Queens of the Mountains | SierraSun.com

Queens of the Mountains

Ryan Salm/ Sierra SunThe Queen of Hearts Women's Fund founding members have every reason to celebrate: they more than achieved their goal of creating a $1 million endowment fund within a year. The fund will benefit a Tahoe-Truckee area organization annually, in perpetuity. This is the gift that keeps on giving.

It took can-do attitudes and less than a year for 900 local woman to raise more than $1.15 million for the Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund.

“Women understand that getting together with other women is an opportunity to get things done,” said Queen Martha Simon, the visionary behind the fund. “When women are empowered and come together, amazing things happen. Just think of the impact we’re going to have when 1,000 women get together ” we’re going to take over the world.”

Established just one year ago, the Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund stemmed from the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation’s Queen of Hearts luncheon, an invite-only motivational event that celebrated female philanthropists in Truckee and North Tahoe communities.

The fund was established as a spin-off to harness the motivation and positive energy coming from those women, and to put it to use in the community through both monetary donations and personal commitment, Simon said.

“When I first heard of Queen of Hearts, I thought ‘Oh my God, I have to be one.’ I’ve been here my whole life and I have always thought we needed something like it,” said Queen Erika LaPointe. “We need to be more socially responsible, so to me it was a no-brainer.”

Now that the $1 million endowment base has been established, the money earned from interest, which could equate to $50,000 to $60,000 annually, will be spent in one of the following three areas, as determined by the fund’s members: health and human services; education and youth development; arts, culture and civic benefit; and environment, recreation and animal welfare.

But even before the endowment goal had been fulfilled, the Queens were awarding money.

An anonymous donor contributed $50,000 to the Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund this past fall, and earmarked $25,000 for immediate granting. Members of the fund voted to give two grants, one for $13,000 to Tahoe Forest Hospice to purchase a new vehicle, and one for $12,000 to the Nutrition Coalition to improve physical activity programs for young children.

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