Local charities receive support through 100 Men/Women Who Care groups

  • Oct. 7, 2015 2:57 p.m.

The 100 Women Who Care and 100 Men Red Deer groups successfully raised over $10,000 each at their recent meetings with proceeds benefiting the Red Deer Hospice Society and the local branch of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).

Each of the groups met for their third of four annual meetings, where the idea is to raise $10,000 or more within an hour. 100 Men and 100 Women groups are gaining popularity all over the country. This year was the inaugural year of the programs within the City.

The groups meet for an hour at a time with each attendee bringing a blank cheque for $100. Local organizations, charities and not-for-profit groups are nominated to receive the total donations. For both the local 100 Men and 100 Women groups, three nominees are chosen at random and short presentations are given on the groups before members vote for the recipients.

After a moving presentation to the 100 Women Group by Red Deer Hospice Society member Val Hilario, the organization was chosen to receive a minimum of $15,300, with more cheques rolling in. These funds will be used to purchase three new beds for residents of the facility.

“I think Val did a really good job of presenting what hospice is all about. It’s about caring for people in the end stages of their lives, and about supporting the families who are trying to be around their loved one,” said co-0rganizer Cindy Jefferies.

“Many of us have had family or friends or know people who have loved ones that have benefited from the hospice services in our community. I think it just struck a chord with the people who were there.”

The other two organizations who made presentations as nominees were by Jill Griffith of the Red Deer Public Library (RDPL) for the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten and Pauline Klassen of the Whiskers Rescue Society of Alberta. Jefferies said at the end of the meeting, members of the 100 Women group approached Griffith to help fund the RDPL reading program – a pleasant surprise for Griffith after the program had not been chosen for the overall donation.

Similar to the 100 Women group, 100 Men Red Deer also was able to support more than one organization with their latest meeting.

The CNIB was chosen to receive the initial donation of just about $10,000 but two other groups were able to gain support through awareness of the meetings.

“It’s always been a close call for us – usually between two and four votes between the top two organizations. This time, it was four votes from the top two, with the CNIB taking home the money. However, there was a cool spin-off of this meeting. The lady representing Art Moves, a brand-new charity, came to me and said four or five guys had committed to helping her out,” said organizer Jest Sidloski.

“Even though they didn’t receive the money, Art Moves got the awareness out about their brand new charity – 100 guys heard about it – and some people ended up getting involved. As well, we did a little spin-off for Line of Hope – Red Deer with Tom Raba coming out to talk to us about it a bit.”

Sidloski had asked the men of the group to bring warm winter socks for Line of Hope and invited Raba to explain that the socks would be given to Red Deer’s less fortunate through Line of Hope. Through the meeting, Veteran’s Voices organizer Al Cameron was able to gain support for this year’s flag campaign as well.

The next 100 Women Who Care meeting will be held on Nov. 30th and the 100 Men Red Deer group will meet one week later on Dec. 7th.