WoW was created and continues to be developed through the commitment and energy of volunteer expat women living in Wuhan. Every person who contributes is helping the well-being of others.
Below is a brief timeline outlining the main developments. It doesn’t however list everyone who has contributed and continue to contribute – through arranging activities, translating, replying to website postings, sharing opinions and supporting the main organizers. You know who you are – and we thank you!
2004-2010 – WoW is founded by Elsa Gade, Isis Hahn & Helen Booth, with Ginny Minninger suggesting the name “WOW – Women of Wuhan”. They hold Coffee Mornings, Christmas Bazaar and Crafts Fair to raise money for the educational fees of Hubei children who have been affected by HIV / Aids; a project organised by Professor Gui and David Wilmots. A “Shoebox Project”, suggested by Margaret Lovejoy, starts and continues until 2011.
2010 – Elsa Gade leaves Wuhan. Monthly fund-raising breakfasts continue being held at New World Hotel by Lynne Burrows and Lena Troelsen. The “WoW Craft Fair” is held at Wuhan Tiandi. Lynne and Lena organize the first fundraising WoW Dinner Dance which is held at Shangri-La Hotel with a sold-out attendance of 70 pax. They also start holding non fund-raising activities such as Afternoon Teas at Marco Polo.
2011 – Lynne Burrows leaves. Lena Troelsen teams up with Wanda Heron and they continue with monthly breakfasts, now at Jin Jiang International Hotel. Email list holds 60 pax including sponsors. The annual fund-raising “WoW Craft Fair” is held again at Wuhan Tiandi which is where Panida Grinneback meets them. WoW website and logo are created by Panida in September. Second WoW Dinner Dance takes place at Shangri-La with 110 pax.
2012 – Wanda Heron and Panida Grinneback start monthly Sunday WoW brunches at The Westin Wuchang in order to include families and partners. They endeavor to increase monthly WoW activities from one to 3 or 4, with the balance being 50% fundraising, 50% social. The annual fund-raising “WoW Craft Fair” is held at The Westin Wuchang. A monthly “Coffee Chat” is initiated by Gosia Lalanne. The third WoW Dinner Dance is held at Marco Polo with 143 pax. Wanda Heron leaves Wuhan.
2013 –“Family Circle” activities group are arranged between WoW and local Chinese mothers. Fund-raising “International Charity Fun Fair” is held at French Street at Golden Harbour, Hanyang. With the rapid growth of WoW (email list now over 250 pax), first AGM (All Gals Meeting) is arranged and WoW structures to outline roles of volunteers. Panida Grinneback leaves. New organisers step forward – Celine Lorenz and Silja Zhang.