WITAN, (Women in Touch with Akron’s Needs) initially founded in 1943 by seven young women, has grown to an active membership of over 200 remarkable women who give their time and money as volunteers to benefit the community.

Along with countless volunteer hours within the community, last year, the Women of WITAN donated over $120,000 to community organizations.  The WITAN French Market, a 2 day juried/invitational show featuring artists selling their original works, is our major fundraiser.

Since 1943, WITAN has volunteered over 3 million hours in the community and granted over 2 million dollars to nonprofit agencies.

WITAN’s Mission Statement

Our mission is threefold:

  • To educate members concerning civic responsibility and to promote volunteerism.
  • To recognize, establish, and financially support projects which fulfill a need in the community.
  • To develop and nurture friendships by working together toward a common goal.

“WITAN – Who We Are” Video

WITAN In The News

Local history: What in the world is a Witan? – In 1943, seven young women formed a club that they hoped would be an asset to the community during World War II. The founders were Mary Brittain, Betty Clemmer, Pat Krans, Gretchen Parsons, Billie Miller Schlegel, Audrey Stevens and Eleanor Woodward, the wives of Akron men who belonged to the Junior Chamber of Commerce.

French Market one highlight of WITAN’s 70 years – Over the years, the group’s contributions have been across a variety of local causes. Fink said the group has contributed to Habitat for Humanity, Pregnancy Care, the Battered Women’s Shelter, the Akron Symphony Orchestra and the Akron Zoo.

Since WITAN was founded in 1943, the organization has contributed more than $1 million and more than 3 million volunteer hours to the community.

Rachel Whitehawk-Day is as passionate as they come, particularly about the women she engages at Akron’s ACCESS, a homeless shelter for women and children. Her “Stepping Stones” curriculum is one element of a month-long program at the shelter, funded entirely by WITAN (Women In Touch with Akron’s Needs). ACCESS executive director Lynn Budnick gives high marks to WITAN and to Whitehawk-Day.

WITAN invites community to dine, dance and donate to Akron causes – Women In Touch with Akron’s Needs (WITAN) — which quietly has been raising money for all kinds of programs and projects, big and little, to improve this city over a span of 71 years — gets my vote for Queens of Clout.

It proves that not all power has to be wielded in boardrooms. Sometimes it happens in less formal haunts, and by those we might least expect, who may not think of themselves as power brokers.

I’ve known of WITAN’s good works over the years, but it took member Carol Null to really shine the spotlight on the depth of its gifts to the community.