Big turnout at Sequim breakfast to benefit women
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Margaret McKenzie/Peninsula Daily News
Sandy Reed, left, a Mujeres de Maiz board member, shares information about the Mujeres de Maiz (Women of the Corn) Opportunity Foundation with Joan Henry, Ingrid Lehrer, Ingrid Strong and Eftin Strong, all of Sequim, at a fundraiser breakfast Sunday at the Sequim Prairie Grange.

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

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SEQUIM — Sunday morning was sabroso, flavorful, with hot salsa, corn tortillas, scrambled eggs and Mexican cheese in the first Mujeres de Maiz breakfast at the Sequim Prairie Grange.

The Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation, a Sequim-based nonprofit that helps send young Mexican women to high school and college, hosted the meal for more than 100 individuals.

“It was more than we were expecting,” said Steve Gilchrist, Mujeres de Maiz' lone male board member.

In addition to the $10 breakfast, there were also outright donations, Gilchrist said.

The total amount of funds raised at the event was not available Sunday afternoon.

Gilchrist and Molly Rivard, the Mujeres board member with abundant experience cooking for crowds, rustled up the meal. Volunteers served from 8:30 a.m. till noon, poured tea as well as coffee donated by Raven's Brew Coffee Co. and staffed a display table with information about Mujeres de Maiz (Women of the Corn0.

The 7-year-old nonprofit raises money for scholarships awarded to young women in rural Chiapas, Mexico's southernmost state; the women can then share their education with their neighbors and families. Mujeres also has funded children's enrichment programs, eye examinations and eyeglasses in villages such as Crucero and Zinacantán.

Mujeres board member Sandy Reed traveled to Chiapas with the organization's founder, Judith Pasco, in December 2011. She was among the hosts who talked with guests about the organization's efforts to work in partnership with Mexican women in their own communities.

Other board members include retired Sequim teachers Martha Rudersdorf and Linda Finch, returned Peace Corps volunteer Cathy Van Ruhan and Mary Norton, who is retired from Port Townsend Paper Co.

To learn more about Mujeres, see www.Mujeres or phone Gilchrist at 360-683-1651.

Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at

Last modified: March 03. 2013 6:21PM
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