Join us for a Party with a Purpose – Help Women Across Route 66.

Funding Goal: $528,000

You can celebrate the Route 66 Centennial in a meaningful way by making a donation to support direct grants to women owned or operated businesses and attractions along Route 66 who are facing dire times.

Shelly Bizzle, Owner/Operator
Shelly's Route 66 Cafe, Cuba, Missouri
Melba [The Mouth] Riggs, Former Owner/Operator
Four Women on the Route, Galena, Kansas
Debyjo Ericksen, Vice Chair
Illinois Rock and Roll Museum on Route 66, Joliet, Illinois
Ramona Lehman, Owner/Operator
Munger Moss Motel, Lebanon, Missouri
Flora May, Owner/Operator
Townhouse Welcome Center & Gift Shop,
Tucumcari, New Mexico

Route 66 Extraordinary Women Initiative

$16.67 / month$1,086.95

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Category: SKU: R-66-

Additional information

Donation Options

One Time Donation, Annual Donation, Monthly Donation

Be More Extraordinary

Pay fee – nonprofit gets full gift, No Thank you

Please count my gift among the extraordinary women who are supporting :

All of Route 66, Arizona, California, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

The Women of Route 66

Women who own or operate small businesses and attractions along Route 66 face challenges every day – from maintaining their historic properties to competing with large, chain store operations. Still, they persevere – because that’s their nature. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has brought travel along Route 66 to a near standstill – greatly increasing the challenges for these women. Many struggle to stay open. Some have closed. Others are on the brink. Once the pandemic passes, it will take considerable time for recovery.

Tina Mion, Artist – La Posada Hotel, Winslow, Arizona

Teri Ryburn, Owner/Operator – Ryburn Place, Normal, Illinois

As the organizer of the Route 66 National Centennial Celebration in 2026, the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership has established a Visionary Fund to make available grants that promote, preserve, and economically develop Route 66. Our vision is to give grants to projects along Route 66 as a series of “birthday presents” over the next five years. And you’re invited to make a gift and join the Party!

Our sights are high.

We’ve set a goal of raising $528,000 for the Visionary Fund to support women owned or operated Route 66 businesses and attractions. You’re invited to help us achieve our goal of receiving donations from at least 66 women from each of the 8 states through which Route 66 runs [66 x 8 x $1,000 = $528,000]. A $1000 pledge over five years equals just $200 per year or approximately $18 per month. Donations to the Road Ahead’s Visionary Fund are fully tax deductible. Men are also invited to donate in honor or memory of a woman who is important to them.

Marie Ryberg, Owner/Operator – Trail of Tears Memorial & Herb Garden, Jerome, Missouri

Judy Walker, Owner/Operator – RJs Route 66 – Springfield, Missouri

When you donate, your name (or the name of the woman you want to honor or remember) will be listed on the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership’s website and on signage at 100th Birthday Party events – including the official Route 66 Centennial Celebration Event. You’ll also receive an exclusive Route 66 Extraordinary Women Birthday Party gift with the official Route 66 Centennial logo.

Route 66 Extraordinary Women images were provided by David Schwartz. More examples of his work can be found at: picsonroute66.com.

Please join women across the country in support of Route 66

~ as only women can!

You’re invited

Celebrate the upcoming Centennial of Route 66 by supporting women-owned or operated businesses and attractions along The Mother Road! In the process, you can help improve the lives of the 5+ million people who live and work along Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Route 66 Extraordinary Women Initiative (2)

$16.67 / month$1,086.95

Clear
Category: SKU: R-66--1

Additional information

Donation Options

One Time Donation, Annual Donation, Monthly Donation

Be More Extraordinary

Pay fee – nonprofit gets full gift, No Thank you

Please count my gift among the extraordinary women who are supporting :

All of Route 66, Arizona, California, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

FAQ

How are the funds raised being used?

All 66 EW contributions will be used to award grants that:

  • Help keep women owned/operated Route 66 Businesses/Attractions in operation.
  • Help women owned/operated Route 66 Businesses/Attractions reopen.
  • Help preserve, restore and/or expand women owned/operated Route 66 Businesses/Attractions.
  • Help woman open and operate new Route 66 Businesses/Attractions.

Who makes decisions on using the funds?

The Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program Grants Review Committee will make all grant award decisions, based on established program criteria.

How are Extraordinary Women celebrated?

Donors to the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Initiative will be celebrated in multiple ways, including:

  • Being listed on the Route 66 Road Ahead website
  • Acknowledged/listed on signage included at the Route 66 Centennial Birthday Party Event in 2026.
  • One invitation to attend the Route 66 official Centennial Birthday Party Event in 2026

Can this be used as an advertisement for a woman owned business? How?

Extraordinary Women:

  • Will receive a window cling featuring an EW customized version of the official Route 66 Centennial logo, which they may display on their vehicle or at their business/attraction.
  • May use the EW customized version of the official Route 66 Centennial logo in advertising and marketing materials that promote their establishments. The Route 66 Centennial logo is trademarked. Its use for any other purpose requires prior consultation with the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership.

Is this initiative only for Extraordinary Women? What about men who want to donate?

We know the power of women coming together for something they believe in, so this initiative is focused on women. Men are also invited to donate in honor or memory of a woman who is important to them.

Are donations tax deductible?

All funds will be donated to the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership — a 501 c 3 organization, which allows gifts to be fully tax deductible. The donor will receive a thank you letter indicating the charitable donation.

How long will these women be recognized?

Extraordinary Women will be recognized through the end of the Route 66 Centennial year, 2026.

Why can't I earmark the funds for use in my city/state?

The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership is focused on providing opportunities on a national scale to all stakeholders across the Road, regardless of the state in which they are located. The intent of the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Initiative is to unite donors in a national effort to support women owned/operated businesses across all of Route 66. Accordingly, funds raised from individual states are pooled together and made available via the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program to any and all women owned/operated businesses/attractions on an equal basis across the nation. One of the criteria taken into consideration when grants are awarded will be the intent to ensure at least one grant is awarded in each Route 66 state, depending on applications submitted. Note: Information is collected, however, of how many donors there are from each Route 66 state. This is done to track progress in meeting the goal of involving at least 66 from each state. Guidelines and application information for the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant program can be found here: https://cutt.ly/GzhNtsa 

How is this effort contributing to statewide and citywide route 66 centennial plans?

The Route 66 Extraordinary Women Initiative is not connected to any statewide or citywide Route 66 centennial plans, except in the spirit of encouraging states, communities, and individuals across the nation to join in the celebration of the Road’s 100th birthday and support projects focused on promotion, preservation, research/education, and the economic development of Route 66.

I got an email about another Route 66 centennial fund. Is this the same thing?

The Route 66 Extraordinary Women Initiative is a unique program developed by the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership. It is connected only to the work of this organization and no other centennial funds.

How are donations to the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Initiative managed and what percentage of donations is actually used to fund grants?

All donations to the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Initiative are deposited in an escrow account established specifically and exclusively for use by the EW program. Ninety percent or more of the donations given are used to award grants. Up to 8% of funds donated are used to cover operating expenses. A fee to cover credit card processing is assessed, which is typical of any online fundraising effort.

For additional information, contact:
Bill Thomas, Chairman
Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership
rt66theroadahead@gmail.com