The Central Alberta AIDS Network Society (CAANS) will be receiving a cheque for $10,000 thanks to the generosity of 100 committed men.
100 Men Who Care is a networking and fundraising group who meet four times a year to generate awareness at the same time as raising a large donation for a local charity.
Three charities or non-profits each present a five-minute piece at the meetings and people vote to see which organization takes away the donation.
“The three charity choices tonight were fantastic. We had the Central Alberta AIDS Network Society (CAANS), the Ronald McDonald House – which we all know is a fantastic recipient – and we had the Notre Dame High School Grad service project for cystic fibrosis. The money would have gone there if not to CAANS, who took the donation of the evening,” said founder of 100 Men Who Care Jest Sidloski.
“It went well and people stick around. The great thing about this is not just about giving the money to the charity – I wanted to think about what else we could do,” Sidloski said.
“Some places do it in a concert hall or something but I thought about having a social element with something as simple as a beer and a place for the guys to hang out after and network. That is just as important to me because we can continue changing Red Deer for the better.”
Although only one of three groups walks away with a promised monetary donation, the other two featured charities or non-profits benefit by having a platform to share their ideas to people who have committed to being engaged in the community.
Sidloski said he would love to see the project grow beyond 100 people, as their meeting location allows for up to 250 and more contacts means more change in the community.
“It’s called 100 men and I’m perfectly happy stopping there and donating $10,000. That’s incredible and I’m happy with that – however, you can always grow. We would like to see more people take part in it. Every time it gets put in the paper, or is shared on social media more and more people come to us,” he said.
“It’s not just about $10,000 or us giving. The equally important part of this is the networking afterwards. You’ll see the men hang around for an hour and if you listen to the conversations they are having – they’re about Red Deer and charities or groups and they’re collaborating how else they can help. It’s networking first and then a monetary donation afterwards.”
These groups are able to facilitate a way for people who are passionate about social change to network with people that they maybe never have. It opens the doors for community relationships and partnerships.
“The men there want to help – they are there for that reason. We’re finding that guys come up after and look for contact information for those groups to see how they can help. Nobody leaves empty handed – yes, someone leaves with a financial donation but the other groups leave knowing that 100 socially interested people are going to be invested in spreading that message.”
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