Prairie Village resident Sybbie Fox was visiting a friend in Illinois early this past spring when she learned that her trip coincided with a dinner party her friend was hosting.
The party found an intimate group of a half dozen gathered around a table, laughing, sharing stories and enjoying a glass of wine. When Sybbie looked around the table, she couldn’t remember the last time she’d sat down for a meal with a group made up entirely of women.
“It sounds so simple, but it’s pretty rare when you’re a busy person and a mom,” Fox said. “So many women don’t let themselves have time to just hang out and socialize with each other.”
Organized under the group Dining for Women, her friend’s dinner party inspired Fox. She learned that the closest group to northeast Johnson County was in Lawrence. So she decided to found her own chapter. The group had its first dinner in May. It was a quick hit, attracting a dozen local women to Fox’s home. Inspired by the early interest in her local group, Fox applied to become the regional leader for the organization for Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, and is now tasked with sparking new groups in those states.
As part of the program, participants make a small donation — about the cost of what they would have spent on a meal dining out — before their dinner, and then learn about a variety of projects where the members’ funds are used. The organization makes grants to projects focused on education, healthcare and economics, among other areas. For example, the group works with the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn program to promote education opportunities for girls in developing countries.
Fox said the opportunity to help and learn about women in other cultures is among the group’s appeal.
“We are building a community of women who, in turn, support women across the world,” Fox said. “I think the aspect of helping others while strengthening our local community is what allows women to give themselves permission to spend an evening with friends.”
Fox’s Prairie Village chapter of the organization is holding an informational session on Dining for Women next Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Social Suppers in Corinth Square. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP or request more information.