MORRISBURG – “We have so many wonderful people around here, doing so many wonderful things for so many people, young and old, in our community,” said Janeen Wagemans, member of the team behind 100 Women Who Care About South Dundas, and emcee for the Wednesday, May 9, gala evening at Upper Canada Playhouse. “It takes special individuals to step up and do great things for others.”
By donating cheques for $100 each, 170 women in South Dundas ensured that worthy local charities and organizations would have the funding to carry out major projects.
Each donor was entitled to vote at the gala.
Over $17,000 was collected this year by the organizers. The first place finisher received $10,000. Remaining funds were divided among other groups in order of voting preference until the money was gone. Ten different groups applied to 100 Women Who Care.
This year, the Dundas County Hospice was presented with $10,000. Morrisburg Public School and First Responders United were tied for second spot, each receiving $3,350.
The Dundas County Hospice, has to raise 45 per cent of its operating budget: its volunteers have logged some 2,700 hours of service in the last year alone. The Hospice now has to replace the roof on its building due to a serious leakage problem in order to keep the hospice “safe and welcoming.”
First Responders United is a non-profit organization, staffed by professional volunteers, and dedicated to assisting care givers, professional or volunteer – firefighters, police, prison guards, EMTs and 911 operators – who may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Morrisburg Public School, an “inclusive school, one which needs accessible playground equipment”, asked for funding to replace aging school yard structures so that all kids can take part in fun play ground activities.
One of the key benefits in applying to the 100 Women, even if a charity or organization does not win, is community exposure, as organizers pointed out during the event.
Each applicant was entitled to make a presentation to the crowd.
Whether that organization is chosen or not, it has an opportunity to make connections within a wider community through networking with those attending 100 Women.
Girls Incorporated offers programs designed to help girls to “stand on their own two feet” and to grow up “bold and self confident in a safe environment.”
The Morrisburg Waterfront committee hopes to purchase wheelchair accessible picnic tables and water stations, to remove the cement pier, and to beautify the beach area for the whole community.
Habitat for Humanity builds safe, affordable homes in the community, and provides working families a chance to help build and eventually own their own residences.
The Winchester District Memorial Hospital is raising funds to purchase a new portable wireless fetal monitor, a device which permits mothers to move around freely, and makes labour a much safer experience.
The Iroquois Waterfront committee is looking to continue to improve the Iroquois beach area with deck benches, a staffed canteen, and propane barbecues in the picnic areas. It also wants to continue to develop the beautiful beach front property so that it becomes a “destination spot.”
Community Food Share is looking to improve food quality by purchasing fresh as well as frozen foods for its clients, and would like a new walk-in freezer. Food Share also plans to set up a community learning kitchen, to offer clients cooking classes and to serve community meals.
The Forward House Committee is hoping to preserve one of the last vestiges of Iroquois’ past history by saving Forward House. To do this, they are hoping to access historical research and grants which will help to preserve the old building.
Last year’s winners, Naomi House and the J.W. McIntosh Senior’s Support Centre, returned to tell the crowd how the funds they received in 2017 had been put to good use.
The dedicated team behind 100 Women Who Care About South Dundas, is made up of Janeen Wagemans, Rosemary Laurin, Lori Turnbull and Tracey Veinotte. They collectively put in hours of work to keep the event running smoothly and successfully.
Many generous businesses and individuals in the community donated outstanding door prizes to 100 Women. Donnie Bowes, artistic director of Upper Canada Playhouse, welcomed the organization to the theatre and helped out behind the scenes. Stone Crop Acres Winery and the Red Door Team of Royal LePage sponsored the bar.
Many other volunteers came out to assist the 100 Women team: 100 Women, in its fourth year, has already given out $55,000 to charities and groups in this area. The success of this organization here in South Dundas has inspired similar groups in Cornwall and North Dundas.
100 Women Who Care About South Dundas welcomes new members: see their web site.