As appeared in Independent Free Press online edition 11.9.2018
The 100 Women Who Care initiative is seeking members and sponsors to join the new Halton Hills chapter, which is holding its inaugural meeting on Nov. 14.
A branch of the 100 Who Care Alliance, which has various chapters around the world, 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills has one main goal: to support local charities and non-profits who require the financial assistance — but are not asking for it.
The idea behind the philanthropic group, co-ordinator Sarah Burrows says, is to eventually have a minimum of 100 women gather four times a year, with each woman agreeing to donate $100 per meeting to a local charity. That means a minimum of $10,000 being donated to a different organization every three months.
Burrows is currently organizing the group with three local women: Heather Coles, Lori Gysel and Jill Farrington.
At each meeting, members will be able to nominate a Halton Hills charity or registered non-profit organization of their choosing. Those nominations, which are to be submitted two weeks prior to each meeting, will then go into a hat and three will be selected. The members who nominated the chosen three organizations will then proceed to give a five-minute presentation, outlining the reasons behind their respective choices.
Following the presentations, members will vote and the winning organization will receive that evening’s donation.
“People are very busy. They don’t have a lot of time to go out and go to meetings and whatnot. But really, it’s one hour four times a year for people who want to give,” Burrows said. “We’re filling a niche that says, ‘Let’s focus on our own community.’"
As 100 Women Who Care is composed of volunteers, Burrows says additional sponsors would be greatly appreciated. 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills is currently sponsored by the Mill Street Cheese Market and Royal Containers, as well as The Club at North Halton, which is providing a venue for the group’s first two meetings.
The group's inaugural meeting will be held on Nov. 14. Registration begins at 6 p.m., followed by the meeting from 7-8 p.m. For further information, visit www.100WomenHaltonHills.com, or call Burrows at 905-872-5999.
As appeared in Independent Free Press Online edition 11.2018
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills holds successful inaugural meeting
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills held its inaugural meeting on Nov. 14. - 100 Women Who Care/photo
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills are well on their way to achieving their goal of attracting at least 100 philanthropist women dedicated to supporting local charities and not-for-profit organizations serving the residents of Halton Hills.
On Nov. 14, they held their inaugural meeting of more than 40 founding members.
These women are committed to meeting four times per year, nominating, championing and voting for three organizations at each meeting, and then immediately donating $100 each to the group with the most votes.
Momentum in the group continues to grow and they are thrilled to have already reached nearly 50 per cent of their goal of 100 members.
Of the three nominations presented at the Nov. 14 meeting, the charity chosen to receive their very first donation was The Georgetown Bread Basket. Prior to the vote, founding co-ordinator Lori Gysel made an impassioned presentation as she explained that the local food bank was in desperate need of a new freezer to store donated Christmas turkeys.
She couldn’t be happier to report that as a result of the generosity of the members, more than $5,000 will go toward helping The Georgetown Bread Basket fulfil its mission to help feed the hungry in our community, just in time for Christmas.
Online donations through their website along with the cheques they’ve collected so far have been forwarded to The Georgetown Bread Basket to buy the freezer, but the official cheque presentation will take place next month.
In the meantime, it’s not too late to join 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills and donate to the food bank by going to their website where they’ve partnered with Canada Helps to process donations. Tax receipts will be issued directly by the charity.
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills was the inspiration of Gysel. Ever since she heard that her friend had helped found a 100 Women group in Guelph, she knew she wanted to launch a similar group in Halton Hills. Earlier this year, with the help of friends, Heather Coles, Jill Farrington, and Sarah Burrows, 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills (100WWCHH) was born. They couldn’t have done it without the support and encouragement from local sponsors to supply such things as meeting space (The Club at North Halton), a banner and business cards (Sartor & Associates Inc.), website hosting (The Mill Street Cheese Market), and all their printing and copying needs (Royal Containers). They are also grateful to volunteer members who managed the registration table, counted ballots, and reconciled the donation cheques.
The next meeting of 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at The Club at North Halton. Registration and networking starts at 6 p.m., with the meeting running from 7 to 8 p.m. For further information, visit https://www.100womenhaltonhills.com/.
Sarah Burrows, Heather Coles, Lori Gysel and Jill Farrington present a cheque for $5,600 to Georgetown Bread Basket board chair Lori Brading and treasurer Bruce Sutton. - 100 Women Who Care/photo
On Dec. 12, 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills, represented by committee members Sarah Burrows, Heather Coles, Lori Gysel and Jill Farrington, presented a cheque for $5,600 to Georgetown Bread Basket board chair Lori Brading and treasurer Bruce Sutton.
The money donated by the founding members at their inaugural meeting in November made it possible for the food bank to replace a broken freezer and fill it with turkeys, just in time for Christmas. 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills will meet again on Feb. 13, 2019 at the Club at North Halton. Nominations for charities and not-for-profit organizations to be considered at that meeting will be accepted until Jan. 30, 2019.
For more information on membership and how to nominate an organization go to https://www.100womenhaltonhills.com.
As appeared in Independent Free Press Online Edition Dec 14, 2018
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills gives $8K to Bennett Centre
Funds to be used for the centre's music therapy program and garden project
COMMUNITY May 22, 2019 Independent Free Press
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills presents a cheque for $8,000 to the Bennett Centre for its music therapy program and garden project. - 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills photo
The Bennett Centre is the latest beneficiary of funds from 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills.
The local group recently presented a cheque for $8,000 to the centre in support of its music therapy program and garden project.
The Bennett Centre is home to 66 seniors who require long-term care. Though located beside the hospital, the Bennett is a separate, independent charity and doesn’t receive any funding from the hospital.
“We are overwhelmed by your generosity and very grateful that we can continue to offer music therapy sessions to our seniors,” said Bennett Centre executive director Helen Eby. “Music therapy helps make connections and reach people in ways that few, if any, other therapies can. A portion of this donation will also ensure the Bennett gardens have enough funding to continue to engage the senses and lift the spirits of Bennett residents.
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills has raised $14,000 since its inaugural meeting last November. They will meet again on Aug. 13, at the Acton Town Hall Centre. Nominations for charities and not-for-profit organizations to be considered at that meeting will be accepted until July 31.
For more information on membership and how to nominate an organization, visit www.100womenhaltonhills.com.
Special Olympics Halton Hills Introduces Coed Basketball this Fall
COMMUNITY Aug 15, 2019 Independent Free Press
Special Olympics Halton Hills is pleased to announce the introduction of Coed Basketball for the intellectually disabled residents of Halton Hills. The basketball season will run October 22nd 2019 through to May 12th 2020. Practices will be held Tuesday evenings from 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm at Stewarttown Middle School in Halton Hills. Athletes must be between 12 and 65 years old. The 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills have generously donated 100% of the funds required to start up this new sport program.
For more information about the coed basketball team contact Lisa Reid at email@example.com.
Special Olympics Halton Hills currently offers sporting opportunities in swimming, floor hockey, curling, rhythmic gymnastics and track and field. More information about Special Olympics Halton Hills can be found at Georgetown.specialolympicsontario.ca.
On a blustery February 26th evening, 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills met at the Georgetown Golf Club (formerly Eagle Ridge Golf Club) where they presented a cheque for $9,400 to the Chief Executive Officer of the Halton Learning Foundation (HLF), Lesley Mansfield. This donation to HLF’s Eliminating Barriers Fund will provide emergency funding and subsidies to help needy Halton Hills students stay engaged in learning by quickly providing such essential items as winter clothing, shoes, boots, hygiene items, school supplies, to name just a few examples. In accepting the 100 Women’s 5th donation since forming in 2018, Mansfield explained that one in 10 kids in Halton lives in poverty and that the HLF Eliminating Barriers Fund strives to ensure that, “No child misses out on their education because of financial challenges.”
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills has raised $42,800 in their short history. They will meet again on May 13th at the Acton Town Hall. Nominations for charities and not-for-profit organizations to be considered at that meeting will be accepted until April 13th. For more information on membership and how to nominate an organization go to https://www.100womenhaltonhills.com.
Feb 28, 2020 Independent Free Press
As appeared in the Acton Tanner, March 5, 2020 - with Jill's carpet in the background because I haven't figured out how to remove it! :)
On June 22nd, 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills organizing committee members, Lori Gysel (l) and Jill Farrington (r) were finally able to get together with Halton Food for Thought Community Development Manager (Halton Hills/Milton), Maureen McLaughlin, to safely present a cheque for $7,100 in support of their Student Nutrition Programs that serve Halton Hills students. Halton Food for Thought was chosen, by popular vote, by 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills members at their last pre-pandemic meeting in February of this year.
Halton Food for Thought partners with Boards of Education and the community to operate Student Nutrition Programs in schools throughout Halton Region, providing healthy meal and snack programs to over 74,000 students. This volunteer-led charitable organization believes that when given access to healthy food, every student has their best chance for success and the achievement of higher grades by being better prepared to focus on their studies. Without Halton Food for Thought partner programs, many students would go without food during the school day or would not be exposed to as many fresh fruits and vegetables.
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills has raised over $55,000 since their inaugural meeting in 2018. For more information on membership and how to nominate an organization go to https://www.100womenhaltonhills.com.
As submitted to Independent Free Press, Acton Up and Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce.
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills has proven once again that their members are determined to continue supporting local charities despite the Covid-19 pandemic. On August 11th they successfully conducted their second virtual event to select a local organization to receive funding from their members. They were thrilled to receive a total of $5,800 in support of the chosen charity, Georgetown Friends of Refugees Committee-2 (GFORCe-2), a group formed by members of our local Presbyterian, United, Catholic and Anglican churches who are working together to bring Syrian refugees to Canada.
Gratefully accepting a cheque for $5,800 from 100 Women organizing committee member, Lori Gysel (far left), is Mirna Hajjar, GFORCe-2 members Elizabeth Ivany (representing Norval United Church) and Susan Tupling (representing St. John’s United Church), and Mirna’s mother-in-law, Ibtesam Hajjar.
The GFORCe-2 nomination was submitted by a Norval United Church member to help support the Hajjar family. More information on the their journey to Canada can be found in this May 2020 IFP article: https://www.theifp.ca/news-story/9903892--without-them-this-would-have-been-impossible-georgetown-group-brings-syrian-family-to-canada/.
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills has raised over $60,000 since their inaugural meeting in 2018 and will hold their next virtual meeting on November 17th. For more information on membership and how to nominate an organization go to https://www.100womenhaltonhills.com.
(as submitted to Independent Free Press Newspaper and Acton Tanner Oct 2020)
Despite restrictions limiting public gatherings due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills was determined to hold their May 2020 meeting one way or another, so on May 13th they successfully conducted their first virtual event to select a local organization to receive funding from their members. Using a combination of technologies, including YouTube, Mailchimp, Survey Monkey, and Canada Helps, they were thrilled to receive a total of $5,500 in support of the chosen charity, the Canadian University Women (CFUW) Georgetown Scholarship Fund.
CFUW Georgetown was founded in 1984 and, since 1991, has awarded over $157,000 in scholarships to help support students in Halton Hills earn post-secondary education. In the face of potential summer-student job losses due to the pandemic, funding support to give hope and encouragement to Halton Hills youth is more critical than ever this year. And with the cancellation of this year’s annual CFUW Book & Toy Sale, the major fundraiser for the Scholarship Fund, funding for this year’s awards was in potential jeopardy. Happily accepting a cheque for $5,500 from 100 Women organizing committee members, Liana McAlister (l) and Sarah Burrows (second from right), is Diane McDermott, President of CFUW Georgetown (centre cheque), and Geraldine Kavanagh, CFUW Georgetown Treasurer, (far right).
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills has raised over $55,000 since their inaugural meeting in 2018 and will hold their next virtual meeting on August 11th. For more information on membership and how to nominate an organization go to https://www.100womenhaltonhills.com.
As submitted to Independet Free Press, Acton Up and Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce
February 2021 -
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills continues to help fund local charities during these tough times when our community most needs their support. After another successful virtual meeting in February to select a local organization to receive funding from their members, the chosen charity was Links2Care. Their Community Support Program is unique to Georgetown and Acton and is administered through the Acton office by Cathy Gerrow and Janet Batistawho. Along with their volunteers, they support and counsel people who walk through their doors when they don’t know where else to turn. Liz Bailey, a Links2Care volunteer and 100 Women member, nominated Links2Care and explained, “Perhaps they are being evicted or their hydro is about to be turned off. They often can’t afford to buy food, school supplies or clothing for their kids. Cathy and Janet tell them about the many programs that are available and help them to access what they need. Paperwork can also be very overwhelming, and many do not have access to fax machines, computers or long distance telephone. Links2Care is there to help them make their way through the red tape and often talk to the officials on the clients’ behalf. Income taxes can also be done free of charge. Food, diapers, vouchers, toiletries etc. are available 5 days a week and often when a client comes in for something he or she leaves with information about other programs they can access - there’s always a listening ear. All of this is done with the utmost respect and confidentiality.”
Gratefully accepting a cheque for $5,500 from 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills organizing committee members, Lori Gysel and Jill Farrington, is Liz Bailey and Cathy Gerrow. Lisa Brading, Links2Care CEO, also presented 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills organizing committee member, Liana McAlister, with a Certificate of Appreciation from Links2Care.
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills has raised over $70,000 since their inaugural meeting in 2018 and will hold their next virtual meeting on May 11th. If you are passionate about a local charity or non-profit organization, please consider submitting a nomination before April 30th.
For more information on membership and how to nominate an organization go to https://www.100womenhaltonhills.com.
(as submitted to The Independent Free Press)
As appeared in Independent Free Press November 2021
As submitted by The Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce and appeared in The Independent Free Press November 2021.
In just three years, 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills have donated a total of $90,100 to local charities and non-profit organizations. Even during the pandemic, when quarterly in-person meetings switched to virtual, online events, donations have continued to support over a dozen local charities.
Most recently, a cheque for $5,800 was presented to Food for Life Halton Community Lead, Lori Brading, at the Georgetown Library, where one of several Food for Life refrigerators are located, offering free fresh food to those in need.
Established in 1995, Food for Life is now the regional leader in rescuing and distributing fresh and frozen food, with over 100 food programs/agencies run entirely by more than 800 volunteers.
In order to increase access to healthy food to those in need, Food for Life trucks pick up fresh, surplus food from local grocery stores, food distributors and farmers. The rescued food is 85% perishable and has been donated for many reasons, usually because it is close to its best before dates and likely won’t sell, or is overstock, mislabeled, discounted or has damaged packaging.
Food for Life programs in Halton Hills programs include, St. Alban’s Church, allied with Community Living Georgetown; St. John’s United Church, allied with Georgetown Bread Basket; Bethel Church offering home delivery, allied with Hillsview Active Living Centre; Lakeview Villa Senior home, allied with Hillsview Acton; Durham, allied with Activan; Hyde; and Sargent. Although all food is donated to Food for Life, it still costs approximately $8.24 per bag to rescue, sort, pack, and distribute each week.
With support from the 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills, Food for Life will be able to continue to distribute pre-packed food bags to Halton Hills seniors’ and families who need it most.
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills welcome new members who may nominate local charities and non-profit organizations for support. Their next meeting will be held on February 15th, 2022.
To become a member or for more information, visit their website at https://www.100womenhaltonhills.com/.
Sarah Burrows, 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills committee member (centre), presents a cheque for $5,800 at the Georgetown Library to Food for Life volunteer and 100 Women member, Eleanor Young (left), and Food for Life North Halton Community Lead, Lori Brading (far right),
On stage to gratefully accept a cheque for $5,300 from 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills on behalf of Georgetown Little Theatre, is Board Vice President, Taylor Grist; 20 year GLT member and current Communications Coordinator, Kay d’Entremont; Abby Butler, representing the GLT Youth Company; and Board member and Technical Coordinator, Calum Anklesaria. Getting in on the act, representing 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills, is Jeannine d’Entremont, and committee members Sarah Burrows and Lori Gysel.
100 Women Who Care Supports Local Theatre Group
With a theatrical flourish, members of 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills recently presented a cheque for $5,300 to Georgetown Little Theatre, a THEA award-winning community theatre group based in Halton Hills. Formed in 1960, it is one of the oldest continuously existing community theaters in Canada. During the pandemic, GLT’s ability to pursue its mission, promoting excellence in theatre by mounting live productions, has been impossible due to public health restrictions. Since GLT’s revenue comes mainly from membership fees and ticket sales, the pandemic has made it difficult to operate normally, even though their operating costs continue to mount. The theatre group was nominated by 100 Women Who Care member, Jeannine d’Entremont, and chosen by popular vote during their first virtual meeting of 2022. d’Entremont, whose family also has a long history with GLT, said, “the ability to gather as a community to enjoy cultural experiences has been severely curtailed during the pandemic. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that we need to be together and we need joy. Supporting GLT will help this group, so integral to our community for more than 60 years, to thrive for years to come.” The donated funds will be put towards replacing the roof on GLT’s studio in Stewarttown.
100 Women Who Care Halton Hills welcome new members to nominate local charities and non-profit organizations for support. Their next meeting will be held in May 2022. To become a member or for more information, visit their website at https://www.100womenhaltonhills.com/.
A great way to make a difference': 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills marks donation milestone
Local 100 Woman Who Care chapter hits donation milestone
Independent Free Press
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
When Lori Gysel first heard about 100 Women Who Care, she was intrigued by the idea.
Above all, there was one aspect that really captured her attention.
“I really liked that all the funds stay local,” she said.
The only thing that prevented her from jumping on board was that it was a friend from Guelph asking her to join. If Gysel was going to be involved, she wanted it to benefit Halton Hills, the community she lives in.
Gysel never forgot about the concept, though, and a few years later was still thinking about the idea and how it could benefit local organizations. So she gathered friends Heather Coles, Jill Farrington and Sarah Burrows and Liana McAlister and explained the concept.
They worked out the logistics and in November of 2018 launched 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills.
Three-and-a-half years later, the organization is marking a milestone as it surpasses the $100,000 mark in donations.
And just as Gysel hoped, local charitable groups are seeing the benefit.
Dania Thurman, executive director of Food4Kids Halton, said without any regular government funding, their organization relies on community and corporate support.
“Groups like 100 Women Who Care have been so fantastic,” Thurman said. “It’s a great way for women to get together and make a difference.
Gysel said some organizations rely on grassroots events, like barbecues, movie nights or euchre tournaments to raise funds, which weren’t possible during the pandemic.
Acton Foodshare was hit particularly hard during the pandemic. Both food and monetary donation decreased while demand for the service increased. On top of that, expenses increased as it had to buy personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves for both clients and volunteers.
“Their donation was a godsend. It really helped,” said Mike Albano, chair of Acton Foodshare, which received $5,500 last August.
Albano said the donation allowed the food bank, which serves 25 to 30 families a week, to buy and an industrial fridge and freezer, helping it keep more food on hand. It also allowed the food bank to buy food in bulk, helping keep costs down.
The pandemic not only took a toll on charities but also on the local Women Who Care group.
Gysel said their membership topped 100 at one point but experienced “quite a drop off during the pandemic” as they moved to on online/email format for meetings. She said that was understandable given everyone wasn’t in a position to donate.
The group meets for an hour four times a year. At each meeting, members nominate organizations to receive a donation. Three organizations are then randomly chosen, and the nominator makes a presentation about the organization. Members then vote on the recipient.
Thurman said the format helps spread awareness about local charitable organizations.
“They always share information and people learn about you,” she said. “Any time word gets out, it’s a chance to educate people about what you do and why.”
“I like it because sometimes we donate to groups that you may not have known about before,” Gysel said.
Once a charity is chosen, members donate $100, either directly to the organization online or by cheque.
Gysel said the only condition is that an organization uses the money in Halton Hills. So if a Halton-wide organization is chosen, it must have a specific Halton Hills project to direct the money to.
The group has donated to groups as diverse as the Bennett Centre, Special Olympics Halton Hills, the Canadian Federation of University Women’s scholarship program, Cancer Assistance Services of Halton Hills and Georgetown Little Theatre and Norval United Church to help sponsor a Syrian family.
With public meetings again allowed, Gysel hopes the local 100 Women Who Care can start to rebuild its roster of members, though she recognizes the rising cost of food and gas still might make it difficult for some people to donate.
“I think it’s great that people are willing to write a cheque four times a year,” Gysel said. “And I love that the money stays in Halton Hills. For these organizations, that’s huge.”
To learn more about 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills, visit www.100womenhaltonhills.com/
STORY BEHIND THE STORY: With 100 Women Who Care Halton Hills recently celebrating a donation milestone, we wanted to learn more about how the local group got started and how they're supporting the community.
Herb Garbutt is a feature writer for the Burlington Post, Oakville Beaver, Milton Canadian Champion and The Independent & Free Press. He has been covering local news at daily and community papers for 30 years.