100 Women Who Care

WINCHESTER – The 100 Women Who Care North Dundas gala is quickly earning a reputation as the feel good event of the year as last week’s three winners snowballed into four.

As was the case last year, 100 women became 200 as the event sold out their $100 tickets, once again amassing $20,000 to disperse among local charities Thurs., May 9.

The six charities, including Carefor Nor-Dun Support Centre, Canadian Cancer Society of SD&G and Prescott-Russell, North Dundas District High School, Community Food Share, Chesterville and District Agricultural Society and the Winchester District Memorial Hospital Foundation, each had an opportunity to set up a booth and formally present their request to those in attendance.

This year’s top vote-getter was Nor-Dun, receiving the full $9,600 requested to update to eco-friendly meal packaging for their Meals on Wheels program. The new meal trays provided by Solpak, a Canadian company, includes a tray sealer, mylar films, pulped tray carriers, cups and bowls, thermal accessories and a space saver cart to store the equipment and accessories. The new trays are also microwaveable and lightweight.

The 100 Women Who Care North Dundas once again raised $20,000 for local charities Thurs., May 9. Members of the organizing committee and winning charities gathered for a group photo. Pictured are: Martine Thurler-Guy (front, left), Cheryl Guy, Alison St. Jean, Susan Marriner, Caroline Rooney, Diane Kuipers. Barbara Cameron (back, left), Katie Wilson, Diane Crummy, Eric Duncan, Natalie Brousseau and Seb LaFrance.

Nor-Dun team leader Caroline Rooney, was completely taken aback and humbled by the honour.

“I just know how blessed we are to be in this community of North Dundas,” she said.

The competition at the event was tight and Rooney wasn’t sure they had done enough to get the votes.

“They weren’t coming to our booth that much and I thought ‘oh my God, nobody knows who we are.’ And then when I heard the speeches I thought, ‘how do you compete?,’” she said.

The surprise and jubilation once they were announced the winner left Rooney feeling “just over the moon.”

Carefor manager Diane Kuipers chalked up the win to Rooney’s tireless work in building relationships within the community.

“Tonight was about that relational approach. Tonight was about people recognizing that face who said we delivered over 10,000 meals to all these vulnerable people in the community and we need your support to continue to do that in an effective and efficient manner. So it’s a testament to relationships. It’s a testament to grassroots approach. It’s a testament to what community service is really all about,” she said.

Dianne Kuipers and Caroline Rooney of Carefor Nor-Dun Support Centre were shocked when they were announced as the top vote-getter for 100 Women Who Care North Dundas.

The Canadian Cancer Society of SD&G and Prescott-Russell received the second most votes and received $5,000 for their wheels of hope transportation program.
NDDHS also received $5,4000 for their outdoor courtyard project, which will revitalize the present space surrounding the greenhouse.

The most unexpected and heart warming moment came after the crowd had dispersed.

Peter Vanderlind of the Chesterville and District Agricultural Society had once again put forward a valiant effort to raise the remaining $2,500 required to revitalize a large show ring located at the village fairgrounds.

Although unsuccessful during the formal proceedings, Vanderlind was approached by several individuals immediately after the event and given the remaining funds required to complete the project.

“I was not expecting that tonight. It’s just crazy. I’m floating about up here right now,” he said.

The never quit attitude of Vanderlind was key to raising the funds, but he hardly had time to rest on his laurels as he planned to put the money to work quickly.

“Our goal now that we know we have the funding secure, we’ll have the contractor in pulling the top soil off within the next two weeks. Our goal is to have this up and functioning by the first of July,” he said.


NDDHS students Katie Wilson (left), Natalie Brousseau, and Seb LaFrance awaiting the outcome. Schoch Photos