Front row, from left: Dan Gasser, 100 Men Who Care North Dundas co-chair, Ben Bayham, board member, Aaron Dellah, board member, Dan Pettigrew, 100 Men Who Care North Dundas co-chair. Back row, from left: Angie Holmes, Community Food Share, Amy Saunders, Community Food Share, Caroline Rooney, Carefor Nor-Dun Centre, Jenny Sauve, Carefor Nor-Dun Centre, Dianne Kuipers, Carefor Nor-Dun Centre. Absent due to other commitments was MP Eric Duncan.  Tinkess Photo

CHESTERVILLE – 100 Men Who Care is an interesting concept. Most fundraising campaigns last many months, involve hundreds of volunteers, and must maintain an expensive administrative infrastructure. One hundred men, on the other hand, have very little overhead, obtain an extremely quick result, and go home with the feeling of having done something good and of having spent a pleasant evening meeting with friends and colleagues over a casual beverage. What’s not to like?

Walking through the door at the Chesterville Legion it is like walking into a general meeting of any association. Most of the attendees are men (the women have their own event) and some are partaking of the chips and dips, and many have a beverage of some kind. It is simply a social gathering that can make a huge difference in a little over an hour.

Dan Gasser, co-chair of the North Dundas 100 Men Who Care called the meeting to order shortly after 7:00 p.m. and after ascertaining how many in the crowd were first timers, explained how the evening would progress.

“You provide a blank cheque for $100 or $100 in cash,” said Gasser. “Each of the charities gives a quick 3-minute presentation about their project. After they are finished, you vote for the charity of your choice using the ballot that is in the plastic sleeve behind your nametag and after the votes are counted, the winner is announced.”

If more than 100 men sign up, then the first $10,000 or the amount of the ask goes to the winning charity and the balance is given to the charity that comes in second.

On this night there were six charities in the running: Art on the Waterfront (seeking $10,000), Carefor’s Nor-Dun Centre (seeking $6,000), Community Food Share DS (seeking $10,000), Nation Valley ATV Club (seeking $6,500), North Dundas Fire Services-Prevention (seeking $10,000), and WDMH Foundation (seeking $10,000). Each made a presentation outlining the project they hoped to pursue if they were successful in being selected. Once these were completed, the voting took place.

It didn’t take long: Gasser announced who the top vote getter was. “So, the first place I’ve got here that you guys counted up, you’re going to get the full ask is Carefor, and that means we have just over $4,000 left for the second-place organization and that one is going to be Community Food Share.”

With their ask Carefor Nor-Dun will be satisfying the need for new kitchen equipment and a kitchen window replacement to aid in supporting the growing demand for its assorted meal and dining programs. They hope to have the work completed prior to the end of March 2024.

Community food share will use their ask to purchase non-perishable food locally and immediately.

A difference made (two actually) and in only minutes. It left many of the attendees appearing to want to do it again, and next year they probably will. This area always seems to find a way to help those in need.