus," said Niemann, "so we started the Lincoln-Way group." The members decided that they preferred to concentrate on their local members by offering networking opportunities and presentations that are pertinent to this area.

The LWABWA meets the third Tuesday of the month at Little Joe's Restaurant, New Lenox.

Scholarship application information can be viewed here.

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