100 Women Campaign makes the difference
SARAH HYATT/DAILY OBSERVER The 100 Women Campaign recently wrapped up raising $10,000. This year's recipients were the Bernadette McCann House for Women in Pembroke, Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley (CLUOV) and the Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre. Front, left to right celebrating are: CLUOV clients Melissa Hoffman, Cheryl Tennant and Donna Grichen. Back, left to right are: Selina Robb, chairwoman of the Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre Board of Directors, Holly Cardiff, prevention support and intervention programmer for the resource centre, Marielle Lair, who helps the Bernadette McCann House and works as a family court support worker and child and youth worker, and Dr. Elizabeth Radley-Walters, from the foundation's board of directors.
In 2014, the Pembroke, Petawawa and District Community Foundation and 100 local women made history as they embarked on the first ever 100 Women Campaign.
One hundred women donated $100 and raised $10,000 to support women’s causes and to tackle women’s issues in the region.
While similar campaigns have taken place elsewhere, this is a first-time fundraising initiative in the Pembroke area. Jennifer Layman, one of this year’s 100 donors is credited with getting the idea off the ground.
The goal is, each year to raise $10,000 and support women. Half of the proceeds will immediately return to help the community within the year and the other $5,000 will be added to an endowment fund within the foundation, where interest will accrue and can later be reinvested in women’s initiatives, Dr. Elizabeth Radley-Walters explained.
Radley-Walters is a board member for the foundation and also recently acted as spokesperson for the campaign’s wrap-up celebration, with three organizations benefiting from the unique fundraising initiative.
The Bernadette McCann House for Women in Pembroke was one of those organizations, with a $1,750 donation.
Rosalie Wilcox from the McCann House was on hand at the celebration at Miramichi Lodge recently to speak to the significance of the campaign for women of the shelter. Starting over after an abusive relationship with nothing and with little help is a reality for women of the shelter often, she explained. “Women usually arrive at the shelter with little more than the clothing they’re wearing,” she said. “Then, they’re allowed one police escort back to their homes to pick up personal belongings.”
Afterwards, when they are starting over, basic supplies such as cleaning supplies or even a first aid kit don’t make the cut, Wilcox went on to say. The foundation’s 100 Women Campaign will help those women leaving the shelter to purchase those things that are often a luxury for many, Wilcox explained.
Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley (CLUOV) also received $1,500 from the campaign.
As a result, CLUOV was able to help one woman to finally purchase a new wheelchair. Previously, it had been a struggle trying to find funding to help Donna Grichen to get a wheelchair that suited her needs.
Two others now have professional clothing thanks to the donation to wear to work and as volunteers. CLUOV stands to ensure all persons with disabilities have the supports they need to live without discrimination and to become a participating, respected member of society.
The donation has made a world of difference to people like Donna Grichen, CLUOV's community engagement and fund development officer Evelyn Culleton told those at the celebration. Melissa Hoffman is one of two clients of CLUOV’s who now have some professional clothing to wear. She volunteers with Pembroke Regional Hospital and visits organizations and places like Algonquin College to speak with students of social services worker programs about the needs of someone in Community Living.
Cheryl Tennant similarly is part of a speaker’s bureau with her place of work, Staples. It means a lot for them to have nice, professional clothing to wear these events, Culleton said.
The Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre was the final recipient for the campaign, with a $1,750 donation. The money will help a special event the resource centre is hosting in March which will honour 100 women and their contributions to the military community.
The 2015 100 Women Campaign has already started, with hopes of having another big impact.
The Pembroke, Petawawa and District Foundation was established in 2008 and exists with the hopes to inspire generosity, as part of their mission statement.
Their mandate is to invest and manage charitable funds for projects, causes and other community organizations. Proceeds are distributed to meet the community’s needs.
Funds established with the foundation include the Jason Blain Fund, Colby Audette Fund, The United Way of Renfrew County and the Krista Johnson Memorial Fund.
For more information contact the foundation by phone at 613-635-2256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Hyatt is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist.