About Us

The Women’s Fund is changing the lives of women and girls right here in our community because of your support.

Together we are making a difference.


The Women’s Fund exists to enrich the lives of women and girls so they can do the same for others.


The Women’s Fund exists to encourage the advancement and full participation of women and girls in society by promoting their full range of choices and to fund projects in the community which:

  • Foster an impact on attitudes and actions that benefit women and girls
  • Promote opportunity, health and self-sufficiency for women
  • Encourage women and girls to develop as philanthropists

Executive Director – Sarah Ellingson

Sarah brings with her over 20 years of experience in for-profit and nonprofit strategy and development and has served on the Women’s Fund marketing committee for over three years. She has worked with businesses and organizations of all sizes including State Farm Insurance, State Bank Financial and UW-Madison and served on numerous nonprofit boards and committees including Friends of the La Crosse Library board.

Sarah lives in La Crosse with her husband and two daughters. When she isn’t cheering on her daughters from the stands, you’ll find her on the river or on the ski slopes.

Get in touch with Sarah at Sarah@womensfundlacrosse.org or 608-780-5710.

2019 Board Members

Amy Every, President

Ruthann Schultz, Vice President

Tammy Wills, Treasurer

Erica Rytilahti, Secretary

Reggi Johnson, Past President

Flo Aliesch

Kenna Christians

Erica Rytilahti

Cheryl Neubauer

Ilene Kernozek

Barb Kruse

Courtney Daniels

Renee Dehn

Pat Heim

History: 20 Years Supporting Women and Children in the Coulee Region

1998 – Signe Schroeder and Roberta Gelatt create The Women’s Fund within the La Crosse Community Foundation.

September 1998 – The first Fall Luncheon is held with Carol Gilligan, chair of Gender Studies at Harvard, speaking on “The Validity and Value of Women’s Voices.”

1999 – The Women’s Fund endowment is established through a challenge grant by the La Crosse Community Foundation. The total grant is $19,000. This grant continues today and the earnings are used for the yearly grant distributions.

1999 – The Women’s Fund awards its first grants totaling $2000.

2003 – First Artist of the Year Award presented to Eileen Daily for her artwork inspired by the Women’s Fund’s “helping others bloom” theme.

2005 – The Women’s Fund receives a bequest from the estate of Roberta Zurn and creates the Roberta Zurn Women in Leadership Award. The first winner is June Kjome, missionary, nurse and social activist.

2010 – The Women’s Fund establishes itself as its own nonprofit organization.

2013 – The Women’s Fund hosts its first Spring Fling to celebrate what unites us as women.

September 2013 – The Women’s Fund hires its first Executive Director to support the organization’s continuing growth.

2015 – The Women’s Fund creates a quasi-endowment to ensure the organization’s ability to provide grants in perpetuity.

2018 – The Women’s Fund celebrates 20 years of supporting women and children in our community.