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100 Women Project Supports Student Scholarships

3/21/2024 12:00:00 PM

More than eighty women gathered on March 21 in the Performing Arts Center at Sussex County Community College (SCCC) to commemorate Women's History Month and hear a guest speaker from the 100 Women Project.

Ruth Perretti, Founder of Marksboro Mills, was this year's guest speaker for the 100 Women Project. Her presentation focused on her journey from fashion design and marketing, starting after graduating from American University. Ruth worked with notable companies like Ralph Lauren, first as Creative Director and later as Senior Vice President of Women's Design. Additionally, she ran her Branding and Creative Consultancy, serving clients such as Newman's Own, Timberland, and Spike Lee.

Transitioning from the fashion industry, Ruth ventured into agriculture with her husband, Chef Eric Kaplan, co-founding "Ruthie's BBQ and Pizza" in Montclair. This shift was driven by her longstanding passion for natural, healthy food, nurtured by her family's farm in Marksboro, NJ. She cultivated organic produce for the restaurant on her farm and expanded into organic heirloom grain production through Marksboro Mills, supplying organic flour for Ruthie's pizzas. She envisions the Mill as a catalyst for land restoration and rural community revitalization, marking an exciting journey ahead.

During the breakfast event, Stan Kula, the SCCC Executive Director of the Foundation, highlighted the College's significance and emphasized the pivotal role played by the Foundation in raising funds for student scholarships. Additionally, Lorraine Parker, the pioneering female judge in Sussex County and the founder of the 100 Women Project shared that the now-endowed scholarships provided eight women $1000 each tward their education. 

The mission of the 100 Women Project is to raise funds for scholarships for non-traditional women students attending SCCC. Many of these women have interrupted their studies for various reasons, such as raising a family, military service, changing careers, or experiencing hardship. 

This year's 100 Women Project sponsors included E. Jane Brown, First Hope Bank, Erin J. Fox, Alissa Isaacson, Laddy Clark & Ryan LLP, George & Margaret Morville, Hon. Lorraine C. Parker, and Provident Bank.

The attendees enjoyed a buffet breakfast provided by the SCCC Culinary Institute. A diverse spectrum of attendees represented professionals from corporations such as Project Self Sufficiency, First Hope Bank, Provident Bank, Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation, Sussex County AAUW, and many more.

About The 100 Women Project: The Project was established in 2013 in the hopes of garnering pledges from 100 women in the business and professional communities to endow scholarships for women students attending SCCC, especially those returning after an interruption in their education for any reason. The Project's steering committee was excited to realize its first goal of receiving five-year pledges from 100 women by the following year, and the first scholarship was awarded in the Spring of 2015.

For ways to support the 100 Women Project Scholarship, please contact Stan Kula, Executive Director, SCCC Foundation, at skula@sussex.edu or call 973-300-2121.