Our 9th meeting on February 8 will kick off the third year of 100+ Women Who Care – Red Deer. It seems like such a short time ago that the “100 Women Who Care” concept seized our imaginations and inspired us to see if we could rally 100 women to join us. We compiled an email list of amazing, community-minded women we knew, sent an invitation and then crossed our fingers!

The night of our first meeting – February 8, 2015 – was cold, snowy and windy. We weren’t sure how many of the 120 women that responded to our invitation would actually show up, but we needn’t have worried. That night, more than 225 women came through the doors of the Red Deer Golf and Country Club. We were a little overwhelmed. We were short on chairs, registration forms, and ballots. One thing not in short-supply was enthusiasm!

We muddled through the first night, big grins on our faces as we scrambled and improvised a few things. With even bigger grins and lots of adrenalin, we compiled the donations later that night at Cindy’s house over a glass of wine. In one hour, our members had donated $22,700 to the Eastview Middle School Play Structure Project, helping break a log-jam after years fundraising. We have such fond memories of that exciting night!

With more than 200 members, we added a ‘+’ to our name. The rest, they say, is history.

We are truly grateful to all the women who have embraced this fundraising concept. To date, $156,500         has reached Central Alberta charities. In addition to the Eastview School project, our members have supported the Safe Harbour Society, Red Deer Hospice, Central Alberta Immigrant Women’s Association, Suicide Information and Education Services, Central Alberta Sexual Assault Centre, The Mustard Seed School Lunch Program, and the Red Deer and District SPCA.

By the end of our meeting on February 8, it’s likely that we’ll exceed $170,000 in donations. Not bad for 9 hours!

We’ve just begun. New members continue to join. In these challenging economic times, the number of members who have opted out is modest. We are still having so much fun! There are still so many worthy organizations in need of a boost!

To our current members, see you at the next meeting and thank you for your continued support. To anyone who’d like to learn more, we encourage you to attend a meeting and check us out.  It’s just 4 hours a year of your time and such a simple way make a huge impact on our community.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Looking forward to great things in 2017,

Cindy Jefferies  and Susan Knopp