Waskasoo, the 2019 Canada Winter Games mascot was at the recent 100+ Women Who Care Red Deer meeting. Photo contributed.

100+ Women Who Care Red Deer raise $20k for Mustard Seed school lunch program

The group 100+ Women Who Care Red Deer had a tie of votes for the first time in the chapter’s five year history.

It happened at the meeting Monday leaving the members scratching their heads.

The women then decided to cast another vote to declare a winner: Mustard Seed School Lunch Program.

About $10,000 was raised for the Mustard Seed Monday, but by the time all the cheques come in, the total would be close to $20,000 confirmed 100+ Women Who Care Red Deer co-founder Cindy Jefferies.

“First time we’ve had a tie, don’t know if we’ve heard about other chapters having a tie, so we thought the best way to approach to it would be to call for another vote,” said Jefferies.

The tie was between the Mustard Seed Red Deer and Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre.

Members came up with 12 nominations at the recent meeting and three finalists were chosen through a draw including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Red Deer & District.

Eleven new members signed up at the recent meeting, bringing the group close to 200 members in its fifth year.

The names of three charities are drawn out of a hat at the group meetings, and members who nominated the non-profit groups deliver pitches before people vote.

Membership requires a $100 donation per meeting and members must participate in four consecutive gatherings. Some women have formed groups of two, three or four to split the cost.

The group raised about $74,000 in 2018.

In the past the money raised has benefitted various Central Alberta charities including: Eastview School project, Safe Harbour Society, Red Deer Hospice, Central Alberta Immigrant Women’s Association, Suicide Information and Education Services and Central Alberta Sexual Assault Centre among others.

The meetings keep the women not only connected with each other, but also the community. For instance, one of the members saw a recent Safe Harbour Society’s request for winter items.

“So we put out a last minute call and we got a pick-up truck full of stuff,” said Jefferies, adding the side donation is not an obligation.

“The thinking is we’re all coming together anyway and if people feel like meeting an immediate need in the community, they can.”

The next meeting is April 15.

Doors open at 6 p.m., and the one-hour meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Red Deer Golf and Country Club.


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