IRON MOUNTAIN - The kickoff event of the newly-formed 100+ Women Who Care a huge success, organizers reported.
More than 160 women from Dickinson County registered for membership, and following a 45-minute meeting, during which there were presentations by members explaining the missions of three local 501(c)(3) organizations, they voted for the Salvation Army to be the recipient of its first donation. They then wrote checks to the Salvation Army totaling $13,800.
"This response was truly amazing and far surpassed our expectations," said Terese Fortier, one of the organizers.
100+ Women Who Care have donated $13,800 to the local Salvation Army. Pictured at the check presentation are, from left, Trisha Peterson, Salvation Army Advisory Council Member; Chris Johnson, Salvation Army Advisory Council Member; Mark Miller, Salvation Army Case Manager; Bonnie Anderson, Salvation Army Advisory Council Member; Sue Hasse, Salvation Army Advisory Council Member; Claudia Rigoni of 100+ Women Who Care; Tara Blagec, Salvation Army Director; and Bob Forgette, Salvation Army Advisory Council Member.
"We hoped for at least 70 women to initially participate and to have over triple that number is a testament to the generous and caring spirit of so many women in our community," she said. "Thus far, we have at least 93 individual members, plus 43 teams consisting of two to four members each, totaling 224 members."
The Salvation Army Bread of Life Assistance Center has been serving the area since the turn of the 20th century and is primarily dependent on local donations for its continuing work. Their goal is to be a comprehensive facility of hope by positively transforming lives with spiritual, material and social assistance.
Over the last year they have provided over 22,000 meals for hungry families in the area. Through their Emergency Shelter Program, they have arranged for safe, temporary rest for the local homeless population with more than 560 motel vouchers.
The Salvation Army also provides assistance with prescription and medical needs for adults and children.
They help families avoid or reverse the shut-off of their utilities. Children in need receive fully-stocked backpacks for school. They distribute Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter food baskets.
In general, the Salvation Army regularly responds to a variety of urgent needs that arise with individuals or families.
"In the spirit of Christmas, we believe this is a wonderful first selection by the 100+ Women Who Care in Dickinson County," Fortier said. "There are so many worthy 501(c)(3) charitable entities in our area and our goal is to help as many as possible."
The next meeting of "100+ Women Who Care" is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Pine Grove Country Club, at which time another charity will be chosen.
The women on the 100+ Women Who Care organizing committee include Terese Fortier, Lynn McClure, Jane Santini, Via Thomas, Kristine Leonard, Michelle Carlson, Myrna Schon, Bev Tobin, Mary Baker, and Pam Daugherty.
For more information or to join the group, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. All interested women are invited to participate.
In addition, local 501(c)(3)s are encouraged to e-mail the group with contact information so that they can be included in the list of charities eligible for consideration and become informed about the process for selection.