Over the course of 2021, we will feature 100 Heroes who have been instrumental in our fight for the basic needs, education and financial stability of our neighbors for the past century. To learn more about how we are continuing to serve the Bluegrass in 2021, click here.
Today we are interviewing Fran Taylor, who is a former member of our hardworking Board of Directors, a past Women United council member and long-time supporter of the UWBG mission.
What is your role with UWBG?
I was on the board for many years and was also involved with Women United, so I have a fairly long history of being involved. I also serve the community in other ways, and am currently chairing the Blue Grass Community Foundation.
What did this role include? What would a normal day look like for you?
One of the things we did as a part of Women United was a research project where we found that the biggest stumbling block for women at that time was transportation. We found that it was difficult for many people to get their kids to daycare, commute to work and go to the grocery store. We did a lot of different things like that, so I never really had a typical day. I also did a lot of volunteer work with UWBG.
What do you think is the most special thing about UWBG?
I think the longevity of UWBG is something to be proud of. The United Way has always had the best interests of the community at heart and they have evolved over the years to address the community’s most urgent needs as we all evolve as a community.
In your opinion, what positive change has UWBG made in the Bluegrass over the past 100 years?
UWBG always does a good job with their awareness and fundraising campaigns. They recognize that it’s important to appeal to people in business and structure their campaigns accordingly. I was always sort of envious that other people got to give to the United Way through their workplace campaigns and got to make competitions out of it and have fun with it. I knew I wanted to give to UWBG, but I didn’t work in a business that participated in their campaign. It’s funny because it never actually dawned on me to give directly to UW instead of through a business.
When I first moved to Lexington in the 1980s, UWBG had a very strong presence here. Back then, there were nowhere near as many nonprofit organizations. Since then, nonprofits have proliferated every area of need - if there’s a need, there’s at least one nonprofit dedicated to that particular need. UWBG has done a really good job adapting to changing times and circumstances.
What’s your favorite place in the Bluegrass?
I love the horse country and the drive down Old Frankfort Pike, but the Kentucky Capitol is extraordinary. Whenever I have friends come to town, I try to take them to Frankfort. Kentucky’s Capitol is such a magnificent structure, and is like a miniature Washington D.C. Capitol. It’s very pretty - and Frankfort is such a sweet town.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the Bluegrass?
Covid has colored everything differently, but now my favorite thing to do is spend time at my farm with the horses.
“I have great respect for all the leaders and committed staff at the United Way. I’ve known many people over the years who have been involved in UWBG from a staff or leadership perspective and am always impressed at their dedication and their commitment to making the community better.” -Fran Taylor
Thank you for being such a strong part of UWBG, Fran! We appreciate you and all that you do.
Do you know someone who has worked alongside United Way of the Bluegrass in the past century who should be considered for our 100 Heroes series? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your nomination!