Quick and Easy Giving
by NancyLee Honey Marsh
It was a damp February day. The atmosphere, however, inside a Hampton Lake home buzzed with excited conversation and warmth. Pat Roth, Carolyn Day, Barbara Hege, Mary Blake and Darice Ahrnsbrak, all retired business women, were ecstatic. After an extensive search, they discovered an astounding way to quickly raise funds to award local charities. The answer—100+Women Who Care.
“We were amazed by the group of women in Michigan who started 100+Women Who Care in 2006. In one hour, they raised over $10,000!” declared Pat Roth. “Many women ponder how they can find the time to give back to their community. It’s a strong desire we share. Our discovery of 100+Women Who Care answered these questions and fulfilled our wish to help others. Many women don’t have time to solicit businesses for contributions, make dozens of phone calls or serve on multiple committees. Now, we have the answer,” Pat said. “One hour per quarter, plus $100 can do wonders for our community.”
Starting a new chapter of any organization requires dedication, coordination and structural management. Pat walked me through the procedures in making their goal a reality.
“February 1 was our first meeting to design forms, create procedures, search for a sponsor and build the structure. By March our leadership team of five accepted responsibilities in connection with their job descriptions. We were fortunate we had all the ingredients to make it successful. In March, we contacted several companies and were thrilled when Advanced Integrated Controls (AIC) committed to be our sponsor for March and April.” Recognizing the value of time in the business and domestic worlds, the core group felt 100+Women Who Care —and it’s limited demand on people’s time— fit into the diverse schedules of lots of women. They contacted friends who, in turn, passed on the word. “We issued invitations to women in Hampton Lake and other Bluffton communities, and by April 23, our inaugural meeting boasted 42 women who each contributed $100.
Any member who signs the commitment form can nominate a local charity and then three are randomly chosen. After a brief presentation by the nominating member, everyone casts their votes,” Pat said. The majority vote determines which charity is finally selected. The Hilton Head Humane Society, Girls on the Run and THA Island Hospice were the nominees at the April meeting and Jennifer Hubner’s nomination of THA Island Hospice was chosen.
As Chief Information Officer for a small Federal agency, Darice Ahrnsbrak, a Maryland native, immediately felt the organization piqued the mathematical side of her personality. As membership leader, she feels, “It’s simple, efficient and raises funds quickly. After the Beaufort meeting, she and Mary Blake reported to the others they felt this to be “a logical organization they could grow into a powerful agent of positive change.”
Educator Mary Blake said, “All my life I have looked for ways to help those less fortunate than others.” Now, as the one handling promotion for the organization, she utilizes her many teaching talents to encourage recognition of an amazing organization.
Pat Roth, a Pennsylvania transplant, was in health care administration for more than 20 years and has assumed the position of secretary/historian and website coordinator for the group. “It’s a simple, quick way to contribute money to local charities and learn about people in our area who need help.”
Bari Lee, the organization’s technical consultant from Rochester, NY, is utilizing her experience with a commercial architectural firm. Having founded her own small business, active in developing websites, marketing and social media, she said, “I am glad to bring some of my professional skills to 100+ Women Who Care, since a bigger impact can be made when women join together.”
How fortunate the group is that former Sr. VP of Finance and Tax for a large multi-national insurance group, Barbara Hege, assumed the job of treasurer for the organization. “I think it is a very effective way to raise substantial funds for our local charities.”
“In a two week period our group increased to 49,” offered Pat. “On May 8, Ellen Bolch, President and CEO of THA Group, Island Hospice graciously accepted our first donation of $4,900. Grateful for our generosity, she said, ‘It’s one of the largest donations ever received!’”
“All my life I have looked for ways to help those less fortunate than others.” - Mary Blake
Our goal: is to grow the 100+ women membership and offer all women in the greater Bluffton area an opportunity to come together and learn about extensive charitable needs around us.
How to get involved: Attend the next quarterly meeting, July 21 at Hampton Lake
Visit the website for more information: www.100WWCBLUFFTON.org