When the 156 women who were part of 100 Women Who Care About South Dundas came together last Thursday night, May 7 at the Upper Canada Playhouse, they came together to select three of a proposed 10 local charities/organizations to receive their donations of $100 per woman or $15,600.
They were also delighted to learn that they had been joined by the Scotiabank, Morrisburg’s Community Matching Fund program which brought their donation to $20,000.
Receiving the top vote in the 100 Women Who Care About South Dundas first-time initiative, and a $10,000 donation, was the Dundas County Hospice, headquartered in Williamsburg. Hospice serves residents of Dundas County who have been diagnosed with terminal illness. It provides the terminally ill and their families various in-home services and programs designed to help them remain at home as long as possible.
Recently, Hospice, which operates out of the J.W. MacIntosh Support Centre, purchased a home in Williamsburg. In addition to providing space for its head office, the home will be a welcoming space for the Hospice day program which provides clients time away from homes and their caregivers.
The second place donation of $6,000 went to the J.W. MacIntosh Senior Support Centre in Williamsburg, and third place and $4,000 was donated to the South Dundas Splash Pad project at the Children’s Park in Morrisburg.
Each of the 10 organizations nominated were in attendance to market their proposal before the voting.
They included St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage, South Dundas Youth Centre, The Dundas County Food Bank, MacIntosh Seniors Support Centre, WDMH Foundation, Optimists Club, Dundas County Community Living, Dundas County Hospice, The Carman House Museum and The Splash Pad.
After the women completed their first round vote the top three (this year four because there was a tie) organizations were given the opportunity to speak on their organization’s project.
In making his presentation to the assembled women, Hospice Board Chair, Bob Pitruniak, said “I think the 100 Women idea is terrific and regardless of who you choose, all the people of South Dundas are going to benefit.”
In addition to explaining the work of Dundas County Hospice, he told the group of the recent purchase of the home in Williamsburg. “We need a new furnace, we need central air, we need a new water heater and we need kitchen appliances. That is our project.”
MacIntosh Senior Support Centre, executive director Janet Levere explained the Centre has been supporting seniors in the community for over 24 years. She said the Centre’s project will be to provide financial help to local seniors. “Perhaps to help them pay for their Meals on Wheels or to help them with their heat bill. Whatever is needed to allow them to stay in their homes.”
Levere said the Centre planned to form a committee that would review the client needs and disburse the money up to $500 per eligible senior in need.
“We feel honoured to be here tonight, and we will use the funds to directly impact the lives of our clients,” she said.
Rosemary Laurin spoke on behalf of the Splash Pad Committee.
“I think this is a great way to get people talking and thinking of things in our community,” said Laurin on behalf of the Splash Pad Committee. Laurin reported the South Dundas community has now raised $173,000 of the $200,000 and if they were to win, the donation would help them to reach their goal.
Dundas County Food Bank secretary Celeste Guse, said the “municipality [South Dundas] has been giving us the facility since the beginning.” She spoke of the upcoming move to the Morrisburg arena and the municipality’s continued generosity in bringing the new location up to code at their expense and fronting an interest free loan of $56,000.
“The one thing we are asking 100 Women to help with is the cost of a loading door and separate entrance for the volunteers. The doors cost $12,500, and we are asking you to help us fund them. We are hoping we can put a plaque on the door that says ‘100 women of South Dundas provided this door’.”