There was wine, but no whining as the Shuswap’s newest women’s networking group, Shuswap Women Who Wine, hosted their second quarterly Community Giving event on Wednesday, Dec. 5.
Hosted at the Salmon Arm Curling Centre, the fundraising event was attended by 72 members of the community, almost double the attendance from the group’s first giving event in September, says local Women Who Wine president Kailee Ramsell.
A made-from-scratch Mediterranean-themed meal was enjoyed while those in attendance heard from representatives of three non-profit organizations – the North Okanagan Shuswap Brain Injury Society (NOSBIS), the SAFE (Shuswap Area Family Emergency) Society and Salmon Arm Rescue Unit.
These were the three non-profit organizations that had previously been nominated by members of Women Who Wine to attend the dinner, explain the services they deliver to the community and cite the specific projects for which they were seeking funding.
“The structure of these events is simple; each of the attendees contributes $100 to the donation pool and then votes by secret ballot after hearing about all three projects,” says Ramsell. “The organization with the most votes receives 80 per cent of the donations and the two runners-up each receive 10 per cent.”
But Duczek provided a game changer when, during her presentation, she announced that if NOSBIS got the most votes, she would happily split the total evenly with the other two groups.
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This offer created excitement that raised even more funds.
Kathleen Seeley stood up and broadened the shared pool by saying she would contribute $100 extra to immediately raise the $1,305 NOSBIS needed for mobility aids for brain-injured members – a walker-transport, a folding wheelchair and a security pole for the washroom.
“Who else is in?” she asked looking around the room.
Hands shot up and the money was raised within a couple of minutes.
Melissa Franklin, owner of Playcare Early Childhood Centre in Salmon Arm, stood up and offered to help the SAFE Society reach the $5,163 they requested to support its PEACE Program and revitalize the children’s group room.
Tim and Dawn Alstad, from the Salmon Arm Rescue Unit, then announced that they would also personally donate an additional $100 from their own pockets to each of their competitors, regardless of who received the most votes.
When the dust settled, NOSBIS received a majority vote meaning $7,730 was split three ways between the organizations in addition to the extra $200 from the Alstads, the additional $1,300 raised for NOSBIS and the $2,600 that Melissa Franklin will be donating directly to the SAFE Society to complete their project.
Members of the board of Shuswap Women Who Wine are grateful to the members, guests and sponsors for “their tremendous support and overwhelming generosity in helping them impact these three organizations with a grand total of more than $11,800.”
Anyone who is interested in joining this monthly women’s networking group or would like to nominate a local organization for the next community giving event in March 2019, may go online to www.womenwhowine.ca or email email@example.com.