2018 Dare to Dream Award recipients announced

Dare to Dream award recipients are, from left: LaTasha Do-zia-Early, Jenny Simpson, JamiLynn Pastore, Heather McWhinney and Valeria Knight. Second row, from left: Angela Schroeder, Tierra Burke and Viviane Knight. Ashley Miller/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center announced Tuesday its Dare to Dream Elaine Bromfield Memorial Scholarship and Kim South Girl Grant award recipients for 2018 at its annual breakfast celebration. Ten winners received awards totaling $8,400 in grant and scholarship money.

Melanie Mullinax, communications chair and board member, said the whole mindset of granting the awards to women residing in Warren County has been a blessing.

“This year’s winners are a great group of women who have dreams and plans to really make their lives better for themselves and their families but also their community,” she said. “We’re always really impressed with all the applicants that we receive. We wish we could give out more grants but will keep raising funds to do so in the future.”

The Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant is an annual grant that provides Warren County women, 18 and older, an opportunity to take a courageous step forward in their lives or support a dream already in progress. Since its creation in 1999, 148 grants have been awarded, totaling $105,584. Membership dues, events and donations create the funds for each grant awarded.

Past recipients have used their grants to purchase computers, pursue degrees or certificates, open new businesses or create nonprofits.

Joyce Wimmer, president of the Front Royal Women's Resource Center, shares her congratulations with this year's award recipients. Ashley Miller/Daily

Grants ranging from $100 to $1,000 are awarded from funds gathered by membership dues, business and community sponsorships, donations and fundraising efforts throughout the year.

There were 25 applications  submitted, which Mullinax said was extraordinary and a testament to its success.

Viviane Knight, accredited fitness trainer, said she was cooking dinner for her family when she received her letter in early March.

“After reading the first three sentences, I just knew,” Knight said. “It was one of those awe-inspiring moments that makes you realize if you have a dream, anything is possible.”

Knight was award a $500 grant toward the cost of a health exercise program license.

Guest speaker Christine Andreae, a Front Royal Women’s Resource Center founding member, author, artist, and environmental advocate, spoke on the importance of finding a “passion and letting it absorb you.”

“Dreams will keep you, they will inspire you if you find the time and the space to let them,” she said.

Other  Dare to Dream  recipients include Jenny Simpson, who received $600 toward a laptop to help her finish an associate’s degree at Lord Fairfax Community College; JamiLynn Pastore, $800 toward a fabric cutter; Heather McWhinney, $600 toward the purchase of art supplies and tools for her small art business; Valerie Knight, $600 toward an adjustable ergonomic chair and art equipment for her miniature paintings; Phyllis Carmean, $1,000 toward education costs for a registered nursing degree; Tierra Burke, $900 toward her educational costs to pursue a degree at Lord Fairfax Community College in Informational Technology; and Jennifer Avery, $1,000 toward a video camera for her video marketing business.

Angela Schroeder, award recipient of the 2018 Elaine Bromfield Memorial Scholarship, received $1,500 toward education costs as she continues to pursue her bachelor’s in science in therapeutic creation, and master’s in science in sport and recreational studies and a minor in psychology.

The 2018 Kim South Girl Grant was awarded to LaTasha Do’zia Early, founder of the Selah Theatre project, for $900 to cover the cost of summer camp tuition for three middle school-aged girls. Early said there had been a  request for musical theater in Front Royal.

“Even though I was a music theater major, it’s not my area of expertise,” she said. “So, being able to bring in another professional like Dolly Stevens will teach these girls to have big dreams.”

Andreae concluded her speech with some words of wisdom for the women sitting in the room, “Don’t be afraid. Go ahead – do your dream.”