The Womenade concept was created in 2001 in Washington D.C. when six women friends met for supper in an area restaurant. One of the women, Dr. Amy Kossoff talked about how she wrote checks from her personal account to help her low-income patients with small bills for prescriptions, co-pays, and field trips. Kossoff estimated that she had probably given away close to $10,000 in one year's time. One of her friends suggested that they all help pay these costs. Instead of going out to eat, they decided to have several pot-luck dinners and ask everyone attending to contribute $35, the amount of money that would have been spent for a meal at a restaurant.
Oyster River Womenade was formed in May 2006, in the wake of that year's devastating Mother's Day floods. The goal of the group is to enjoy the company of women while raising money to help local people, whether they are in crisis or facing a small stumbling block.