United Way of the Coastal Empire’s Annual Women Who Rule Event Raises a Record $55,000 for the Women United Transportation Fund

Staff Report

Thursday, April 21st, 2022

United Way of the Coastal Empire’s annual Women Who Rule Luncheon raised a record $55,000 for the Women United Transportation Fund on Tuesday when a sold-out crowd gathered to honor Ellen Bolch, President and CEO of THA Group, as the 2022 “Woman of the Year.”   

“We are grateful for the community’s support of this year’s event, which raised $20,000 more than previous years,” said Brynn Grant, President and CEO of UWCE. “100% of these funds will be used to meet critical transportation needs across United Way of the Coastal Empire’s four-county service area.  This assistance is provided through our nonprofit partners, and directly through 211 and our county service centers.”

The Women United Transportation Fund supported by this event connects people in the Coastal Empire to dependable transportation to get to work, school, medical appointments, and access vital resources like food, job training, and other important services. The fund provides gas cards, bus passes, and may even cover minor car repairs to ensure reliable transportation.  On average, this fund assists nearly 2,000 individuals/families in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties. 

Bolch, this year’s honoree, is a long-time United Way supporter. She founded THA Group in 1995 and has supervised its steady growth since then to cover all aspects of in-home health care, including the pioneering use of telemedicine and in-home monitoring. 

More than 20 women professionals volunteered their time and talents for the 2022 Women Who Rule Committee, led by its chair, Jennifer Abshire, CEO of Abshire Public Relations. 

During the event, Abshire led a lively discussion panel composed of four dynamic women leaders from throughout the region.

  • Staci Donegan, Associate Broker, Seabolt Real Estate

  • Catherine Grant, Founder & CEO, ExperCARE

  • Mia Mance, Owner, Mia Talks Media & Marketing / Director, G100 the Throwback Station

  • Dr. Fran Witt, President and CEO, Effingham Health System 

The luncheon event at the Hyatt Regency Savannah was supported by its sponsors, enabling all funds raised to go directly to the Transportation Fund. Step One Automotive Group served as the Presenting Sponsor, joined by WSAV as the Premier Media Partner. The event’s Gold Sponsor was SERVPRO of Savannah, and Silver Sponsors were Abshire Public Relations, Coldwell Banker Access Realty, Gulfstream, and Marti and Austin Sullivan.  For a complete list of sponsors visit - www.uwce//WomenWhoRule.  

Those interested in supporting the Women United Transportation Fund can text RULE to 41444. More information is available at www.uwce//WomenWhoRule.