‘Sister Chicks’ was started by just a few Westbrook ladies looking to explore new ventures and have fun. 10 years later, the group has grown to over 100, and this year, they have added ‘fund raiser’ to their list of experiences. Jane Terry, founder of the Sister Chicks, had an idea, and with the others consent, she ran with it. The Sister Chicks went to work and several months later, they had produced a Naughty & Nice calendar. Jane decided she wanted to do something bigger. Her granddaughter, Josie Donscheski, had recently been diagnosed with IDIC15, a very rare chromosome disorder with a wide range of symptoms including Autism, Development delays and seizures. She knew awareness could make a difference for furthering research and treatment options. Fellow Sister Chick Sandy Lehman’s daughter, Aimee Goldberg, has been struggling with Multiple Sclerosis for years. Although this disease may be more widely known, funding is always needed for developing a cure. So Jane and Sandy decided Dup15q Alliance and the MS Society would benefit from all their hard work. They even filled the calendar with information to educate others about both foundations and what they represent.
The Sister Chicks then spent 5 months distributing calendars and collecting donations. By February, they were ready to reveal the result of all their hard work. A date was set and plans made for a luncheon to celebrate.
Jane’s daughter Patti, Josie’s mom, flew in from Omaha, Nebraska and Aimee flew in from Minnetonka, Minnesota to present checks to representatives of each foundation. Robert Swirsky along with his son Hoeldon, also diagnosed with IDIC15, was in attendance to accept the check from Patti for Dup15q Alliance. This is an organization that represents several disorders that all originate in the 15thchromosome. Accepting the check from Aimee for the MS Society was Anne Couture, Volunteer Board of Trustees, AZ MS Society; Jim Liberty, Volunteer Board of Trustees Chair, AZ MS Society and Karen Cummins, Chapter President, AZ MS Society. In total, over $10,000 dollars was divided between the foundations!!!
This project really showed what a group of friends can do. From the outside, the Sister Chicks look
like a bunch of ladies going on outings, planning road trips and gathering together for anything from a CPR class to a fashion show, but in reality, it is a source of not only fun and friendship, but for opportunities, support and strength. Ladies who may never have met are now best friends. Someone who may have suffered an illness or loss alone, now has a large circle of support. And now, because of this amazing group’s ability to work together and utilize each other’s talents and abilities, two very important foundations have an extra $5000 each to help make a difference!