Going the Extra Mile – our Women of Tocqueville

Educating and Inspiring women of influence to take action and impact public policies for our community



“Two thumbs up,” shouted Governor Eric Holcomb to a class of preschool children who were special guests at the ceremonial signing of House Bill 1004 on Monday, June 25 at the Statehouse.


Two thumbs up, indeed, to a bill that doubled the funding for a pre-k expansion in Indiana for low income families. For the hundreds of pre-k coalition members, supporters and champions – including the Women of Tocqueville – the ceremonial signing was a moment to cherish in our United Way history.


“What better way to start the celebration of United Way’s 100th anniversary than to see our governor and legislative leaders sign this bill,” said Sarah Lechleiter, Women of Tocqueville inaugural chair. “This moment has been years in the making, and we should all be proud of the effort. Today, thousands more of our most vulnerable young children now have access to a high-quality preschool education.”


For Sarah and other Women of Tocqueville members, seeing United Way’s public policy initiatives take shape is immensely gratifying.  In 2014, the Women of Tocqueville was specifically formed to engage women of influence to help advocate for United Way initiatives at the local and state level.


“We know that in order to fight for the education, financial stability, health and basic needs of every person in our community, we must do more than generate awareness and grow support of our programs,” said Ann Murtlow, president and CEO of United Way of Central Indiana. “We must advocate for better policies that help our fellow Hoosiers on their path to self-sufficiency.”


That path is now smoother for thousands of Hoosiers.


In 2015, the Women of Tocqueville used their voices to help secure funding for 2-1-1, the helpline that links people in need and people in crisis directly to the human services organizations that can assist them. To honor their commitment to our community, the General Assembly acknowledged the Women of Tocqueville for their service after the 2-1-1 funding was adopted in the state’s budget.


What’s next for the Women of Tocqueville?  Come and find out!  Members meet monthly and are led by current chair, Beth McGraw, and committee members Kate Appel, Mary Boelke, Tonya Combs, Deborah Daniels, Carmel Egan, Dorothy Bennett Hoffman, Sarah Lechleiter, Barb Maurath, Pat McGruder, Lori Norris, Donna Oklak, Holly Pantzer and Heather Willey.


For more information on the Women of Tocqueville, contact Lori Arnold at 317-921-1247 or lori.arnold@uwci.org