The Power of 25

Tri Sigma’s commitment to social service and service to children began in the early 1900s. In 1992, the Robbie Page Memorial Fund and the Educational Foundation merged to create the Tri Sigma Foundation. In 2017, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Foundation and the generosity of Tri Sigma philanthropists over the years.

With three core pillars to our mission, we fund leadership development for women, graduate and undergraduate scholarships and initiatives impacting children’s health. During the past 25 years, the generosity of our donors empowered us to make a difference in the following ways:

  • Over $400,000 in scholarships
  • More than $1 Million for leadership and educational programs
  • Over $3 Million in RPM Grants for therapeutic play programs
  • In one year, $50,000 to support March of Dimes prematurity research

Will you join us by making a gift of $25 or more on November 28, as part of the Giving Tuesday movement? Together, you can help us honor those who led the Foundation in the past and commit to being part of its future.


The Power of 25 Philanthropists & Emerging Philanthropists

Destiny Alderin, Epsilon Nu

Foundation Collegiate Ambassador

Why is giving to the Foundation important?

Giving to the foundation, as a college student, is important to me because I know I am getting things in return. “To receive much you must give much.” I give because it comes right back to me whether it be through scholarships or leadership opportunities. Also I know that children around the world are being helped, just like I may have needed when I was younger. The Foundation makes me empowered to change the world. 

How will you play a part in the Foundation’s future?

In preparation for the next 25 years, I plan to keep providing to what I love, the Foundation. I hope to play a role in the foundation through giving and leadership. After graduation, I plan to continue my vow to Sigma and the Foundation by living the mission and values in my everyday life. 

Jennifer Avenel, Delta Pi

Foundation Board Member

Why do you give to the Foundation?

Developing leaders is a professional focus, and I am particularly passionate about developing women leaders. I am very proud of the education programs that Tri Sigma offers and take pride in providing financial and volunteer support to ensure that those programs continue.  I’ve seen first hand how the programs impact women as I have attended President’s Academy and Dunham Women of Character as a mentor or coach. 

How have you played a part in the Foundation’s past?

I gave my first consistent gifts through the previous “GOLD” program.  Then I became involved with committee work that lead to board service.  Serving as the board chair from 2014-2017, I parternered with Tri Sigma to make the March of Dimes our philanthropic partner, meeting the needs of our women to be able to better connect to their communities through service. 

How will you play a part in the Foundation’s future?

Through sharing my giving story and providing steadfast support – every dollar matters.  I want women to understand that no gift is too small.

Natalie Averette, Gamma Beta

National President

What does generosity mean to you?

Generosity is a virtue which is synonymous with what we stand for in Tri Sigma. It’s about kindness and understanding and is a quality that can be beneficial for us all. It may very well be the ticket to a happy and healthy life, for when you give abundantly of yourself, surely you will receive much in return. Generosity and gratitude go hand in hand, and if we share and demonstrate both, the world will be a brighter and better place.

Why do you give to the Foundation?

Giving to the Foundation feels good and it’s the right thing to do! Simply knowing how much Tri Sigma has done for me over the past three decades, inspires me to provide those same opportunities for Tri Sigma sisters and friends of Tri Sigma in the years to come. 

 

Marie Beck, Beta Upsilon

Golden Violet

What does generosity mean to you?

Generosity to me means giving of my time and money to individuals and organizations that align with my values and passions. It means having an external focus versus having an internal focus. It can be as basic as support and encouragement of an individual or as extensive as donating significant dollars to a cause I believe in such as leadership programs for Tri Sigma. 

How have you played a role in the Foundation’s past?

Over the last 15 years, I have served on the Foundation Board for 12 years, including 3 years as Chair. Just before I joined the Board, I served on the Selection Committee to hire our first Executive Director. Nancy Craig’s first day on the job was my first day on the Foundation Board. I served as Chair of the Human Resources Committee and worked closely with Nancy in developing Human Resources policies and manuals for staff and Board members, including on boarding processes. Then when I became Chair of the Foundation, I worked very closely with Nancy.

Stephanie Blair, Delta Delta

Senior Consultant

Why do you give to the Foundation?

I give to the Foundation because it has helped me in so many ways and because it has such a wide reach and impact. I give to the Foundation because of the many great women who have come before me and paved the way through the generosity of their time and finances. I give to the Foundation to continue that legacy of support and giving.

How will you play a part in the Foundation’s future?

As a young professional and someone who is still fairly recently removed from college I give to the Foundation in ways that I can. Even if I cannot give thousands and thousands of dollars to the Foundation I can make a difference and I hold myself to that. No impact is too small and all those small impacts compound to help drive the Foundation.

One of my favorite ways to do this is through violet tributes. For a small $5 donation I can send someone a tribute to acknowledge or thank them with a gift in their name to the Foundation. It is the thought that counts and I know how much I have loved receiving violet tributes and the joy and excitement from reading those sweet thoughts. I hope to continue to give those because it is something that is easy and affordable for everyone. It would mean skipping Chick-fil-A breakfast one morning or skipping out on that Starbucks one day, but the impact it can make is so great.

 

Jasmine Crame, Chi

Foundation Collegiate Ambassador

What actions do you take to be a generous person?       

I try, constantly, to provide those around me with constant encouragement and support to keep being their individual self- as well as investing my time and self into people and things that make me happy to be me. Tri Sigma is an experience that has shown me who I am and has made me proud to be an empowered women- I hope to display generosity towards this sisterhood by continuing to serve it the best I can. 

Why do you give to the Foundation

I decided to give to the Foundation when I realized that I was able to participate in the opportunities I have through Tri Sigma because of those women who believed in our organization’s mission and vision, and values and gave back to help empower women. I want every collegiate woman to have the opportunity to attend at least one leadership program within her time as a collegian, so she can network with sisters from all over the country, discover her purpose or get whatever else she may from the experience. Tri Sigma has given me so much and continues to do so and this is how I give back.

Tiffany Curtis, Alpha Chi

Sorority Staff

What does generosity mean to you?

When I think of generosity I think of two simple acts – giving and being kind.  I think so often a person hears generous and finds that word synonymous with a large sum of money.  While I certainly think that giving of a great amount is generous; I also think doing what you can, the best way you know, and with a kind heart is generosity.  I think generosity is doing the best that you can for others, with the tools, skills, or means that you have accessible to you.

How have you played a part in the Foundation’s past?

For the 25 years that the Foundation has been in existence, I have been a member of the sorority for 13 of them. To be honest, as a collegiate member I didn’t understand the Foundation, all I knew was RPM.  I didn’t really start to understand the other arms of the Foundation until I went to my first leadership program as a junior.  At that program I started to understand that Tri Sigma was so much bigger than my chapter in Murray, Kentucky. I learned that generous members donated to the Foundation and thereby funded my growth as leader by learning from more seasoned Tri Sigmas at Dunham.

The following year I attended Convention as a Chapter Delegate and found that I was interested in working for the National Organization as a Consultant. As a Consultant I started contributing to what was known as the GOLD program. As I continued to travel and experience and facilitate programming, I began to see leaders grow just as I had through the generous donations our members had given to the Foundation. I felt called to do the same. It’s important for me to take any opportunity that I can to ensure young women are afforded the same opportunities that I was as a collegiate member.

Jessica Dowches-Wheeler, Zeta Lambda

Foundation Donor

What does generosity mean to you?

Generosity is a state of mind. It means giving without expecting anything in return; giving because it feels good and makes others happy. It means doing small things for others, regardless of their ability to pay it back (or forward). I learned generosity from Tri Sigma. It is part of being a woman of character and an empowered woman who wants to change the world.

What actions do you take to be a generous person?

Generosity isn’t just about giving financially. I strive to be generous with my time, talent and treasure. I am generous with my time by mentoring and coaching collegiate women through Tri Sigma’s incredible leadership programs. I am generous with my talent by my service on the Program Team, developing education that serves our organization. I am generous with my treasure by supporting the Tri Sigma Foundation, paying my lifetime dues, and donating to local philanthropy through my alumnae chapter.

Why did you include the Tri Sigma Foundation in your planned giving?

The Tri Sigma Foundation has given me countless opportunities to develop myself as a leader and as a woman of character. I want to give back to the organization that gave so much to me. I chose to include Tri Sigma in my planned giving because I want to ensure that programs like Labyrinth Leadership Experience continue to impact future generations of Tri Sigmas. Tri Sigma is a lifetime commitment, and to me, that includes supporting the Foundation financially throughout my lifetime.

Carolyn Garofalo, Gamma Rho

Golden Violet

Why do you give to the Foundation? 

Very simply, because I can and am able to give. I often wish I could give more, but I know that all gifts small or large are welcome and meaningful. In our vows, we are reminded to receive much, you must give much. It goes along with the Golden Rule, and being nice and kind to others.  Some have more ability to give than others, but whatever is received is a grateful gift. We are not Sigmas for a semester or a term, but Sigmas for life. Therefore, we should give to our sorority and our philanthropy projects during our lifetimes.

How have you played a part in the Foundation’s past?

Three groups of women gathered across the country to attend an informational meeting about the purpose of having a Tri Sigma Foundation and I hosted one of those groups at my home in Washington, D.C. Looking back, I am proud of the number of RPM Grants we have given out through the years and the future reach of the new March of Dimes partnership.

Madison Gilbride, Zeta Alpha

Foundation Collegiate Ambassador

What actions do you take to be a generous person?

 

Every day I try to be the best version of myself, I know that smiles and laughs are contagious and so if I’m the one doing those actions I may be able to turn around a person mood or day. I try to provide help and assistance to my fellow peers, if someone missed a class lecture I will go over my notes to the degree of class so that they may be fully up to date with material. I try to donate to as many foundations as I can, this is because I feel so thankful and lucky for the life I lead and I know that any donation could help at least one person get closer to a better, healthier, life hopefully lead towards happiness and future success.

 

As a college student, why is giving to the Foundation important to you?

 

For me as a college student, giving to the foundation is important to me because I know I am giving back to the Foundation that has gave so much to me this last year. I have grown in leadership positions and skills. I have met some incredibly successful and intelligent women who have accomplished a multitude of work in their life. I have made lifelong friends and sisters who I know will always support me and have my back. So since the foundation has provided for me, the least I can do is give back in order to maintain the foundations for other chapters years to come.

SAM! Farrell, Epsilon Theta

Foundation Board Member

Why do you give to the Foundation?

I give to the Foundation because I believe in the necessity of women in leadership.  I love what Tri Sigma is doing through our collegiate chapters to give women access to leadership training, mentors and other women in leadership that are having an impact on the world!

How will you play a part in the Foundation’s future?

I hope to leave a legacy with the Foundation and Tri Sigma of being an amazing leader willing to give of herself for others.  I want to continue to support the Foundation so I can help women leaders change the world!

Michelle Hektor, Beta Delta

Denver Area Alumnae Chapter President

Why are you passionate about the work of the Foundation?

Tri Sigma Foundation is an opportunity for me to give back to the sorority that has given so much to me. It allows me to honor sisters with a Violet Tribute, to recognize the work of the women who came before me and to provide funding for child life therapy in my own community.

How will you play a part in the Foundation’s future?

I would like to be a member of the Foundation Board again and use my experiences as a development officer to assist in fundraising and education to ensure the Foundation’s future. I also plan to wrap up the Denver Children’s Hospital project with our alumnae chapter and begin fundraising for a Tri Sigma scholarship in honor of Carolyn Wallisch. This will be an essential element for our chapter in realizing the diverse ways that we can support the foundation. I intend to continue to give to the Foundation and would love to begin a fund that supports sisters in times of crisis in the future.

Mimi Hiner, Beta Xi and Omega

past National President

We are excited to honor Mimi Hiner for her impact on the Foundation by introducing the Hiner Lifetime Giving Society for donors who have given more than $750,000 in cumulative giving.

 

Leah Richmond, Beta Beta speaks to her mother Mimi’s impact:

Why was giving to the Foundation important to her?

Not sure if many people know this about my Mom, but college was a difficult time for her. Her dad had just passed away and there was no room in my grandma’s budget to help pay for college. While college was a financial struggle, she always appreciated the support, love and friendship she received from her Tri Sigma sisters. Giving to the Foundation was her way to thank Tri Sigma for helping her make it through such a difficult time in her life. Her hope was that by supporting the Foundation, scholarship funding would be available to help another young woman who may be having a difficult time with the financial responsibility of college.

How did Tri Sigma impact her life?

While my brother and I were younger, Mom worked as a nursery school teacher, but mostly focused on home, family and volunteering for Tri Sigma. During college, my Mom went back to working full time. As someone who had been away from traditional elementary school teaching for so many years, she worried about being able to get a job. Many of the items on her resume spoke about the work she did as a Tri Sigma. I can remember the big smile on her face when Hazelwood offered her a job as a TA as she explained to me, she was certain it was all the good experiences Tri Sigma had made available to her that made her stand out.

What hopes do you think she would have for the future of Tri Sigma?

I would say to continue building women of character. Whether that be through leadership training or educational scholarships.

Elizabeth Hoffert, Beta Xi

Foundation Donor

What does generosity mean to you?  

I do not think of myself as generous, but rather doing what I think is right.  I give my time, talents and give financially to an organization that has given me so much.  It really is a no brainer for me.  I saw the vision of Helen Marie Snyder, Mimi Brandt Hiner and Ann Williams as they each worked during their presidencies to get the Educational Foundation started and then merged with the Robbie Page Memorial, to obtain the IRS tax exempt status ruling, to find volunteers to serve on this new board, and to start us down the road to success which, 25 years later, is still serving children, developing Sigma leaders and providing scholarships for Sigma sisters. Their visions provided an opportunity for all Sigma sisters to be generous.  

What ways do you give to the Foundation?

Several years ago I realized my bequest to the Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation would be used for sisters in the future, but that the Foundation had needs now especially with the new leadership programs that had recently been developed.  As we discussed options with our lawyer and financial planner, Fred and I decided we had an opportunity to see how some of our money would benefit Sigma sisters now instead of leaving all of it to be used after I enter Omega.  How fun of an idea was that! So, in 2011 we established the Elizabeth and Fred Hoffert Endowed Funds for Leadership.  We continue to grow the endowment each year and make annual donations to leadership which helps fund the Dunham Women of Character Institute. 

Joey Jackson, Theta Delta

Foundation Ambassador Coordinator

What does generosity mean to you?

Generosity means going above and beyond in assisting others, whether it be financially or with time.

Why are you passionate about the work of the Foundation?

As a collegiate I was so excited to discover the Foundation’s involvement with Polio research because my father suffered from the disease. As an alumna, I continue to be inspired by the Foundation’s goals to empower women through leadership programs and continue to donate to medical reasearch, now through its partnership with the March of Dimes.

How will you play a part in the Foundation’s future?

As an alumna, I will continue to support the Foundation by volunteering my time ensuring the success of the Collegiate Ambassador Program and making regular donations to the organization. One day I hope to serve on the Foundation Board.

JeanMarie Komyathy, Gamma Kappa

Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter President

What does generosity mean to you?

To me, generosity means giving of yourself with no expectation of something in return. I do not expect recognition, benefits or prizes. I give from the heart so that someone else may benefit.

Why are you passionate about the work of the Foundation?

I am passionate about the work of the Tri Sigma Foundation because it helps women have the same opportunities that I had. Providing scholarships allows women to finish their education and reach for their goals. Leadership development helps all our members be better women and citizens of this world. And, who wouldn’t want to serve children.  We must all take responsibility for the youngest members of our society, and Sigma Serves Children gives me a way to take part.  I hope all our members can gain as much joy from working with the Foundation as I have.

Yvette Pue, Chi

Foundation Donor

What does generosity mean to you?

I’ve been blessed in my life with great employment opportunities which has allowed me to be financially secure and have the ability to both “give back” and “pay it forward” to individuals and organizations. Generosity to me is simply the ability to make a positive impact with support, be it financial, emotional or with my time. I get a lot of satisfaction from being able to do for others. I don’t need recognition or big fanfare, it’s the personal satisfaction and happiness I get from knowing I’ve hopefully made a positive difference in someone’s life that matters most to me.

Why do you give to the Foundation?

The Foundation does amazing things for Tri Sigma which in turn means amazing things for our world.  Our children are our future and the leadership development the Foundation provides for our collegiate members will only enhance the quality of character of the young women who share our bonds.  Collegians today simply amaze me with all they do and in some cases with the adversity they overcome. 

I’ve recently had the opportunity to interact with new Tri Sigma’s who didn’t go straight to college but instead chose to serve our country in the various branches of the Armed Forces. As a military veteran it makes my heart sing to see these amazing young women join the ranks of Tri Sigma. They bring a different perspective to our sisters who have not had much exposure to the military and those same sisters can provide a sense of belonging that soldiers feel about their fellow soldiers. Everyone benefits and I will continue to do what I can to ensure the Foundation is able to provide leadership and character training and education to our future Tri Sigma, community and world leaders.

 

Bonnie Rainey, Alpha Sigma

Chair, Foundation Board of Directors

Why do you give to the Foundation?

I give because I want future Tri Sigmas to have the same leadership opportunities that I have had over the past 25 years.

Why are you passionate about the work of the Foundation?

I would not be the woman I am today, personally or professionally, if it weren’t for the leadership opportunities I’ve been given.

How have you played a part in the Foundation’s past?

I served as Vice Chairman of the Foundation from 1992 until 2001. This inaugural board crafted the first logo as well as the Mission, Vision and Values Statements.  I was tasked with creating a planned giving society.  The Heritage Society was established during my tenure on the board. 

How will you play a part in the Foundation’s future?

I am honored to be Chair of the Foundation for the next three years. It is my hope that over the next three years that we can strength our partnership with March of Dimes as well as increased unrestricted giving to the Foundation.

Ann Rutkowski, Epsilon Delta

National Treasurer

What does generosity mean to you?

Being generous is being ready to give more than is expected whether it be time, talent, or treasure and giving without expecting anything in return.

What actions do you take to be a generous person? 

Saying yes more than saying no; giving to various organizations that can make a difference in people’s lives; paying attention to the needs of others.

Why are you passionate about the work of the Foundation?

Through grants from the Foundation our National Organization can provide opportunities to our members that they might not have otherwise received.  The Foundation also gives our members the ability to be of service and to become a philanthropist.

Katie Scherping, Beta Alpha

Foundation Donor

Why do you give to the Foundation?

“To receive much, you must give much.”  During my collegiate career I “received much” from the sorority. I had the opportunity to learn how to be a leader, how to influence and motivate others and how to work as a team. I believe these life-long skills have been a major influence in my successful 35-year professional career. Now, it is time to “give much” to ensure that the women of Tri-Sigma have the opportunity to receive the same gifts that the sorority gave to me.

Why are you passionate about the work of the Foundation?

Through leadership, scholarship and philanthropy, the Foundation provides the opportunity for our members to achieve levels of leadership and learning in their personal and professional lives and to contribute these skills to their community that are unique to our organization.  The work of the Foundation funds the programs that make this learning and generosity possible.

How will you play a part in the Foundation’s future?

It is my hope that I will serve again on the Foundation’s Board in the future.  I will continue to support the work of the Foundation both financially and with my time.  I also am an advocate for the Foundation in the local Denver Alumnae Chapter and will continue to support the great work we are doing here in Colorado.

Dixie Shelton, Alpha Alpha

2016 Philanthropist of the Year

What does generosity mean to you?     

Generosity is giving of oneself in love, commitment, and steadfast loyalty to those around you.  We who receive much must give much.                                                                                 

Why are you passionate about the work of Foundation?           

The strong leadership programs that empower our women to be leaders and to reach out to help others. Scholarships that are provided to many members. I also like our strong commitment to the children through our RPM grants to hospitals and our new adventure with the March of Dimes.  I became passionate about children’s therapy after my visit to the children’s hospital in Dallas during my first convention in 1992.  

Helen Marie Snyder, Alpha Xi and Omega

past National President

We are excited to honor Helen Marie Snyder for her impact on the Foundation by introducing the Snyder Lifetime Giving Society for donors who have given more than $500,000 in cumulative giving during membership.

 

Pam Johnson, Gamma Lambda speaks to her mother Helen Marie’s impact:

Why was giving to the Foundation important to her?

She knew the Foundation as a separate entity could create a strong financial base for the philanthropic work of Tri Sigma.

How did Tri Sigma and Foundation impact her life?

Tri Sigma was an intrinsic part of her life. During her collegiate days she developed lifelong friendships and was able to develop and hone her leadership skills. In her time working as a National Officer in the Collegiate Department she learned many things from Mabel Lee Walton including time management. Her time as National President gave her the opportunity to move Tri Sigma to a more businesslike organization while still maintaining and building upon the the loving aspects of sisterhood.

 

What hopes do you think she would have for the future of Tri Sigma?

She would want it to grow and thrive so other young women could experience the joy and caring of sisterhood while learning key leadership skills which would make them more powerful in their chosen fields.

Michelle Tantillo, Epsilon Omicron

2016 Emerging Philanthropist of the Year

What does generosity mean to you?

Generosity is giving of yourself through your time, talents, resources, and love.

How have you played a part in the Foundation’s past?

I have been a donor since my initiation. I have after college been a regular donor as a part of the past GOLD program and have continued to increase my monthly donations as I can.  I also give donations for Founder’s day and other campaigns.

How will you play a part in the Foundation’s future?

I will continue to donate and share the message of philanthropy.

Makayla Wichmann, Epsilon Rho

Foundation Collegiate Ambassador

How has the Foundation positively impacted you?

The Foundation has given me opportunities to impact communities all over the nation. I have been able to work with my chapter to raise thousands of dollars for children and families in need.

As a college student, why is giving to the Foundation important to you?

Giving to the Foundation is important to me because I know the impact that I can make. Even a small donation of $10 can help a fellow sister better herself or help a child through a tough time.

How will you play a part in the Foundation’s next 25 years?

I plan to continue giving to the Foundation after college by making an annual donation. I have seen the Foundation grow so much over the last four years and I know we will reach even higher heights in the years to come.

Ann Williams, Gamma Eta

past National President

We are excited to honor Ann Williams for her impact on the Foundation by introducing the Williams Lifetime Giving Society for donors who have given more than $250,000 in cumulative giving during membership.

 

Bethany Deines, Beta Kappa speaks to Ann’s impact:

Why is giving to the Foundation important to her?

Ann always supported the Foundation in quiet but consistent ways. She was the first person I knew who made a monthly donation. She knew that giving monthly was the way she could make the most impact. Ann witnessed the merge of the Educational Foundation and the Robbie Page Memorial Foundation into the Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation. That was no small effort and she worked tirelessly to help the merger be successful. After leading the Executive Council, it was a natural progression for her to lead the Foundation. She always knew that Tri Sigma would be stronger with a unified Foundation, one that put the best interests of the organization as the focus. The Foundation really represented her passions: Sigmas, education and children.

How did she play a part in the Foundation’s past?

She was elected as the National President of the Sorority when the Foundation merged. There were plenty of members who had strong emotional feelings about this decision. Many were concerned that we would lose touch with the Robbie Page Memorial, one of the hallmarks of our Sorority’s history and sense of purpose. I know Ann listened patiently to everyone’s concerns and helped them realize the value in merging the Educational Foundation and the Robbie Page Memorial and that the new Tri Sigma Foundation would still honor and value our commitment to hospitalized children. Changing history is not always easy, but Ann did it with grace and ensured Tri Sigma continued to move forward without disregarding our past.