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Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 11:20 pm

Changing the world one dinner at a time

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DFW founder and president Marsha Wallace, at left, with the founder of the India-based Matrichaya organization.

Marsha Wallace of Greenville, S.C., started the group Dining for Women in 2003 after reading about a group of friends who met for potluck dinners and collected money for needy families. Wallace liked the idea of using the money they would have spent if they had eaten at a restaurant, and founded DFW on the idea of using “dining out dollars” to help women in developing countries.

Wallace will appear in Springfield Friday, March 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Hoogland Center for the Arts as a fundraiser for the organization. “Dining for Women: One Woman’s Impact on Global Poverty” will include a presentation about DFW and a dessert reception. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at the Hoogland Center for the Arts.

In Springfield there are two DFW organizations that meet monthly and another one online. You may learn more by calling Anne Capestrain at 217-793-0471.  Capestrain’s chapter has raised $33,000 in its first five years, and the national organization has raised nearly $1 million for projects.

DFW funds grassroots organizations that empower women through economically sustainable programs in health and education. The group’s donations for February will fund PINCC (Prevention International No Cervical Cancer) which trains El Salvadoran staff to screen impoverished women for cervical cancer. El Salvador has the highest rate of cervical cancer in the world.

DFW offers two travel abroad trips each year hosted by international organizations, giving members the opportunity to meet the women their money benefits. If you want to be a DFW agent of change, learn more at www.diningforwomen.org.

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