Their conversations are varied and fast-paced. From world events to local business to children and grandchildren, the self-proclaimed ‘wine ladies’ cover it all. Once a week, this group of a dozen Oshkosh-area women gathers, sharing chardonnay, cabernet and camaraderie.
The tradition began after Helen Cleghorn’s husband died. She organized a small group of friends to spend Thursday evenings together, thinking it’d be a good time to see friends whose husbands were playing golf together. Little did they know that the laughter and levity would turn each of them into a budding philanthropist.
It happened soon enough. Ursie Daun attended the first-ever Women in Philanthropy Luncheon put on by the Women’s Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. She left so moved by the notion of female philanthropists that she convinced the ‘wine ladies’ to create a fund.
They operate as a giving circle. Each member contributes to the fund twice a year. Birthday gifts and memorial contributions have all made their way into the fund. It’s an Acorn Fund now, set to grow over time. When it reaches a $10,000 level, the ‘wine ladies’ will recommend grants to support programs for women and children.