Anne Arundel Women Giving Together, a women's giving circle, supports initiatives that improve the quality of life for women and families in our community.   More>   

Celebrating Laurie Sharp

Laurie Sharp’s family and her multitude of friends gathered on March 30, 2014 to celebrate the many ways she impacted the world. Laurie was inspiring in her organizing, fearless in her artwork, courageous in all aspects of her life, and passionate about everything she tackled. Above all, Laurie was hilariously fun, for everyone, all the time. Even in the midst of painful cancer, Laurie was always full of life.

Please consider sharing your favorite ‘Laurie story’ that illustrates what her friendship, leadership, or her wacky humor meant to you. Stories or photos can be emailed directly to her daughter, Jennifer -

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the newly-created Laurie Sharp Endowment Fund c/o Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County ( that will help carry on her vision of providing economic empowerment and artistic opportunities for low-income and vulnerable women and children.

Changing Demographics: Opportunities and Untapped Resources

AAWGT's first 2014 Educational Session, "Changing Demographics: Opportunities and Untapped Resources," was held at Kneseth Israel on February 12.  More than 80 people attended and heard from five panelists, including Marci Kennai, Director, Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services; Pam Jordan, Director, Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities; Maria Casasco, Community Support Grants Administrator, Anne Arundel County; Tricia Wilson, Assistant Director, Heyman Interages Center of the Jewish Council for the Aging;  and Fay Mauro, Executive Director, Volunteer Center of Anne Arundel County.  With the guidance of moderator Christine Poulsen, Program Manager, Community Initiatives, Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services and fellow AAWGT member, the panel spoke on the County's changing population, with a specific focus on the 60+ and the Hispanic/Latino community.

"It is fitting that we start off 2014 with the first in a series of education sessions designed to make us informed decision makers", remarked AAWGT President Karen Smith as she kicked off the meeting.  

Click here for full write-up on session.  Videotape of the session coming soon!  

Pictured above: Mary Grace Falwell, AAWGT Education Committee; Christine Poulsen, Moderator and AAWGT member; Tricia Wilson; Marci Kennai; Pam Jordan; Maria Casasco; and Fay Mauro.

7th Annual Women and Leadership Event 

Over 200 women (and some brave men!) attended the seventh annual AAWGT Women and Leadership event on Wednesday March 19 at Broadneck High School. Co-hosted for the first time with the Community Foundation (CFAAC), the event featured Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run (GOTR). This organization inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience based curriculum which creatively integrates running. The programs now run in 47 states and have served over 700.000 girls.

We learned what makes Molly Barker a wonderful woman leader and there were a few surprises! According to Molly, there is an “ebb and flow” in leadership. Sometimes the light shines on you and sometimes there is “self- doubt.” The self-doubt is there to allow for growth and introspection. It is important to choose the part of “female” that empowers us. And when the challenge came to Molly, she couldn’t NOT do it, she HAD to do it! The challenge aligned with her purpose.

Leadership is about being “fearless in getting to know each person and their story.” It is a “willingness to be vulnerable.” It is the ability to use your “elevator pitch” often to sell others on your idea –to be persistent. It is also important to know when to let go and move on.

Molly believes that the world is” very hungry for what the “feminine” brings to the world processes. There is a yearning for compassion, love, strength, and vulnerability. Love and compassion are not weak.”

When asked if there was any risk in leadership, Molly was adamant. She sees no risk and says “go for it!”  Be prepared for “dark spaces” in the process but “fake it until you make it.” And you will find the happy space again. She has faced her dark spaces with being a single parenthood and with overcoming alcoholism but does not let that define her. She uses these challenges to help move forward in her life.

When asked what she might do with a “magic wand” and all the power in the world, Molly said she would like all women to witness their own greatness and see their strengths as power.

With wisdom, wit, and authenticity, Molly inspired all attendees to find the leader in themselves.  See the videotape here.

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Upcoming Events

04/23/2014 10:30 AM • Brooklyn Park Library, 1 East 11th Ave, Brooklyn Park, MD
05/21/2014 7:00 PM • Complete details sent with registration confirmation
07/23/2014 7:00 PM • Edgewater
09/10/2014 7:00 PM • TBD


March / April 

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