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Fall is the season for fundraising galas, and this year does not disappoint. Two popular events will highlight Howard County’s charitable activities – City Gives, hosted by the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County (WGC) and the Gilchrist Hospice Care event, Taste & Auction.

The Women’s Giving Circle’s annual event, September 12, will be staged at The Mall in Columbia and will honor two women philanthropists, with festivities including a fashion show along with food and wine samplings.

The mission of the Women’s Giving Circle, a donor advised fund of the Community Foundation of Howard County (formerly The Columbia Foundation), is to build a community of philanthropists to address the needs of women and girls in Howard County.absolutely_perfect_catering

Giving circles are a recent trend in philanthropy, enabling many small donations to work together to become larger gifts. Since its founding in 2002, WGC has awarded more than $200,000 in grants and currently has an endowment of more than $600,000. In 2011, the group gave nearly $25,000 to 11 Howard County nonprofits, including Bridges for Housing Stability, the Domestic Violence Center and Girls on the Run, as well as substantial emergency grants for those in need.

Recently, WGC partnered with Her Mind magazine for the launch of the summer issue. The event, called “Power of the Purse,” held at Fretz Kitchen Showroom in Columbia, raised $5,000 for WGC by selling gently used donated purses, along with a silent auction of donated purses stuffed with gifts from local businesses and Her Mind magazine advertisers.

On October 21, Gilchrist Hospice Care will hold its 27th annual Taste & Auction at Turf Valley.

Gilchrist Hospice Care provides end-of-life care for patients at its facilities in Columbia and Towson, at home or at an assisted living facility. Together, the centers serve a total of 575 patients per day.

Taste & Auction benefits the Howard County location and raised more than $216,000 last year, says Cliff Hughes, development associate for Gilchrist Hospice Center. This year’s event features food tastings from more than two dozen restaurants plus a silent auction with up to 175 items.

Her Mind Magazine

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