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Elaine Adams: A Legacy of Generosity

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

You may remember that our July e-newsletter mentioned the incredible generosity of a woman named Elaine Adams. As we draw nearer to the end of another year, we can't help but reflect on the start of the Women's Fund and the crucial role that Elaine played in our formation.

In fact, the Willmar Area Women's Fund would not exist as we know it without the thoughtful, forward-thinking gift Elaine made in 2008.

As someone who taught math for over 50 years, Elaine embraced and encouraged the impact that philanthropy can have on a community. She was a woman who wanted to inspire generosity and philanthropy in other people. Elaine especially loved seeing other women step up and get involved in their communities, no matter how large or small the effort.

Actually, one of the very first donations received by the Women's Fund was a special gift of $61. Elaine loved that this donation was made by a Steering Committee member in honor of her mother turning 61.

This passion for encouraging women in philanthropy was a part of what prompted Elaine to make a gift of $50,000 that, together with a matching donation from the Otto Bremer Foundation, helped spark the formation of the Willmar Area Women's Fund.

In the 12 years since the Fund was first created, we have raised more than $687,000. A portion of these funds are endowed, which allows us to spend a certain amount of money each year to ensure our continued sustainability and viability. The majority of these gifts are flexible, with over $438,000 available for the Fund to use to support friends and neighbors in need.

Of the funds we’ve raised so far, we have distributed more than $385,000 to local organizations dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls in Kandiyohi County.

Elaine's gift may have sparked the initial creation of the Fund, but generous gifts of time, talent and treasure from donors and volunteers like yourself continue to fuel the work we do to carry out our mission:

The mission of the Willmar Area Women’s Fund is to support and enhance the lives of women and girls facing challenges in the Kandiyohi County area.

We are so thankful for Elaine's foresight, generous nature and commitment to supporting women in philanthropy.

We will continue to remember her impactful contributions to our community and rest assured knowing that our family of donors and volunteers are helping to further the work that Elaine began!

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Unknown member
Nov 12, 2020

I join a long chain of students who over the years LOVED who Elaine Adams was as a teacher and are indebted to her devotion to her students and community. She and Al became family friends. When I am asked for a security question ~ What is the name of your favorite teacher? Elaine Adams is MY answer. I am delighted to make a $100 contribution in my mother, Muriel McCarthy's, name~ to honor Elaine Adams. Mary Beth McCarthy Yarrow

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