North Dundas 100 Women & Men Who Care urge donations to Christmas fund after pandemic kiboshes usual fundraisers

Above, the organizing committee of the 100 Women Who Care chapter in North Dundas in 2018 (from left): then-Mayor Eric Duncan, Martine Thurler-Guy, Diane Crummy and Cheryl Guy. Absent is Nanda Wubs. File photo

NORTH DUNDAS — North Dundas’s 100 Women & Men Who Care committees are embarking a joint fundraising campaign in support of the North Dundas Christmas Fund, an annual program that benefits hundreds of township residents each year.

For the past two years, each of the four ‘100 Who Care’ events have raised $10,000 to $20,000 for local charities within the community. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, neither the women’s event (usually held in the Spring) nor the men’s event (usually held  in the Fall) was able to run. Eager to continue the momentum of generosity these events have established since 2018, organizers are working with the North Dundas Christmas Fund Committee in cooperation with North Dundas’s Lion’s Clubs and Legions, House of Lazarus, Community Food Share and Winchester BMR — to encourage those who usually participate in the 100 Who Care event to make any-sized donation to the North Dundas Christmas Fund, in lieu of the regular $100 pledge to a local charity.

Comprising multiple programs, the North Dundas Christmas Fund has been a tradition in the township for over 35 years . The volunteer committee organizes the Angel Tree toy drive, snowsuit fund and food baskets. Led by the South Mountain,  Chesterville and Winchester Lion’s Clubs, and supported by the Winchester and  Chesterville Legions, House of Lazurus and Community Food Share, each year it benefits approximately 200 North Dundas families, including hundreds of children, to help them have a better Christmas season.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is not going to prevent these programs from running this season, it is presenting some new hurdles.

“Physical distancing regulations and health concerns are requiring us to review our processes to ensure everyone remains safe, and our volunteers are doing an exceptional job at making sure we’ve covered every angle,” explained North Dundas Christmas Fund Chair Bob Weagant. “Our biggest concern right now is funding. We’re usually supported by donations, food drives through  our local schools, the Lions Clubs and other community organizations, but because so many events had to be cancelled in the past seven months, fundraising opportunities have been devastatingly limited.”

In 2018, organizers of the inaugural ‘100 Men Who Care’ event in North Dundas ham it up at the venue slated to host the movement’s first gathering: the former Nestlé plant owned by IDP Group. The group poses in one of the oldest rooms at the Chesterville factory, a space playfully transformed into a loft-like area with vintage furniture and collectibles. Seated from left: Dan Gasser, North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan, Dan Pettigrew, Devon Byers and Diane Crummy. Standing is IDP Group’s Hamed Asl. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

“To say 2020 has been a challenging year would be an understatement and  unfortunately, that means more of our neighbours are likely to reach out for assistance  this year,” said Diane Crummy, chair of the 100 Who Care North Dundas Women’s  Committee and co-founder of the initiative in North Dundas. “We’re consistently  humbled by the generosity that pours out of each of our events and, since both  gatherings were cancelled this year, it seems like the right time to engage past participants. The 100 Who Care initiative has always been about making a giant impact  in a small amount of time. Helping hundreds of people with a quick donation does exactly that.”

In the coming days, 100 Who Care committees will be sending more information to past event participants with more information on how to help, including a link to easily make a donation. Donations will go to Community Food Share through Canada Helps, meaning a charitable tax receipt will be issued, and 100 percent of the money received will be added to Community Food Share’s regular contribution to the Christmas Fund. Anyone else interested in helping can get more information by visiting www.100northdundas.com.

The North Dundas Christmas Fund 

The North Dundas Christmas Fund was started 38 years ago in Mountain Township and quickly grew to involve multiple organizations and support the entire North Dundas  region. Teams of volunteers collect food, gifts, snow suits, pajamas and more for the  Christmas season, and distribute them to families in need. Each year, the fund helps an  astonishing number of families, consisting of approximately 200 children under the age  of 13 and 350 adults. Contact organizers at northdundaschristmasfund@gmail.com.

100 Who Care North Dundas

The 100 Who Care North Dundas initiative is built of two volunteer committees (Women  and Men), each hosting an annual event. It is a deliberately simple fundraising concept that provides busy people of all backgrounds with an opportunity to come together,  network, and make a big impact in their local community in just one hour. The group commits to donating $100 each so collectively, they have at least $10,000 to donate to a local charity. Since its inception in 2018, the 100 Who North Dundas events have raised over $60,000 for local charities. Neither the Women’s nor Men’s events took place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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