Just look at this picture of over 100 women who gathered together to make a HUGE difference in the community. This year, 160 women with a heart for giving and wanting to give back to the community came together in person or by supporting with a donation to raise $16,000 in one hour in our 100+ Women Who Care event!

“We were excited to be together in person this year and be able to feel the positive energy! The evening was uplifting to all those who attended. When the doors opened, those who attended were able to learn about the twelve nominated organizations by visiting their display tables. Part of this event, along with granting funds, is to offer the nonprofits the opportunity to tell their stories and share their missions. We heard from both those who attended and the nonprofits that they enjoyed this enhancement to the event,” noted Karin Beyer, OCF Director of Community Philanthropy.

After presentations from four nonprofits, two grant recipients were announced: Gaylord Last Resort was awarded $5,000, and the 1st Congregational Church Community Meal Program received $3,000. The other half of the monies raised went into the Community Fund to support the needs of tomorrow.

Grayson Lewis, who nominated Gaylord Last Resort, wrote this on the nomination form: The next major project for the Gaylord Last Resort (the Gaylord Alano Club) is the installation of two egress windows in our basement. We currently have a spacious, finished basement room that we are unable to use as a meeting space because it lacks the appropriate windows. By making this space usable, we can offer space to hold more meetings! In recent years, the recovery community as a whole has seen a rise in interest in different pathways to recovery than the traditional 12-step groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Groups like the psychology-based S.M.A.R.T. Recovery and LifeRing are rising in popularity. We also see an interest in the Buddhist principles-based group Dharma Recovery and the Native American belief-based Wellbriety/Talking Circle. We want to be inclusive of all pathways to recovery and welcome new groups. With the new women’s inpatient treatment center and three sober living homes opening in Gaylord recently, we have more attendees than ever. We want to make sure everyone in the recovery community feels like they have a place at the Alano Club.

“The entire evening is a blur to me! [The OCF] crew were marvelous, helping me along. I was deeply moved by the number of questions from the audience. I felt seen,” said Lewis

“It seemed like these wonderful women were interested in our organization and the work we are involved in. Addiction is such a dark topic, with so much stigma and outright prejudice attached to it. I was humbled and so grateful to have been chosen. It was truly incredible to know the women around me, in that room, wanted to help those with substance and alcohol use disorders. I will never forget that night.”

All four of the organizations that presented are valuable nonprofits making tremendous differences in the lives of those who live in our community. By supporting the Community Fund with the other $8,000 raised at the event, the group of women in attendance capitalized on opportunities and sponsored innovative solutions. Established almost 25 years ago, the Community Fund is a permanent charitable resource that grows through giving. When funds are added to the endowment, the needs of our community are met today and for years to come.

“So often we hear women say they wish they had more time, more money, more opportunity to offer. 100+ Women Who Care breaks down those barriers, and each member has a gratifying experience knowing they have truly made a difference in the community they love. And with the Community Fund component, that difference isn’t just today or tomorrow, but forever. That’s powerful,” said Dana Bensinger, OCF Executive Director.

A HUGE shoutout to our 100+ Women Who Care ambassadors: Tabitha Pardo, Liz Forreider, Toni Straughen, Janet Nowicki, Tabatha Simpson, Jessie Jensen, Heather Appold, Beth Pittiglio, Wendy Huston, and Mary Tomaski. Mark you calendars for the 2023 event on May 9th.

The Otsego Community Foundation and the 100+ Women Who Care Ambassadors would also like to thank Premier Sponsor CP Consulting for sponsoring this year’s event, along with venue host Treetops Resort for their commitment to community and Treetops Spa for offering chair massages and paraffin dips. This event is 100% expense-free because of their generosity.

The mission of the Otsego Community Foundation is to activate generosity for a strong community. To learn more about giving to an existing endowment or creating a new endowment fund, call 989-731-0597 or go to www.otsegofoundation.org.