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  • 02/26/2024 4:43 PM | Anonymous

    Thanks to Irene Strohbeen for this letter written for the League of Women Voters Appleton/Fox Cities newsletter:

    Mid-Day Women’s Alliance (MDWA) and other partner organizations of the Women’s Action Coalition (WAC) held a press conference on Monday February 5 to announce the bill introduction for the Wisconsin state Equal Rights Amendment to our state constitution.

    Representative Lori Palmeri from Oshkosh’s 54 th Assembly district is the lead bill author; she introduced the proposed amendment which is much broader than the original ERA, ensuring equal rights for all under the law because “after more than 50 years, it’s embarrassing that ANY Wisconsinite has fewer rights than another.”

    Appleton’s Representative Lee Snodgrass, co-author, added her support.

    One of Appleton’s first feminists, Mary Ann Rossi, shared the history of the WI ERA and the local feminist movement with the crowd of over 50 people, followed by statements from WAC partner organizations.

    In particular, Linda Bjella spoke on the history of the League of Women Voters, and Alice Paul’s role in women’s suffrage and the ERA.

    We also heard from the generation that will inherit our past and current decisions: Megan Eisenstein, government major from Lawrence University spoke on the rights she lost with the Dobbs decision because she came to college in Wisconsin vs staying in Illinois, and how she dreams of the day when equal rights will be restored to millions of people in the state.

    Press coverage of the event was fabulous and was picked up across the state. Here are a few news videos and posts from the event:


    Eau Claire:

    Green Bay:

    Green Bay:

    Green Bay radio:

  • 10/22/2023 10:57 AM | Anonymous

    Barbara Luhring is a long time & active member of the MDWA Legislative group.

  • 10/18/2023 11:43 AM | Anonymous

    Mid-Day Women's Alliance presents relevant programming for all me. I recently attended a presentation by Life, Health and Money Coach Kim Rainer and liked it so much I created a graphic note to share. Find out more about Kim's services here:

  • 10/08/2023 6:45 PM | Anonymous

    What to Know About THE ALICE PAUL EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” • 1st introduced in Congress in 1923 and in every Congressional session from 1923-1970. • Passed both houses of Congress in 1972 and endorsed by Pres. Nixon; sent to the states for ratification by at least 38 states. • 38 states have now ratified the ERA: • Through 1977, 35 of 38 states ratified ERA. 1979 deadline for ratification extended to June 30, 1982 but no additional states added. • From 2017-2019, Nevada, Illinois and Virginia ratified the ERA to fulfill the required 38 states to ratify the constitutional amendment. • A bill has been introduced in House & Senate to remove the ratification deadline; the Senate did not hold a vote earlier in 2023 but will likely do so later in the 2023-24 session with bipartisan support. Poll results from 2016: • 94% of Americans polled support ERA • 80% believe equal rights for women is already in US Constitution

    WHY IS THE ERA IMPORTANT? • Because women’s rights have never been upheld based on other amendments, even the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause. Justice Antonin Scalia has said that he doesn’t think the US Constitution prohibits sex discrimination. • Because without the ERA, women’s rights are not constitutionally equal to the rights of men. • Because women need a clearer and stricter judicial standard for deciding cases of sex discrimination. • Because without the ERA, there is no constitutional basis for claims of gender-based violence, and the Supreme Court has denied justice to victims of domestic violence. • Because the ERA would close the gap in existing laws protecting women from discrimination that aren’t comprehensive enough. • Because the US “should” be a global leader on women’s rights, but we are not when legal protections are not included in the US Constitution. 

    Women’s Equality Day on August 26 is when we mark the day in 1920 when the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote officially became part of the US Constitution. Three years later, Alice Paul introduced the Equal Rights Amendment in Congress. It took from 1923 until 1972 for the ERA to pass in Congress. Finally, in 2020 the required 38 states ratified it. However, it has still not been certified as part of the Constitution due to artificial deadlines imposed by Congress. Those deadlines need to be lifted by the Senate.

  • 10/08/2023 6:39 PM | Anonymous

    From the League of Women Voters Appleton September 2023 newsletter: Think of it: not one, not two, but five groups of women working together on women’s equality! It is happening. If you strolled by the Farmer’s Market in Appleton on Saturday, August 26, 2023 you likely would have seen the result. On that day, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Women’s Equality Day and the 103rd anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, the Women’s Ac on Coalition (WAC) announced its presence by celebrating women and girls at the market. WAC had a booth with information about the collective, circulated a petition to pass the long proposed ERA (we gathered 115 signatures!), and had a photo booth. A photo booth, you ask? Yep, an opportunity for women and girls or others to let us know what women’s equality means to them and to have a Polaroid picture taken. The card with the quote and picture was scanned and then the original given back to the person. We also hung large posters of nine women and girls previously photographed by Graham Images and interviewed by WAC members. A final part of the project will be a public presentation of the photos and quotes. Many, many thanks to those individual donors who contributed, especially to the Derocher Family Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. As lead sponsor this fund provided critical support to the success of our project. Remember our mantra — the more we collaborate the greater the impact! Members from all five organizations involved in the WAC participated in this project: the League of Women Voters of Appleton-Fox Cities, American Association of University Women (AAUW), Midday Women’s Alliance, Northeast Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, and the Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region. In addition, we worked closely with Appleton Downtown, Inc. (arranged for our use of Houdini Plaza), Graham Images (Graham Washakta took the nine formal portraits at two different Farmers Markets), and PhotoOpp, a new nonprofit for professional, amateur and student photographers (it ran the photo booth, took the Polaroids and scanned the photos and quotes). WAC is built on the alliance originally created for the centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment. Seventeen women, representing all five groups, spent last year redefining the vision and structure of the coalition to further work on important issues affecting women. We finished this planning earlier this spring. WAC will annually rotate leadership among the five organizations. This year the Women’s Fund is providing the leadership. Look for another event this winter

  • 02/20/2023 4:54 PM | Anonymous

    Each year since 2018, Mid-Day Women’s Alliance (MDWA) in partnership with CAP Services and in 2021 also with WWBIC (Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation) has selected a local woman entrepreneur to receive a $2000 grant plus over $2000 in business coaching services and networking opportunities. MDWA provides the cash award and teams with CAP Services and WWBIC for coaching, networking, and business plan services. The grant focuses on new or existing businesses that have started producing revenue.

     Our past recipients who have valued and benefitted from this program include:

    • 2018 - Amanda Santoro – Little Foods Co.
    • 2019 – Traci Powell – The Lemon Branch
    • 2020 – Kate Moody – Ms. Moody Money
    • 2021 – Cassie Mathis – Baby Bear Cranial Clinic
    • 2022 – Kylee Falconer – Kindred Seasons Events

    Benefits of the Entrepreneur Grant: The selected grant recipient is paired with Business Coaching Team (made up of individuals from CAP Services, WWBIC and MDWA) who offer monthly consulting at no charge. The grantee also receives the following at no charge: a one-year membership to Mid-Day Women’s Alliance (MDWA), all MDWA monthly lunches for the year, and quarterly Women in Leadership Development workshops. The recipient also benefits from countless networking opportunities that will help her build relationships leading to further business growth. The recipient is required to enroll in CAP Services’ Business Development Program to develop and/or enhance her business plan. 

    About CAP Services: CAP Services, Inc’s mission is to transform people and communities to advance social and economic justice. CAP, a private, non-profit corporation, offers innovative and effective programs developed and maintained with input from the people being served. CAP Services provides no cost Business Coaching and low-cost lending to entrepreneurs starting a business and to businesses committed to creating jobs that will be filled by low-income individuals. CAP’s Business Development staff help individuals develop their business plan and assemble a financing package, which can include gap financing from CAP Services. 

    About WWBIC: WWBIC’s mission includes that it opens the doors of opportunity by providing underserved individuals who are interested in starting, strengthening, or expanding businesses with access to critical resources such as responsible financial products and quality business and financial training.

    “Every day we work hard to achieve our social goal of improving the economic well-being of individuals by advancing inclusive entrepreneurship and facilitating self-sufficiency strategies.”

    WWBIC focuses on individuals who face barriers in accessing traditional financing or resources in pursuit of their dreams and economic well-being … in particular women, people of color, veterans, rural and lower wealth individuals.

     Amanda Santoro, Little Foods Company


    Traci Powell, The Lemon Branch


     Kate Moody, Ms. Moody Money

    Cassie Mathis, Baby Bear Cranial Clinic


    Kylee Falconer, Kindred 

  • 01/22/2023 3:02 PM | Anonymous

    Kylee Falconer

    Kylee Falconer, the 2022 winner of the Mid-Day Women’s Alliance Entrepreneurship Grant, opened “Kindred Seasons Events” on February 1, 2022, but the drive to be her own boss began much earlier.

    It started with her kind heart and entrepreneurial spirit. As a Kansas college student, Kylee knew her freshman year that she wanted to meet new people and bring them together. She worked as a Resident’s Assistant in the dorms and hosted events for the students there but wanted to do more. She had the idea to offer something different from the traditional sports available on her small campus where the population included many athletes.

    Involved in dance during her younger years, Kylee decided to embark on a variation on that. She wanted to hold Zumba classes on campus, incorporating a fundraiser for a local breast cancer victims’ charity. She researched funding opportunities to help purchase a Zumba teaching license, applied for and received a grant for that, and classes and planning for a Zumbathon began. Her next step was getting in touch with the student activities board to enlist their help in promoting the event. She was on her way.

    The student activities group knew talent when they saw it and asked Kylee to be part of their marketing team. This led to her serving on their board, and eventually becoming president of the organization. It was a good learning experience to prepare for her future as she completed her BA in Communications.

    During college, Kylee also made time to meet her future husband, Ben, a young man from Colorado. Ben landed an internship at Motion Products, Inc., in Neenah, Wisconsin. In January of 2020, he invited Kylee to join him there so they could explore the Fox Cities and see what the Wisconsin winter was like. While finishing college virtually due to the pandemic, Kylee filled in at Motion Products in their marketing department. She also interned in the president’s office, helping with the logistics of the board of trustees meetings and more.

    After graduation, Kylee worked for Motion Products in marketing and branding, but the desire to start her own business remained. In high school, she watched her dance teacher start a studio in small town Kansas and dreamed of doing something like that. She considered opening one in the Fox Cities, but after working part-time at a local dance studio and researching the saturation in the area, she decided against it.

    She then happened to see a YouTube video about a sleepover event company in California and that piqued her interest. Kylee did her due diligence, not finding any offerings in the Fox Cities and only one sleepover events company that had been open for a short time in Madison. Additional research, and Ben’s blessing, convinced her to take the leap and Kindred Seasons Events came into being.

    Fortunately for Kylee, her now husband Ben likes to build things. She designed the tents and he created them. Her prices include consultation, delivery, styling, and take down within the Fox Cities area. She offers six different Slumber Tent themes as well as full-size Bell Tent Lounging and Slumber party opportunities, perfect for birthday sleepovers, bridal parties, baby showers and more. Kylee describes her business as “the Fox Valley’s sleepover and glamping experts. We create lasting memories for the whole family by taking the stress out of party planning.”

    Yes, there are piles of laundry, which she has realized she may be able to outsource eventually. Kylee joined a Facebook group for sleepover events owners and gets support and ideas like outsourcing there. But she realized more support could only make her business better.

    So, when Kylee’s neighbor, a Mid-Day Women’s Alliance (MDWA) member, told her about the 4th Annual Fox Cities Women’s Entrepreneurship Grant Program (FCWEGP) last year, she decided to apply. This grant, through a competitive application process, provides a local female business owner with $2,000 and over $2,500 in business coaching services and networking opportunities each year and is supported by MDWA in collaboration with CAP Services Inc.

    Kylee applied for and was selected as the winner of the grant. She says mentorship has been the most valuable resource so far. Being able to meet other women who have been in her shoes and knowing she’s not alone as she goes through a small business owner’s struggles means so much. She has gained knowledge and has been offered encouragement. Kylee says her confidence has increased due to this support system. She also has more peace of mind because others with experience have explained why things aren’t as bad as they seem.

    She is still working on how to invest the grant money. The list of ideas is ever-changing, including heated tents. She’s found the best form of advertising is referrals via word of mouth in conjunction with social media, so she hasn’t committed to investing funds there. Kindred Seasons Events had five repeat customers in the first year.  

    Kylee’s goal is to do Kindred Seasons Events full time. She did have to turn customers away last year due to being booked. Summer 2023 parties are scheduled. If the winter season momentum continues, she’s looking forward to full time status happening sooner rather than later. One of her 2023 goals is to partner with other party suppliers to include items like balloons and cakes with her events.

    Kylee says “I’m so grateful that I found a community with which I can build entrepreneurial skills and learn from in so many ways. From basic business to building meaningful relationships, MDWA has helped me build my confidence as a new business owner.”

    If you or someone you know could benefit, the 5th Annual Fox Cities Women’s Entrepreneurship Grant Program (FCWEGP) applications may be submitted June 1-30, 2023.

    Kindred Seasons Events

  • 01/22/2023 2:57 PM | Anonymous

    Welcome to Mid-Day Women’s Alliance! Meet the newest members of our organization and learn more about who they are and what they do.

    Kim Bazan | Virtual Assistant 


    Kim Bazan, a Virtual Assistant from Seymour, WI recently joined Mid-day Women’s Alliance. Kim provides social media for service industries. As a virtual Assistant Kim specializes in Social Media management including creation of content, copy, design, scheduling, travel to photograph content images, video, etc., and engagement. Kim indicates that basic administrative assistance is also available.

    Kim chose what she does because of her love for creating, since it came easy to her as a child and the film industry. Kim was in the entertainment industry for over a decade as background, crew, and as an actor.

    Why Mid-day Women’s Alliance?

    Kim says she chose Mid-Day because “I keep hearing about surrounding myself around others I want to be like successful business owners or others who have been successful, etc., to learn from and, of course, to grow relationship.” Kim also stated she works with local businesses to keep the human factor in a world of technology.

    Jessica Haessly | Owner & Life Coach

    Yoga Story 

    Jessica Haessly, owner of the Yoga Story in Appleton, WI recently joined Mid-day Women’s Alliance. Jessica is a life-long learner who is self-educated in simple tools to help enhance brain function and whole-body health, Jess guides Empowered Mindful Movement + Meditation and Empowered Mindset Masterclasses.

    Yoga Story offers yoga, meditation, and community events that help move the body, quiet the mind, and free the spirit! Pause. Practice. Play.

    Jessica’s training and skillset includes Life Coach · Mindset · Wellness Coaching · Yoga Nidra · Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga.

    Why Mid-day Women’s Alliance?

    When asked, Jessica said “I joined MDWA to connect with, learn from, and share my voice and insights within a space designed to support women leaders, creators, and innovators.”

    If you would like to get in touch with any of our members, please visit the Women First Directory. 

  • 12/20/2022 6:45 AM | Anonymous

    Mid-Day Women's Alliance is Lighting the Way for December Giving by partnering up with three local nonprofit organizations. During the holiday season, it feels good to give back to those who need a little help this time of year. 

    We would love your support in bringing awareness and donations to one or all three of these local organizations. If you are coming to the Put Your Holiday Stress on ICE event on Wednesday, December 21st at the Appleton Curling Club you can bring donations or you can support each of these fundraisers directly by donating online.

    Crossfire Ranch

    The face behind Crossfire Ranch - Heidi Gossen, Founder, Executive Director, and Lead Mentor

    Heidi Gossen is collecting donations for her nonprofit, Crossfire Ranch. Crossfire Ranch is a program that incorporates equine and pairs youth who are experiencing emotional challenges with a trained mentor and equine partner to find hope and healing.

    Why? Heidi explains that she experienced a lot of traumas during her childhood watching desperation and loneliness and losing family members. She adds that she was also “a wallflower growing up and never knew how to fit in with things.”

    As an adult, Heidi was helping with a youth group with kids that “did not fit in” and this “got to her heart.” With her background in psychology and coaching, this forever “people watcher” saw the connection between horses and the human after meeting “Jasper” a “toddler bully horse” at a camp for kids. She said, “Jasper did not ‘fit in’ at camp life.”  Heidi exclaims that a “very loud” call got her moving and through much work and planning, Crossfire Ranch was born. Heidi is asking for monetary donations to keep the programming going.

    It costs approximately $6700 for one youth, for one year for 40 sessions that have profound results. The monthly donor plan (Stable Partners) gives everyone an opportunity to be a hero in a kid’s life. $25 a month, $100 a month or one-time donations are all legacy gifts of the heart!

    Give now or bring your donation to the December 21st event at the Appleton Curling Club!

    Fox Cities Diaper Bank - United Way Fox Cities

    Cassie Mathis, CPO and business owner of Baby Bear Cranial Clinic

    Cassie is collecting diaper donations during December for her clientele and for the Fox Cities Diaper Bank – United Way Fox Cities. Why? She loves helping people, especially parents and families because she knows how hard it is for them to provide the essentials at times. Cassie says she grew up with “very generous parents” and learned that helping people is “the right thing to do.” Helping others is ingrained in her – like a second nature.

    Since Cassie earned a degree in Kinesiology and Business and then Orthotic and Prosthetic Certificates, Cassie has been working with little ones who have been diagnosed with plagiocephaly and/or brachycephaly.

    With the love and support of friends and family Baby Bear Cranial Clinic was created in 2020 which allowed Cassie to take her passion for helmets and helping others to the next level. She takes a team approach and works collaboratively with the families, physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, and others. 

    Give now or bring your donation to the December 21st event at the Appleton Curling Club!

    Community Clothes Closet

    Cindy Carter, Mid-Day Women's Alliance Member and avid volunteer

    From a young age, Cindy has been taught to help out others in need. After she moved to Appleton in 1974, she started volunteering for a few local non-profit organizations. Since then, the number of volunteer organizations that she is a part of has multiplied. 

    Why? Cindy saw that the Community Clothes Closet was in need of bedding this year so she wanted to bring this opportunity to others as well. Cindy says "we should always give back, as there are always those in need, if not money or items, at least give your time."  The feeling of giving during this holiday season is something that is "priceless" to Cindy. 

    The Community Clothes Closet provides free clothing to all people in need. Their belief is that clothing can open the door to a better future by providing the confidence needed to ace a job interview, project a healthy self-image or stay safe from inclement weather. 

    There is a current priority need for collecting new or gently used sheets (Queen or King size bedding), bedspread & blanket donations for the Community Clothes Closest. 

    Give now or bring your donation to the December 21st event at the Appleton Curling Club or bring on the January 18th event at The Grand Meridian. 

    Thank You

    We appreciate your support of this December Giving campaign and wish you a happy and healthy holiday season! 

  • 12/16/2022 3:00 PM | Anonymous

    Welcome to Mid-Day Women’s Alliance! Meet the newest members of our organization and learn more about who they are and what they do.

    Coua Xiong | Interior Designer
    CC Interiors

    Coua is a dynamic business professional passionate about creating interior design for living spaces with contemporary textiles, art, high-quality furnishings, and finishes. Coua’s specialty is transforming a blank space into a beautiful experience 

    Why Mid-Day Women’s Alliance?  

    Coua answers this question with “because of the people I was meeting through networking who were so welcoming, warm and community minded.”

    Kylee Falconer | Event Professional
    Kindred Seasons Events

    Kylee Falconer with her business “Kindred Seasons Events” says they are “the Fox Valley’s sleepover and glamping experts. We create lasting memories for the whole family by taking the stress out of party planning.”

    Why Mid-Day Women’s Alliance?

    Kylee answers this question with “I’m so grateful that I found a community with which I can build entrepreneurial skills and learn from in so many ways. From basic business to building meaningful relationships, MDWA has helped me build my confidence as a new business owner.”

    Lindsay Kaminski | Financial Advisor
    Merrill Lynch

    Lindsay is a financial advisor who works with business owners to help them discover the confidence they need to achieve their financial goals. This is done through a conversational approach where she helps create an executable financial plan for their goals. Lindsay is there every step of the way.

    Lindsay announced that she and her husband have become small business owners as of 11/01/22 with the purchase of Bell Locksmith and “are very excited to carry on the Bell Locksmith legacy.”

    Why Mid-Day Women’s Alliance?

    “I chose Mid-day Women’s since following their activities on LinkedIn. After joining I have discovered just how dedicated this organization is to the advancement of women entrepreneurs and I appreciate the valuable resources and partnerships it provides.”

    Stacey Wilson | Associate Fiduciary Officer
    Associated Trust Company

    Stacey Wilson has been in the banking industry for seven+ years and 16 years in customer service. She states that “the satisfaction of helping clients achieve their financial goals is what drives me every day. Self-motivation, dedication and commitment to client satisfaction are the values I live by.” 

    Her team helps identify estate planning and financial goals and design a comprehensive financial plan to help achieve short- and long-term goals including creation of a legacy, asset protection, professional trustee services, tax-advantaged wealth transfer and protection strategies and gifting and philanthropic giving strategies.

    Why Mid-Day Women’s Alliance?

    Stacey chose to join Mid-Day Women’s Alliance to “network and socialize with like-minded, driven- to-succeed women. At the events I attended, everyone was very welcoming and eager to share their stories.”

    If you would like to get in touch with any of our members, please visit the Women First Directory. 

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