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A Permanent Fund to Ensure All Girls Thrive

Girls Thrive graphic

Announcing an Opportunity to Honor the Leadership & Legacy of Lee Roper-Batker (WFMN President & CEO, 2001-2020)

WFMN’s impact and innovation to drive gender and racial equity in Minnesota is inextricably linked to the visionary leadership of Lee Roper-Batker. For nearly 20 years, Lee’s fierce, unwavering commitment to equity, strategic vision, and powerful leadership has had a tremendous impact on the lives of women, girls, and communities across our state.

In the months since announcing her official retirement date on January 3, 2020, donors and community stakeholders alike have asked how they can honor Lee’s leadership and tremendous impact in Minnesota, and beyond.

We asked Lee her wishes — and she asked that gifts be directed to the Girls Thrive Fund.

As a permanently endowed fund, Girls Thrive guarantees that future resources are available to support the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota’s (WFMN) innovative programs, such as:

  1. girlsBEST (girls Building Economic Success Together)
  2. MN Girls Are Not For Sale
  3. Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota
  4. Wenda Weekes Moore Internship and Reatha Clark King Fellowship

In addition to your annual WFMN support, your gift to Girls Thrive will signal your appreciation for Lee’s leadership, commitment to equity, and partnership to ensure all girls thrive in our state.

To date, more than $1,000,000 has been donated to Girls Thrive by the following generous donors. Thank you!

Anonymous • Habon Abdulle • Erica Bergsland • Linda Bearinger and Michael Resnick • Kerrie Blevins • Laura Bishop and Charles Weber • Melissa Brown • Charlson Foundation • Jeff Coate and Sylvie Martinez • Terry and Susan Cogger-Williams • Julie Corty • Brenda and Jim Coulter • Michelle Lynn Daniel • Susan Denk and Deborah Cundy • Lucas Erickson • Elizabeth Feckter • Debra Fitzpatrick • Heidi Gesell • Teddy and James Gesell • Polly Grose • Beverly Grossman • Brighid H Hansen • Lynne Hardey • Aimee Hatlestad • Blanche and Thane Hawkins • Mary Ellen Hennen • Saanii Hernandez and Adam Mohr • Beth Holger • Katharine and Tom Hull • Anna Seaton Huntington • IMAGEHAUS • Julie and John Ingleman • Cindy Kent • Elizabeth King • Becky and Lars Klevan • Marleen and Richard Kurschner • Brook LaFloe • Karen Leonard • Margaret and Ilo Leppik • Alissa Light • Cecilie Loidolt • Kathy Longo and Jay Pluimer • Ann Lonstein • Jen Lowman Day • Ann C. Manning •  Susan Marvin and Keith Schwartzwald • Gaye Adams Massey and Harold Massey • Joyce and Richard McFarland • Teddy McGuire • Katie McLemore • Minnesota National Organization for Women Foundation • Lulete Mola • Wenda Weekes Moore • Gayle and Timothy Ober • Patricia and Daniel O’Leary • Ruby Oluoch • Stacy and Benjamin Papier-Meister • Par-Be-Gone Golf and Social Club • Anita Patel • Robin Phillips • Gail Polley-Nordhaus • John Roper-Batker • Jasmine Sánchez • Betty and Wayne Schilling • Susan Strauss • Sandra Swami and Ward Green • Texas Women’s Foundation • Kevin and Heidi Walsh • Lauren Weck • Pam Weisdorf

Donate Today

When you make a gift online, select Girls Thrive from the drop-down menu after selecting the gift amount.

The legacy of Lee’s transformational leadership — a central force advancing gender and racial equity in Minnesota and across the nation — is remarkable. She has:

Your additional gift to Girls Thrive will ensure the impact of Lee’s leadership for generations to come. Thank you!

For more information, contact Saanii Hernandez, Vice President, at 612-236-1807 or

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