At Planned Parenthood’s annual fundraising event last Saturday, longtime volunteer Joan Wells was recognized with the Jean K. Schuyler Award for her nearly two decades of service. The “Birds and Bees Bash” took place at the Coral Casino, where the nonprofit’s leaders celebrated the support volunteers like Wells provide.
“It’s an honor to salute Joan Wells and her ongoing support for Planned Parenthood and women’s health,” said PPSBVSLO President & CEO, Jenna Tosh, in a press release. “Volunteers like Joan are the backbone of our organization. It is such a pleasure to recognize passionate volunteers who generously give their time to stand with us to advocate for the right to health care, family planning, and comprehensive sexuality education.”
Wells began volunteering at Planned Parenthood in 1997, and went on to serve thirteen years — including two terms as chair — on the Board of Directors for the local branch. Wells also led two capital campaign committees that raised over $13 million for facilities renovations and served on the branch’s political arm, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties.
“I couldn’t sit on the sidelines while the attacks on women’s reproductive rights and family planning escalated,” said Wells.
The event also included a speech from Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, who spoke about the future of women’s reproductive health through increasing access to public family planning services, universal sex education and affordable birth control.