United Way of Washtenaw County names Molly Dobson its 2020 Woman of the Year

Dobson to speak at annual Power of the Purse fundraiser

Molly Dobson will speak at United Way's annual Power of the Purse event.
Molly Dobson will speak at United Way's annual Power of the Purse event. (Molly Dobson)

ANN ARBOR – United Way of Washtenaw County has announced Molly Dobson, 96, is its 2020 Woman of the Year. Dobson is a longtime community philanthropist and U.S. Navy Veteran.

United Ways’ annual fundraiser Power of the Purse will be taking place on Mar. 3 at the Kensington Hotel. During the event, donated purses from various designers are sold to raise funds for women’s programs in Washtenaw County.

Each year, the UWWC Women United group chooses a Woman of the Year to speak at the event who has a proven track record of giving back to the local community.

“Molly Dobson exemplifies what the Power of the Purse initiative is about: women taking action to address community issues,” Pam Smith, President of United Way of Washtenaw County and Power of the Purse committee member said in a statement. “We are thrilled to honor her achievements and leadership at our event.”

Power of the Purse fundraiser at The Kensington Hotel on March 14, 2018 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

According to the Power of the Purse committee, Dobson was chosen for her dedication and accomplishments in philanthropy, community leadership and innovation.

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“I am so humbled to have been chosen to receive this honor," Dobson said in a statement. “Being honored by UWWC as the ‘Citizen of the Year’ fills me with pride. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It also triggers considerable nostalgia. As a donor, fundraiser and member of the Budget Priorities Committee and later, the Board of Directors of Washtenaw United Way, my WUW roots date back more than half a century. Since then, UWWC has come a long, long way!”

Through her philanthropy, Dobson helped develop the D-SIP internship program at the University of Michigan, which offers undergraduates a paid opportunity to prepare for a career in philanthropy. Since the program began, 313 students have graduated from the award-winning program. Since 2009, Dobson, U-M alumna of the class of 1944, has personally funded 35 interns at 27 community organizations.

Established in 2009, Women United established the Woman of the Year honor. Previous recipients include Beth Fitzsimmons, Dr. Lori Pierce, Cecilia Fileti, Lucy Ann Lance and others.

The local Women United chapter’s Women’s Leadership Initiative has promoted programs for women’s self-sufficiency and success through more than $225,000 in grants raised by the Power of the Purse event.

Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 734-677-7224.

The Kensington Hotel is at 3500 S. State S.

To learn more about United Way of Washtenaw County, visit www.uwwashtenaw.org.

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