Women Who Rule Raises $64,000 to Help Low-Income Women Find Dependable Transportation

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Thursday, May 9th, 2019

United Way’s WOMEN UNITED hosted Women Who Rule, a fundraising event to help provide low-income women dependable transportation. The event raised more than $64,000 which will be used to provide bus passes, gas cards, and minor car repairs.  Having access to transportation will allow women to get and maintain a job, gain an education, and access medical care, food, other basic necessities.

“Imagine the heartbreak of not being able to get your child to life-changing therapy and medical appointments or losing your job because of an unreliable vehicle.  For those of us fortunate enough to have a reliable vehicle, it’s easy to take for granted that we can get where we need to go, whenever needed,” said Deb Thompson, President and CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire.  

According to Thompson, more than $300,000 in transportation assistance has been provided to women in need throughout Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty Counties since 2009 with the help of the annual Women Who Rule luncheon.

As it has each year, the event featured four local, female leaders who have excelled in their professions.  The featured women were Suzanne Anderson, M.D., board-certified internist for St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System and small business owner for Sea Salt & Sugar; Lynn Brennan, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Assistant Area Port Director of Savannah, Georgia; Caroline Keller, Vice President and General Counsel for General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS); and Jennifer Graham, founder of Shelter from the Rain & FreshWorks Media. During the panel discussion moderated by District Attorney Meg Heap, the women shared personal stories about the challenges each faced in their journey to success.

During the event, WOMEN UNITED honored community champion Lois C. Wooten as Woman of the Year.  “Lois was selected for this honor because she has exemplified kindness, generosity, compassion, and humanity through her leadership and philanthropic efforts on behalf of children, youth, and under-served people,” said WOMEN UNITED Chair Karen Oelschig, District Manager of Expeditors - Savannah. “She’s deeply involved in service to the community since her arrival in the mid-1960s. She is a staunch supporter of the arts, education, historic preservation, medicine, and many other organizations.”

WOMEN UNITED mobilizes women to become powerful philanthropists through leadership, fundraising, and advocacy.  By leveraging skills, relationships, and resources in support of United Way of the Coastal Empire, they make a profound difference in the lives of women. Members of WOMEN UNITED contribute to United Way at a leadership level of $1,200 or more annually.

WOMEN UNITED thanks presenting sponsor, Vaden Automotive, for their generous support in making the event possible.  Special thanks also goes to all event sponsors: 97.3 Kiss FM, 98.7 The River, Abshire Public Relations, Bank of America, BankSouth, Cecilia Russo Marketing, Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty, Coldwell Banker Platinum Partners, Expeditors, Gulfstream Aerospace, International Paper, JE Dunn Construction, JetBlue, Oelschig, Optim Health System, Perkins Will, Savannah Morning News, Savannah State University, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, Sterling Seacrest Partners, SunTrust, Synovus, Thomas & Hutton, and WSAV-TV.