What can 100 women, armed with just a pen and a checkbook, accomplish in South Dundas?
That is what organizers of thenewly formed, 100 Women Who Care About South Dundas, are asking themselves and others, as they launch a campaign to recruit 100 women prepared to write cheques for $100 to benefit a local organization/charity to the tune of $10,000.
The 100 Women Who Care About South Dundas Club membership drive launched on social media January 23, quickly gained momentum with 32 South Dundas women now committed to writing a check to a yet to be determined South Dundas charity/group.
The initiative will not advance until the magic ‘100’ is reached and organizers are betting on their belief that there are 100 women or more who would like to have their $100 become part of a “big” contribution to the community.
While everyone is used to donating a dollar here and a dollar there, and buying this ticket and that ticket, organizers are excited that the 100 Women will provide a one-time huge, and much needed boost to a charity/organization selected by the women themselves.
“It is like a local charity will be winning a lottery,” says Christyn Veinotte who with mom Tracey and good friend Janeen Wagemans are behind the 100 Women Who Care.
100 Women Who Care About South Dundas came about when Wagemans was listening to a CBC morning show, and, “they were talking about a 100 Women who Care about Ottawa group.” Thinking it would be a good idea for South Dundas, she set to work on developing a website [www.womenwhocaresouthdundas.com] and a Facebook page [100 Women Who Care About South Dundas].
“I called Tracey [Veinotte] and asked her if she was on board. She said absolutely. Then Christyn asked if she could be involved, and I said absolutely. So here we are. We feel that the three of us represent three very different generations who will attract a good mix of women.”
By noon on the 23rd, Wagemans had a website and a Facebook page ready to go. By 12:01, she was asking herself what she was doing.
After researching various 100 clubs/groups, it has been decided 100 Women Who Care About South Dundas will be kept as simple as possible, with minimum rules and little to no paperwork for application and/or charity nominations.
The formula is simple: 1 hour + $100 x 100 women=$10,000 per year invested in making South Dundas an even better place in which to live!
Participants must commit to attending a one hour meeting each year; commit to donating $100 each year; be prepared to advocate for their chosen charity and be able to answer questions from the group.
Each woman also has the opportunity to nominate a charity/organization when registering. The nominee must be a recognized charity or organization that can issue a tax receipt either on its own or through the municipality. It must also be an organization/charity that has an actual physical presence in South Dundas.
Once 100 women have joined, a date and time will be announced for the big event which will take place at the Upper Canada Playhouse, thanks to the support of Playhouse Artistic Director Donnie Bowes.
The evening will kick off with a wine and cheese, to allow participants to meet, mingle and lobby for their charity/organization. Each of the 100 will then vote and from that vote the top three choices will advance to the final round.
At this time, representatives of the top three will have five minutes to promote their selection. A second vote will then take place. The winner will be announced and each of the 100 Women Who Care About South Dundas will write their cheque. Tax receipts will be issued by the winning charity/organization which will receive 100 percent of the donations. At 100 women that is $10,000!
That charity/organization will not be eligible to win again for three years and will be required to report on how the $10,000 was used to 100 Women Who Care About South Dundas when they meet one year later.
The organizing committee is looking at and approving the nominations and when the 100 women meet, each will receive a ballot with approved recipients listed.
That is when the fun, in the form of lobbying, will begin. “I think it is great that it is going to be competitive,” says Christyn.
“Hopefully people will think this is so much fun, they will want to make it an annual event,” adds Janeen. “So next year the meeting will start with the winners coming in and telling us what they did with the money.”
The date for the 100 Women finale will not be finalized until 100 members have committed. “We can go over the 100, but we must have that number,” says Christyn.
“This is a significant chunk of money,” says Janeen. “And it’s to be absolutely local [South Dundas]”.
“It’s so exciting because it’s collective,” adds Christyn. “We are going to be part of something bigger, not just an individual donating $100.”
“We are hoping that the women will take a good look at the community and see where the needs are,” says Tracey. “It might also provide the initiative for people to come up with an idea and get something going. I think one of the appealing things to this is that it is just going to be an hour. It’s very convenient, and it will provide a great opportunity for women in the South Dundas Community to network. I can see everyone leaving, feeling a lot of pride.”
“Instead of being happy because they donated $100 to something, they can take pride in the fact that they are part of a group that donated $10,000,” says Christyn.
Participants can join 100 Women Who Care About South Dundas by calling 613-803-5547 or on the website at www.womenwhocaresouthdundas.com Registration is not possible on the Facebook page, but participants are invited to become a friend of the page and like and share, to help promote the effort.