By Linda White
“Bedford Womenade is a simple concept of Bedford women helping Bedford families that has had a magical effect for families and members alike,” commented founding Womenade board member, Nancy Latady. Friday, September 18 marked the 10th Anniversary of Bedford Womenade. A group of about 30 women bearing appetizers, snacks, desserts and liquid refreshments gathered at the home of Anna Wallace to reflect, increase cancer awareness, raise money for the Bedford Neighbor Brigade and celebrate.
Escalating concern over the summer for the number of Bedford women and their families who have been touched by cancer, led the Womenade board to their decision to dedicate contributions from the September 18 gathering to the Bedford Neighbor Brigade and highlight cancer awareness.
Amy Mason, Bedford Neighbor Brigade founder, expressed her sincere appreciation for the contributions. “Thank you all for your generosity and volunteerism. Our Brigade, now 350 volunteers strong, is a very active chapter and we could not serve so many recipients without the commitment and giving nature of so many of you. The Brigade provides meals, transportation to medical appointments, errands, dog walking, etc. that are the little things that nurture those facing a temporary crisis,” said Mason.
“Like Womenade, we strive to make a meaningful difference when help is needed most,” Mason continued. “Together, we are a natural and unique partnership and complement each other well. I’m also happy to introduce Nancy Richard who has joined me as a co-chapter leader. We hope you will mark your calendar and join us for Pam’s Run, (5k Run/Walk and 10k Run) on Sunday, October 18, and please visit our website https://neighborbrigade.org/chapters/BedfordMA to register for the run, make a contribution, sign up as a volunteer or let us know of someone in need.” Neighbor Brigade is a 501(c)3 organization.
Womenade: Active in Bedford since 2005
Ten years ago a Boston Globe article about a group of Hingham women who had formed something called “Womenade” sparked Nancy’s interest and the idea caught hold. “This seems like a natural and manageable thing to do because many of us already try to do what we can on an informal basis to help a neighbor in need,” she thought. Further research revealed that Womenade had national roots beginning in Washington, DC in 2001. By 2005, about 35 active chapters had been formed. Nancy set about to form a Bedford chapter modeled after the Hingham group and to use the name Womenade to build upon the growing recognition. Like most moms of school aged children, she looked to her friends, moms of children who were in school with her three children. A volunteer board comprised of Nancy, Ann Guay, Beth Petipas, Dori Rhodes, Karen Badia and later to include Jimena Corti quickly came together. The current board members Nancy Griffiths, Ann Guay, Nancy Latady, Beth Petipas, Nancy Salem, Anna Wallace were recently joined by Deirdre Rosen.
The meeting format is low key and personable and has remained the same over the ten year period. Members come together a few times during the year at the home of a member to share fellowship, pot luck dinner, conversation and fundraising for a specific cause. “This is a wonderful way to put Womenade on a home/personal level,” explained Nancy. Continuing, Nancy described how Bedford Womenade functions. “Members are asked to consider a minimum donation of $35 via gift cards for specific needs of a family or by check. Families in need are referred to Womenade by Bedford churches, schools, social service agencies, friends and neighbors. Bedford is a small town and people generally know where a need exists. We do an assessment of the need and determine if we are able to effectively make a difference by helping with a temporary financial crisis intervention.” To date, Bedford Womenade has raised $68,500 and assisted 33 families who have faced serious family or personal illness, homelessness, a death in the family, etc. We have also contributed to organizations such as Bedford Santa, Bedford Food Pantry, Bedford Summer Camperships and most recently the Bedford Neighbor Brigade.”
“I recently got a save the date for an upcoming Womenade event and it made me realize that it has been a whole year since the Womenade fundraiser was held for my family. … I think a lot about the people who were there for me, for my family, for whatever it was that was needed at the time. And the amazing Womenade women who made such a difference for all they did for me. I will be forever grateful. XO to all of you.” said Amy Signorello.
The Womenade annual Spring ”Cabin Feva Diva Relieva” cohosted with and sponsored by Kamate Fitness is a Bedford favorite and effective fun/fund raiser. Last year’s 6th annual event was best described as a day of health and pampering. Close to 100 women attended. Watch for information for the 7th Cabin Feva Diva Relieva scheduled for March 2016.
To learn more about Bedford Womenade or to send a contribution to support the Bedford Neighbor Brigade cause, please visit the Womenade website: https://www.bedfordwomenade.org/.To learn more about the Bedford Neighbor Brigade, please visit their website: https://neighborbrigade.org/chapters/BedfordMA.