Women United


Women United® is a global force of over 70,000 women and growing. We are dedicated to creating a world full of opportunity — for everyone. Women United focuses on health, education and financial stability, the building blocks for a better life and a stronger community.

United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties' Women United group ignites the power of women - who bring the passion, expertise, and resources needed to get things done - to create lasting change in our community. Women United supports United Way's early grade reading program to provide primary school children with books and learning and enrichment opportunities help to combat the “summer slide”. During the school year, lower income children keep up with their peers; but in the summer months, children with limited or no access to books fall behind so severely that each year the gap widens, and by the fourth grade they will never catch up. By fourth grade, children should no longer be learning to read, but rather reading to learn. To view a video explaining the summer slide in detail, click here. We need women not only to raise funds for this effort, but also to participate in our various volunteer opportunities and spread the word about our cause.

Women United is seeking women who are willing to work to keep our community one of the best places in the country to live. If you are interested in participating, please view our brochure and submit a membership form if you would like to join. Updated materials with the Women United branding will be available later this year. For more information, please contact Carolee Oross at 848-206-2035 or coross@uwmoc.org.


Join Women United as we volunteer in the community to help the children and families in our education programs. 

Members of Women United have spoken to teens at Asbury Park High School's Job Club about their career paths and how to achieve their goals. The opportunity to hear from successful women in the community is invaluable to these students!



Last summer, Women United members used funds raised from an event at Gary Michaels Fine Jewelry to purchase new books for kids in one of our summer programs at Collier Youth Services! Children in grades K-3 received 5 brand new books to start or expand their home library and continue their reading throughout the summer!



On October 6, 2016, Women United hosted a Casino Night at the Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury. Over 130 guests enjoyed classic casino games, dinner, open bar, and entered to win a weekend spa getaway as well as 60 chance auction baskets. The event raised over $35,000 – making it the biggest Women United fundraiser to date. Event proceeds will benefit United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties’ work in education, specifically its early grade reading initiative.

Thank you to the following event sponsors for their generous support: Advanced Patient Advocacy, Atlantic Auto Body, Branning Collision Centers, CAPP General Contractors, HealthCheck, Jay & Linda Grunin Foundation, and Maaco.

On June 8, 2016, one of our members Dianne Talbot hosted a Spring Mix and Mingle event at her home in Brielle. Women from the community came to learn more about the work of Women United and did some shopping with vendors from Earth Treasures Jewelers (which also bought back jewelry at the event) and J.McLaughlin, and our group received a portion of the proceeds!

On December 3, 2015, one of our members Mel Lauto hosted a Holiday Mix and Mingle event at her home in Manalapan. Women from the community came to learn more about the work of Women United and hear from the principal of Freehold Intermediate School Ronnie Dougherty, who spoke about the importance of our early grade reading program and combating the summer slide. The ladies started their holiday shopping with a silent auction and vendors from Pampered Chef and Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski, and our group received a portion of the proceeds!


On November 5, 2015, Women United hosted a Wine Pairing Dinner Event at Cross & Orange in Asbury Park. 112 people attended this fantastic event, and through proceeds from ticket sales, silent auction items and wine purchases, we raised over $5,000 for our work in education in Monmouth County! Thank you to all that attended and contributed to the event!

Women United Members:

Patricia Howard (Chair)
United Healthcare - Optum360

Lisa Barksdale
TD Bank

Maureen Bonney
Community Representative

Aimee Fasano
Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Sonia Grant
TD Bank

Magna Hadley
TATA Consultancy Services

Rosa Hearne
Merrill Lynch

Denise Johnson Miller
Hackensack Meridian Health

Mel Lauto
Community Representative


Maureen Lawrence
Brookdale Community College

Mary Massey
Community Representative

Nancy Mazza
OceanFirst Bank

Kay O'Keefe
Community Representative

Virginia Piccolo

Toni Pitts
Community Representative

Dianne Talbot
Two River Community Bank

Mary VerCande
Jersey Central Power & Light