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From left, Karen Sabo, Grace Palacios-Will and Kay McKloske enjoy a champagne toast during
the official merger of the Appalachian Women’s Fund and the High Country Women’s Fund at
Bistro Roca Tuesday evening. The new organization is called the Women’s Fund of the Blue
Photo by Jeff Eason

Originally published: 2014-04-07 15:41:03
Last modified: 2014-04-07 15:43:30

Women's funds merge efforts, goals

by Jeff Eason

A merger that has been in the works for months has finally become official. 

On Tuesday, members of the High Country Women's Fund and the Appalachian Women's Fund gathered to say goodbye to their former organizations and say hello to the new Women's Fund of the Blue Ridge. 

The event took place at Bistro Roca Restaurant in Blowing Rock with about 100 members of the new organization in attendance. 

During the event, Kay McKloske and Grace Palacios-Will thanked outgoing directors, Parker Stevens of the Appalachian Women's Fund and Rebecca Moore of the High Country Women's Fund, for their contributions to their respective organizations.

They also thanked members of the transitional board for helping smooth the way for the merger of the two groups, especially Tricia Wilson and John Turner for assistance with the legal aspects of the merger. 

Karen Sabo was introduced as the executive director of the new Women's Fund of the Blue Ridge. 

Formerly, Sabo ran the New Opportunity School for Women at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk. 

"I hope we can use our good fortune to help other women and children in our area who are less fortunate," Sabo said. "People who know me, know that I hate waste. We don't want to spend any money that could be used to help our clients. 

"And I don't like the waste of human lives, of women and children in our area not reaching their full potential. Women living in poverty and not being able to further their education. Women with self-esteem issues because they have been living with a violent partner." 

"This is the kind of waste we can all fight together if we remain strong and dedicated to helping our sisters in our community," she said.

The Women's Fund of the Blue Ridge is dedicated to raising money for various organizations that work to better the lives of women and children in a seven-county region in Western North Carolina, including Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. 

The new organization's initial fundraising event will be the first  WFBR Fundraising Luncheon to be held at the Linville Ridge Country Club on Thursday, June 26. 

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