A diverse group of women are making things happen in Maple Grove. These
women, from varied economic, educational and professional backgrounds, and
representing many stages of life, dedicate their time and talents to making
their community a better place. These women are the Maple Grove Women of Today,
a chapter of Minnesota Women of Today. The organization, once known as the Mrs.
Jaycees of Minnesota, has evolved with the times. But the mission of the Maple
Grove Women of Today (MGWT) remains the same: to be active community servants,
participate in professional and personal development and establish rewarding
Much of MGWT’s efforts are centered on raising money to fund various
charities, including Home Free, an emergency shelter for women and children
fleeing domestic violence, and Kody’s Closet, a non-profit that provides free
hygiene products to underprivileged students. MGWT also sponsors a scholarship
program offering $1,500 each year to a graduating senior from Maple Grove. “We
select our scholarship recipients based on a combination of community service
and academics,” says Carla Hanson, vice president of programming for MGWT.
“Students need only submit an essay detailing their volunteer service and
academic achievement for consideration.”
For younger children, MGWT members have contributed gift baskets to families
with newborns at Maple Grove Hospital. They help with a school carnival at Cedar
Island Elementary School and provide special events for children living at Home
Free at Christmastime and Easter.
Erin Carney, parliamentarian and craft show coordinator for MGWT says, “I
love the wide variety of projects MGWT is involved with. There is always
something for everyone, and the group is very open to new ideas.”
Ideas that MGWT has recently implemented include the adoption of a highway
and a blood drive event. “Mostly we drove participants to Memorial Blood Center
in Plymouth,” Hanson says. “But we’d like to partner with another organization
and create a larger event.”
MGWT members not only plan donation events for non-profits, they plan
fundraising events to make their generosity possible. The group’s largest
project is a bi-annual craft fair held each spring and fall at the Maple Grove
Sue Jammes, secretary for MGWT says, “This is an awesome group of women who
are dedicated to providing a better life for others.” And Bonnie Marten, a
member of the original Mrs. Jaycees in 1978, appreciates the continued mission
of MGWT. She says, “In addition to volunteerism opportunities, the district and
state levels of Women of Today offer information and training for women
interested in pursuing more professional and personal development.
MGWT social events range from backyard barbecues to restaurant nights and
family ice cream socials. They host a monthly coffee chat at Starbucks Coffee on
Wedgewood Lane as well as monthly chats at a variety of Maple Grove coffee shops
for woman interested in learning more.
A theme among the many members of MGWT is the great friendships they’ve
formed. Several members tell of how they wanted to meet people and get connected
after moving to Maple Grove. They’ve found MGWT to be a perfect conduit to great
friendships and community service. //
Learn more about Maple Grove Women of Today at maplegrovewot.tripod.com.