AMHERST – It was supposed to be their last meeting; but it’s probably not.
100 Women Who Care Cumberland gathered Tuesday night at the Credit Union Business Innovation Centre in Amherst.
It was the twelfth time in the past three years the organization gathered to raise money for charities in Cumberland County.
On Tuesday, they raised $7,800 for Autumn House, an organization that provides shelter for families escaping domestic violence.
Autumn House was one of three organizations that delivered a presentation to 100 Women Who Care, hoping to have each one of the 78 women and organizations in attendance donate $100 to their cause.
“Autumn House was fortunate last year to be awarded government funding to build a second-stage housing duplex, and as we speak tonight we are well on our way to having this completed by mid-April,” said Tammy Bickerton, a member of the Second Stage Housing committee at Autumn House. “This funding has been a godsend to Autumn House and to the women we serve and this community, however, it doesn’t cover anything other than the cost of construction.”
The committee is currently fundraising to buy appliances and landscaping for the home.
“The house is being built, and we refer to it as a house, but once the appliances are installed it will become a home for women,” said Bickerton.
She finished her presentation by saying, “I would like to announce tonight that should we be fortunate enough to receive your support we will be naming the house the ‘Women Who Care Home’ in honour of 100 Who Care Cumberland turning our house into a home for women, and this namesake will last as long as the home stands.”
Autumn House was one of three organizations at Tuesday’s gathering. The other two charitable organizations who made a pitch to the 100 Women Who Care was Lisa Emery of the Cumberland County Museum and Bonnie Wilkie of the Amherst Food Assistance Network.
After deliberating and then casting a ballot, Autumn House was the organization chosen by the women in the room.
100 Women Who Care Cumberland started three years ago. In that time, including Tuesday night, they have raised $92,800 for charities in Cumberland County.
On Tuesday, one of the founding members, Kathy Wells, announced that the current executive was disbanding and therefore, unless others came forward to create a new executive, 100 Women Who Care Cumberland would no longer exist.
“It’s been amazing to stand before such strong women in Cumberland County, to raise funds for such deserving charities, and to raise the awareness for the other charities,” said Wells.
She added that they welcome anyone to step forward and take over.
“We have loved doing this and I love doing this. I love doing this every three months but we are ready to move on to different things,” said Wells. “If there is anybody who would like to start a committee and move forward and keep it going we would be more than willing to help you with that. Feel free to come forward.”
One executive member, Lisa Gottschalk, showed interest in staying on and after the meeting several people approached her to help out.
“There’s nothing set in stone but I had four women approach me who said they’d be willing to stay,” said Gottschalk.
100 Women Who Care gathers every three months to donate to a new charity.
“I don’t know if we can get it organized quick enough to get the June meeting done, but maybe we can get it done by September,” said Gottschalk. “As things stand now, there are no names on a new executive but it looks like there will be a change in executive.”