The Fairfield County Community Foundation's Fund for Women and Girls will celebrate its 11th annual luncheon on Thursday, April 8, at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich. Helping organize the fundraising event are luncheon committee members from New Canaan: Louise Brooks, Marianne Buchanan, Susan Cotter, Elisabeth Golden, Patty Hopple, Andrea Immelt, Cordy Gould Kelly, Janet Lebovitz, Carolyn O'Brien, Christine Russell, Claire Salvatore, Jeanie Shaw, Julie Taylor and Jane Williams.

Each year, more than 600 supporters attend the luncheon, which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tickets start at $250 and can be purchased by emailing fwgevents@fccfoundation.org or calling 203-750-3221. Information on the luncheon can be found online at www.fccfoundation.org.

The Fund for Women and Girls is the largest fund of its kind in New England. Since its establishment in 1998, it has awarded over $1.4 million in grants to Fairfield County nonprofit programs that help women and girls overcome obstacles and reach their potential.

The Fund for Women and Girls has partnered with Norwalk Community College and the Norwalk Community College Foundation to create the Family Economic Security Program. In this five-year pilot program, low- and moderate-wage students who support dependents receive a comprehensive suite of services and assistance to help them earn an associate degree, a Bachelor's degree and enter careers that allow them to support their families. The Fund for Women and Girls has made a five-year $1.25 million commitment to support women in the program.

"When you help a woman improve her economic security, the ripple effect is tremendous," said Sally Lawrence and Mika Frechette of Greenwich, co-chairwomenof the Luncheon Committee. "She and her family have access to better healthcare, her children are likely to receive a better education and she is more likely to become involved in improving her community. Helping one woman can make a positive impact on an entire family for generations to come. You ultimately benefit society."

At this year's luncheon, Gail Collins, "New York Times" op-ed columnist and author, will be the keynote speaker. Collins' most recent book is "When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to Present." Books will be on sale at the event and Collins will sign copies following the luncheon.

The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish their own charitable funds or contribute to existing funds focused on specific areas of need or communities in Fairfield County. The Foundation also provides philanthropic advisory services, and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues. It is in compliance with the Council on Foundations' national standards for community foundations. The Foundation has awarded over $110 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond.

For more information, visit www.fccfoundation.org.