Someone 2 Know: Norma Webster - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Someone 2 Know: Norma Webster

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Philanthropist Norma Webster has been helping northern Nevada communities for decades, but it's not just her donations that have made a difference. She became a business owner in the early 1970's - when women were still fighting for a place in a male dominated work world. She defied the odds and excelled and now works to ensure more women and girls can do the same.

We got to see her in action at a recent board meeting, where Webster’s positive energy is palpable. Her laugh and smile light up a room, her sharp intellect and experience can move mountains...

"The scale of giving that Norma has gotten engaged with has really made a difference in our community" says Chris Askin, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Western Nevada.

…but it's Norma Webster’s generous heart that really changes lives. "That's the real beauty of her,” says her good friend Paula Smith Dermody, “When it comes to the things she does, she's not afraid to get in and put the sweat equity in."

From working at a yard sale to traveling to Nepal, Norma Webster invests her time and energy into the projects she believes in - and then finds a way to make sure they have the money to succeed. She's especially passionate about helping women and children.

"I was a young business woman, and in 1978 I joined a group called Soroptimist," says Norma.

Webster is very private, but her friends and associates will tell you she always shares her time, treasure and talent. “This is not someone who just writes a check, this is someone who gives her brain power to make sure the organization or the people there are better off,” says Paula

She's been involved with the Community Foundation of Western Nevada - a charitable organization - for more than 15 years.

"Under her leadership, I think, we had the biggest expansion of our mission since we were formed, explains Askin.

Dermody list just a few of the projects Webster has been involved in. "She's supported the Girl Scouts, The Discovery museum, the education at Sage Ridge, you look at her Soroptimist work, her passion for Nepal."

While most of the philanthropy Norma’s been involved with has been very local, in 2001 her Soroptimist group built a dormitory in a small village in Nepal, where 2,800 girls have been supported and educated.

Back home, it's schools like Sage Ridge in Reno that have been recipients of Webster and her family's generosity (you’ll see a building named after her mother-in-law on campus), as well as Nevada Women's Fund, where this year Norma Webster is being inducted into the hall of fame.

She's nowhere near done; next up - micro lending programs and teaching financial literacy. "Reno still has an awful lot of opportunity to do - and to do well," says Norma.

Askin says he has no doubts; "…when Norma is thinking about something - that means something is gonna happen."

AND, says Paula, she will do it with grace. "She's never forgotten where she came from, she had a wonderful upbringing from a great family…and that humility was there as well."

If you would like to attend the Salute to Women of Achievement luncheon, where Norma Webster is being inducted, it is Thursday, May 25th at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. Click link below for more information;

For more information on the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, click here;

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