Awardees Challenge Others to Give, Lead at ‘First Founders’ Breakfast

The audience of nearly 500 at yesterday’s Fund for Women Philanthropy Breakfast at the Chase Center included US Senator Chris Coons, State Treasurer Ken Simpler, Mayor Mike Purzycki, Ashley Biden, and several recipients of the First Founder award, which has been given for 10 years. 

But it was the selection of the 2017 award recipients — two well-known and philanthropically-focused individuals — that generated the largest attendance ever at the networking and recognition event.

UBS Senior Vice President, Wealth Advisor Ginger Ward received the First Founders Award for her lifetime of community service, which includes helping high-risk youth, advocating for constituents at the Delaware Center for Justice, and bringing art to children in Sussex County.

Stephanie Hoopes and her brother Robert Hoopes, who traveled up from Washington, DC for the occasion, were proud to accept the Legacy Award given posthumously to their mother Judy Hoopes, one of the founders of the Fund for Women. Judy was involved in any number of nonprofit projects in her lifetime, including the Wilmington 76 Bicentennial Celebration, helping to preserve historic homes slated for demolition, chair of the Delaware State Arts Council, the Delaware Historical Society and the Delaware Community Foundation. Carrying on the legacy of their mother, Robert and Stephanie are making Judy’s three young granddaughters Founders as well.

Karissa Thacker introduced Ginger Ward to guests yesterday, giving a portrait of someone she has known for nearly 30 years. “I have had the privilege of being there while Ginger shaped herself into the woman of substance, skill, pragmatism, and joy that this community is honoring today.”

Thacker shared that Ginger’s evolving vision for a better community, which included a 1988 goal of ending world hunger by the year 2000, was always followed by action. “She told us exactly what we needed to DO to make that difference.” 

In a reference to one of their favorites songs by Mary Chapin Carpenter, “Why Walk When You Can Fly,” Thacker said that in a very good way, Ginger has challenged many in our community to fly instead of walk as they follow a path of citizenship, philanthropy and volunteerism.

Founders contributes $1,000 to become a member of the Fund for Women. Funds are then distributed annually to several causes supporting women and children throughout the state. The goal of the Fund for Women is to reach 2,018 Founders by 2018.

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Google Plus
  • Share on Pinterest
  • Share on LinkedIn

About the Contributor

Christy Fleming

Christy Fleming

The managing editor of, Christy Fleming also supports a variety of non-profit initiatives in Delaware. Her background includes positions in public relations, advertising and journalism.

Leave a Comment