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Royal Neighbors of America Awards $100,000 in 2017 to Empower Women

Jan 16, 2018

Nation of Neighbors℠ Grants Awarded to 12 Recipients across the Country

Lucy Blasi
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of its Nation of Neighbors℠ Program to empower women, Royal Neighbors of America awarded 12 grants totaling $100,000 to recipients across the country. Lucy Blasi, Aurora, Illinois, at right, received $5,000 to expand her volunteer sewing projects that help those in need. Also shown are Royal Neighbors president and chief executive officer Cynthia Tidwell, center, and Tracy Kotecki, who nominated Lucy for the grant, left.

Rock Island, Illinois (January 16, 2018) — From sewing dresses for children in need to programs across America that help women transition from prison, relieve poverty, provide job training or help parents find resources for their learning delayed children, Royal Neighbors of America’s Nation of Neighbors℠ grant program empowers women to improve communities and change lives.

Royal Neighbors of America is one of the largest women-led life insurers in the United States. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of its signature Nation of Neighbors program, Royal Neighbors granted $100,000 to 12 recipients to fund local projects that help women, children, the disabled, the elderly and those transitioning back into society after incarceration or abuse, to name just a few.

“Royal Neighbors provides financial protection to women and their families and helps them improve their communities through philanthropy. In 2017, we met women representing different generations and living in towns from Portsmouth, Virginia to San Leandro, California who are creatively solving local problems with their passion and generosity,” says president and chief executive officer Cynthia Tidwell. “Our Nation of Neighbors recipients represent the powerful force of philanthropy. We are honored to help them expand their positive impact on society through our grant program.”

Among the recipients for 2017, is Lucy Blasi of Aurora, Illinois, who gathers volunteers aged 14 – 82 to sew projects such as toiletry bags for the homeless and comfort bags for those undergoing chemotherapy. “The Nation of Neighbors grant has allowed us to buy six new sewing machines and two new work tables to expand our projects,” says Lucy. “It’s really amazing that Royal Neighbors wants to help women overcome obstacles in order to make a difference.”

About Nation of Neighbors
Nation of Neighbors is a Royal Neighbors of America philanthropy program that awards grants to support initiatives that advance the interests of women and girls. In its first decade, Royal Neighbors has given nearly $2 million to empower women across the country. Royal Neighbors members nominate women leaders who are improving the lives of women and girls in their communities. A panel including past recipients and community leaders reviews each nomination and selects the recipients and the award amount. For more information about Nation of Neighbors, visit

About Royal Neighbors of America
Royal Neighbors of America is a unique provider of life insurance and annuities whose mission is to protect women financially and empower them to improve their lives, families and communities. Royal Neighbors was founded as a membership organization in 1895 by nine women who recognized the need to insure the lives of women and their families. Today, with headquarters in Rock Island, Illinois, and an operation in Mesa, Arizona, Royal Neighbors serves over 200,000 members. For more information and to become a member of Royal Neighbors, visit us at

Media Contact:
Liz Merdian Lareau, M.A.
BLRP, Inc.
liz@blprfirm | 563-508-4144

Media Contact:
Marie Young, Manager, Communications | (309) 732-8280

Form #:P00290; Rev. 1-2018
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Form #: P00008; Rev. 7-2022