2013 The Women's Journal, Chester County editions. Reprinted by kind permission.
Local Women Coming Together to Support the Local Community.
By Marjorie Wentz
ASK A HUNDRED WOMEN what a great life looks like and you will probably get a hundred different answers. However, more than likely one theme will appear in every list: to make a difference in the world. A thread that binds many of us is a burning passion that inspires us and propels us to move toward a special goal.
On a recent business trip to San Diego, California, I was inspired after learning about organizations called 100 Women Who Care. The first group was started in Jackson, Michigan in 2006 by Karen Dunigan, who envisioned a brilliant yet simple way to raise money for local charities, non-profit and worthy causes. Understanding that many professional women had the desire and resources to help local charities, yet had little time to give, Dunigan invited group members to meet only once a quarter for one hour and to donate $100 per meeting. Each meeting would raise $10,000—an amount significant to most non-profit organizations. Dunigan’s vision and inspiration spread and numerous groups of 100 Women Who Care formed throughout the country. While the organization’s name is 100 Women Who Care, the organization has become a group of 100 + women who care.
The idea struck a chord with me and I decided to form a group in Chester County. I invited four other businesswomen in the area to give feedback; each indicated interest in helping start the group. In the Chester County group, once every three months members will donate $100 ($400 per year) and meet for one hour with an optional time for networking, dinner and drinks afterward. The donations will be given to a Chester County non-profit charity that serves Chester County. Each member of the group may submit a recommendation for a local recipient. At each meeting, three Chester County charities are drawn from the submissions and the three women who submitted those names give a five-minute presentation about why they believe this charity should be the beneficiary for that time period. A vote is taken by ballot and the winning organization can potentially receive $10,000 ($100 each from each member).
Five businesswomen helping to start 100 + Women Who Care, Chester County are:
Marjorie Wentz. Marjorie Wentz recently sold her West Chester-based custom sign company and will join her husband at Trinity Wealth Management in January.
Cristina Combee, publisher of The Women’s Journal, Chester County, and president of company, CCConcepts, LLC.
Donna Saul, a business strategist and consultant with Donna Saul Associates.
Lauren Blake, marketing director of Krombolz Sheets Insurance.
Samantha Hage, founder of Artbeat, which provides support for artists in the community.
These women know the meaning of giving back to the community both locally and globally. As members of local Rotary clubs, churches and business partnerships, each believes that contribution and service are key to living fully and purposefully. By joining resources—time, talents and other means—they know they can make a significant impact on community needs.
The Chester County group’s goal is to have at least 50 women at the first meeting which will be held in early 2014 and to have at least 100 women by the second quarter. There is no limit on the size of the group and this new organization aims to exceed 100 members. With so many worthy causes in our community, the larger the group, the greater the difference we can make.