Since 2016, the OCF has held an annual 100+ Women Who Care event to support the important work of Otsego County nonprofits. The annual one-hour event has awarded $125,000 in grants to local nonprofit organizations chosen by the event attendees. It is an impactful, real-time example of community philanthropy at work.  

In 2023, the 175 women who attended the event cast the most votes for STOP Gaylord, who were awarded a $5,000 grant. We asked Ashley Miller, who represented STOP that evening, about the experience of being a 100+ WWC grantee. 

Here is what she had to say:  

How did your organization use the grant, and why did you choose to use it that way? 

STOP Gaylord purchased an Inchy’s Bookworm Vending Machine for North Ohio Elementary School. Without this generous grant, we wouldn’t have been able to purchase the vending machine until the following year. We chose to purchase the book vending machine because it promotes good behavior, helps to increase literacy, the machine gets students excited about reading and builds their at-home library. The students at North Ohio Elementary will select a book from the vending machine as a birthday present, even if the student has a summer birthday.  

What does it mean to be chosen for this grant? 

When our organization was announced as the winner of the grant, we were bursting with excitement and gratitude that the women at this event thought STOP-Gaylord deserved the money. STOP Gaylord is thankful we connected with the women at this event and shared the wonderful things we are doing for the Otsego County community.  

What would you tell other nonprofit organizations about participating in this event? 

This event is a great way to network, advertise, and learn about other nonprofit organizations in Otsego County. The attendees are strong, caring, influential women who want to improve the community. Lastly, buy a ticket and spread the mission of your organization! Since this event, STOP-Gaylord has networked with other nonprofit organizations that donated books for our book vending machines. 

If you want to attend this year’s event, you can register here. Is a local nonprofit near and dear to your heart? Nominate them here. We want to hear from YOU about what makes their work special. Recipients of community-driven philanthropy grants in 2022 and 2023 are ineligible for this year’s event. Those organizations are Gaylord Last Resort, 1st Congregational Church Community Meal Program, State Trooper Outreach Partnership Gaylord Chapter (STOP), Northern Michigan Children’s Assessment Center, and 22 2 None. 

We hope to see you there!