For months now, 100 Women Who Care Columbus has been answering the questions typically associated with establishing a new organization.
Now, with its first Impact Award selection set for Tuesday evening, only one question remains: What local service organization will take home the $12,500 grant?
Fourteen organizations, nominated by the 100 Women group at its first meeting in May, have been vetted to ensure each is a 501(c)3 in good standing and provides its services in Lowndes County.
Now all that remains is the selection process, which will be held at the group’s meeting Tuesday at the Marriott in Columbus.
For 100 Women co-founder Jamie Davidson, even the vetting process was an eye-opening experience.
“We have a steering committee and a couple of the women were in charge of the vetting,” Davidson said. “To make sure we were dotting all the Is and crossing the Ts, we called the organizations and went to visit them.
“They came back and told us what a great experience it was, that they learned so much about the organizations,” she added. “One woman said she just wanted to write them a check on the spot. The other said she was ready to volunteer.”
The list on nominated groups included familiar organizations that have served the community for years. It also included lesser-known groups, some of which have started only recently.
“There were some I was very familiar with and some I knew nothing about,” said Beth Imes, co-founder of the local 100 Women group. “There was one that I had kind of forgotten about and that was exciting, too.”
On Tuesday, all 14 nominees will be announced to the membership and dropped into a hopper. From there, three will be chosen at random. The member who nominated the group will then make a five-minute presentation, followed by a vote.
Members commit to donating $100 for each of the Impact Awards. The second award will be announced in October and follow the same procedure. Current nominees not chosen for the Impact Award will be eligible for the October selection, as well as those nominated by any new members who join the group, to which membership remains open.
To date, $13,500 has been raised. Of that, $12,500 will go to the group selected with $500 each going to those who were selected among the three finalists, but not chosen for the big award.
Of course, those figures could go even higher between now and Tuesday.
“We still are running into people around town that want to join and give their $100,” Davidson said. “Even on Tuesday night, you can show up, join and vote that night.”
Because members commit to providing $100 for each award, the recipient in October will be assured at least $12,500 as well.
“The response really has been overwhelming,” Davidson said. “Since the first meeting, we’ve had so many others join. We want people to know it’s still not too late to be a part of this.”
Tuesday’s meeting will begin with a 5:30 social hour, followed by the meeting at 6.
For more information, visit the group’s website at 100wwccolumbusms.org.
■ Camp Rising Sun
■ Columbus Arts Council, Inc.
■ Columbus Lowndes Free Medical Clinic
■ The Father’s Child Ministry
■ Lowndes County 4-H Clubs
■ The FORGE Foundation
■ Golden Triangle Regional Homeless Coalition
■ Happy Christmas Fund, LTD
■ Helping Hands, Inc.
■ Life Choices Pregnancy Care Center
■ Lowndes Co. VFW Post 4272
■ Main Street Columbus, Inc.
■ Safe Haven, Inc.
■ Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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