San Luis Obispo County Womenade was founded in 2003 by Sandy Richardson to support individuals and families in need in San Luis Obispo County, California. In 2019, we changed our name to South SLO County Womenade (SSLOCW) to reflect our change of focus to our immediate community. Through potlucks and other efforts, SSLOCW raises critical funds for food, clothing, utilities, transportation, medical and dental, rent, and school supplies. We cover the following areas: Arroyo Grande (including Huasna Valley), Grover Beach, Nipomo, Oceano, and Pismo Beach (including Shell Beach).
Additional Womenade organizations have formed throughout the County, including: Womenade Estero Bay, North County Neighboraid, and GiveSLO.
Our current list of agencies we support is:
Arroyo Grande Family Resource Center
Boys and Girls Clubs of South SLO County
Lopez High School's Wolf Den
Nipomo Elementary Food Distribution Center
Nipomo Family Resource Center
Transitions-Mental Health Association
Additionally, in partnership with the SLO Food Bank and the Nipomo Elementary School, South SLO County Womenade distributes food to 300 families on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Nipomo Elementary School campus.
The mission of South San Luis Obispo County Womenade is to provide urgent assistance to individuals and families.
Board of Directors
Rosemary Cleaves, Director
Born in Washington D.C. and raised in Switzerland, the Philippines and Hong Kong, Rosemary Shu Cleaves is the daughter of two Scottish educated physicians. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Waterville, Maine in biochemistry and economics.
Rosemary worked for Mass General Hospital and John Hancock Insurance Company in Boston and CIGNA in Bloomfield for over 30 years. She developed a strategic optimization investment asset allocation model which grew into a multi-billion consulting business, Global Portfolio Strategies, where she served as president from 1986 to 1998. She then became a Managing Director and Investment Advisor for CIGNA assets from 1999 until her retirement in 2002.
Rosemary worked with many community non-profits through the years, learning the needs of the disadvantaged. She cooked for a soup kitchen, taught ESL classes, started job search, computer literacy, household budgeting programs and huge toiletry and toilet paper collection drives. Armed with these experiences, she co-founded the non-profit A Hand Up, Inc. in Hartford, Connecticut in 2005, dedicated to transitioning unhoused people into independent living.
Rosemary and her husband moved to Arroyo Grande in 2007. She is the founder of South SLO County Womenade and serves as the organization's president.
Caity McCardell, Treasurer
Caity McCardell brings to South SLO County Womenade experience in volunteer management, fundraising, marketing, and public relations. She currently is Community Resources Development Supervisor at Family Care Network, and her background in the nonprofit world includes the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center and Transitions-Mental Health Association.
After receiving a B.A. in Speech and Communication Studies from San Francisco State University, Caity and her family moved to the Central Coast in 2006, landing at Tierra Nueva Cohousing where she volunteered extensively marketing the community's homes and coordinating orientations.
She enjoys gardening on her property in Grover Beach, following her college-aged daughter on Instagram, playing with her dog, and exercising with her husband, teenage son, and nephew.
Ann McDowell, President
Ann McDowell has been a Board member of South SLO County Womenade since 2019, when the Board re-organized as an off-shoot of the original San Luis Obispo County Womenade. Ann brings her work experience with data management and volunteer engagement from her years in Public Health and serving as president and board member of a local Elks club. She has been actively engaged in charitable works for over a decade in addition to her full- time job, volunteering her time as well as securing grants and donations for worthy causes through her work with the Elks.
Raised in California, Ann graduated with a BA in Biology from UC Santa Cruz, and a MPH in Public Health Epidemiology from Emory University in Atlanta. Her interest in Public Health was inspired by 12 years as a Paramedic working in Monterey, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. She has also enjoyed work as a mounted Park Ranger for a City, but most especially her job of white-water rafting guide during the summers when she could get away. Ann recently retired after 20 years as an Epidemiologist for the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department.
Susan McCutcheon, Secretary
In accordance with our bylaws as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, our Board members are not paid. Additionally, we do not have paid staff. EIN # 27-0809744