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

Funding Goal: $66,000

Shelly Bizzle, Owner/Operator
Shelly's Route 66 Cafe, Cuba, Missouri
Melba [The Mouth] Rigg, Former Owner/Operator
Four Women on the Route, Galena, Kansas
Candacy Taylor, Author
"Overground Railroad: The Green Book
and the Roots of Black Travel in America”
Los Angeles
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

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.

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

Amy Inouyek, Owner – Future Studio, Highland Park, California

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 minimum of $66,000 for the Visionary Fund to support women owned or operated Route 66 businesses and attractions. You’re invited to help us achieve our goal by making a donation. Donations to the Road Ahead’s Visionary Fund are fully tax deductible. Men are also invited to donate in honor or memory of an extraordinary 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

Founder Level ($1,000) – You will receive a unique Route 66 Centennial enamel pin with the official logo – available only through 66EW, a window decal to display in your car or business, an invitation to a Special Centennial event, and a thank you letter to use for your taxes. You will also be featured, with a picture and a quote, on the national 100 Extraordinary Women website.
Supporter Level ($101 – $999) – You will receive a customized window cling and tax donation letter.
Member Level (Up to $100) – You will receive a tax donation letter.

Celebrating The Route 66 Extraordinary Women

Dr. Terri Ryburn

I know the value of grants as a recipient, and I am happy to contribute so that others can benefit.

Extraordinary women across the country have donated to the Route 66 Centennial campaign. Together they have helped other extraordinary women that own or operate businesses along Route 66. You can see these extraordinary donors in our gallery, and if you wish, you can join them in donating as well.

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?

Extraordinary Women Founders will be celebrated in multiple ways, including:

  • Receiving a lovely enameled pin featuring the official Route 66 Centennial logo; the official logo is only available through the Road Ahead Partnership
  • Being listed on the Route 66 Road Ahead website
  • Featured in a Donor Gallery with their photo or corporate logo, along with a personal quote on the Route 66 webpage of the national 100 Extraordinary women website
  • A post, with the donor’s photo or corporate logo, on the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Facebook page
  • 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.

Extraordinary Women Members will be celebrated by:

  • Receiving a lovely enameled pin featuring the official Route 66 Centennial logo; the official logo is available only through the Road Ahead Partnership
  • Being listed on the Route 66 webpage of the national 100 Extraordinary Women website

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

Extraordinary Women Founding Members 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.

All Extraordinary Women Founding Members and Members 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. It may not be used or affixed to items intended for sale or any other purpose without 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. At the same time, men are also invited to donate in honor or memory of a woman who is important to them. It makes a unique gift.

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. Other aspects of the fundraising program are covering operating expenses. A fee to cover credit card processing is assessed, which is typical of any on-line fund raising effort.

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

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

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.