There was a lot of love and laughter when a community-led women’s group, the Midland 100 Club, recently met and selected two local nonprofit organizations to financially support their services.
The group, made up of nearly 600 members, meets at the Midland Center for the Arts three times a year and selects two grantee organizations at each meeting. The two organizations chosen in May were MyMichigan Health Infusion Center and Midland County Search and Rescue.
The Midland 100 Club donated over $1.4 million.
Lori Hillabrand presented on behalf of The Infusion Center, which treats 85 to 125 patients daily for blood product transfusions, immunotherapy drugs and chemotherapy. Visits last an average of 4-5 hours during which patents are attached to IV rods, thus confining them to chairs or recliners. The food and nutrition program (Snack Shack), run entirely by volunteers for several hours a day, “is making a big difference,” says Hillabrand. They serve food to patients offering a hot meal, beverage, snacks as well as personal interaction. Although not covered by insurance, food is offered free of charge. Annual expenses have been approximately $7,500 and are expected to increase with inflation.
Valerie Chapman presented on behalf of the all-volunteer organization that assists the Midland County Sheriff in ground searches for missing persons believed to be misplaced or lost. According to Chapman, these are often the elderly, children and people with special needs. After background checks, volunteers must demonstrate proficiency in CPR, foreign body airway obstruction, and first aid. Search managers must also complete FEMA Incident Command training. Currently, the 20-person team provides its own personal equipment, travel expenses and training. A 3-year budget for training volunteers and equipment totals $24,800. Two other organizations — Lisa Thompson with Self Love Beauty and Terri Collins with The Midland County Humane Society — also presented.
Midland County Search & Rescue received donations from the Midland 100 Club.
How it works:
Organizations wishing to present their needs to the group must have a valid 501(c)(3) and have no religious affiliation. At the meeting, the names of four local organizations are placed in a hat. Two names are then drawn and given the chance to give a 5 minute presentation to the club. The club then votes for two groups on the same night. Women are willing to donate at least $50 with a check or cash in hand.
Tina Van Dam is the president of the Midland 100 Club.
The concept is simple, explains club president Tina Van Dam. Van Dam says making the choice is “difficult” among the nominees. Long-time member Allison Wilcox organized electronic voting with a few members choosing paper ballots. During the vote count, the two organizations funded in the January cycle thanked the Midland 100 Club and explained the use of the funding. Both organizations expressed their gratitude to the group. Past recipients have included the Midland Country Fairgrounds and the Village of Sanford.
- Funds raised for the fairgrounds were donated to the new $3.5 million equestrian center qualified for $1:$1 matching funds by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. Despite construction difficulties, the Center is expected to be completed this month. A time-lapse video of the build is posted on the Fair’s Facebook page. The equestrian facility adds to the benefits of tourism, education and event programming currently provided at the fairgrounds, says Trish Steele, Midland Fairgrounds Manager.
- With Sanford Park serving as the heart of the community, its destruction during the Sanford-area flood was a constant reminder, says Sanford Village President Dolores Porte. She says funds from the 100 Club will be used to purchase playground equipment. Construction is expected to begin this month and should be complete in the fall. The Midland 100 Club has supported Sanford by contributing funding for flood relief to United Way and the Midland Area Community Foundation, Sanford Strong, and for rebuilding the park.
Van Dam says the club has raised $1,400,378 so far in 13 years. Funds were donated to 47 different nonprofits in the community, some of them more than once. Club members have also served as volunteers, resource providers and board members of community groups, donating time and services. That same evening, the Shelterhouse Resale Shop collected bags and boxes of merchandise at a curbside donation drop off worth $2,400 plus $60 in cash donations, Van Dam says.
The Midland 100 Club celebration at the Midland Center for the Arts.
After the reunion, a thousand balloons of all colors floated around as the members briefly gathered on stage. Million-dollar paper bills designed for the Club hung from the balloons and represented “our significant impact on the community”, says Van Dam, “We enjoyed the celebration.” The Midland 100 club will stage another campaign this fall.