The Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund began with the goal to mobilize 1,000 women to donate $1,000 each to create what is now a $1.4 million philanthropic endowment fund. Together, the Queen of Hearts members believe their power to impact Tahoe-Truckee’s community is greater, and one of the ways they create change is through their annual competitive grants cycle. This month, they met for the GEMS (Grant Educate Motivate Serve) Annual Grants Showcase. Invited to present were the eight local nonprofit finalists that had wowed the grant committee. All arrived with an assured minimum grant of $2,500, and one organization in each of the four categories would be awarded $10,000 by vote of the membership. The four categories are: Arts, Culture, Civic and Public Benefit; Education and Youth Development; Health and Human Services; and Environment, Recreation and Animal Welfare.
Held at the Cedar House Sport Hotel, more than seventy Queens were greeted by the eloquent representatives of Girls Giving Back, the youngest generation of local female philanthropists. After mingling, the eight finalists gave four minute presentations of their missions and requests, with the rows buzzing in the small interims. Surely there were healthy debates on where the grant money should go, but the overall spirit of the event was elevated in a realm of gratitude, honor, and community investment.