Memorable meeting for 100+ Women

IRON RIVER—Even for a group whose purpose in meeting four times each year is to fundraise and make donations to local charities and nonprofit organizations, it’s probably safe to say that many members of the local 100+ Women Who Care group will look back on their meeting held Nov. 15 as an extra special one, with made-for-TV moments and a spirit of giving and community togetherness fitting for the holiday season.
    100+ Women Who Care began in 2006, with the Iron County chapter forming in 2013. The aim of the organization is unique in its simplicity - to take the generous, charitable spirit of individual local women and create a more financially impactful end result for the local community.
    The organization meets at Young’s in February, May, August and November. At each meeting, any paying individual member ($100 per quarter) or group (2-4 people splitting $100 per quarter) can nominate a local charity or nonprofit organization. Three of these nominations are randomly selected, and a representative of each nominated group gives a presentation, after which the members vote. The winning vote getter receives the funds for that quarter, not an insignificant prize, as it is common for the donation to be around or even over $5,000.
    But at the Nov. 15 meeting, the normal course of business was replaced with a much more magical sequence of events.
    “It was like a Hallmark movie,” committee member Jenn Rajala said.
    To begin with, a picturesque light snow had started to fall, and in an interesting coincidence, both the Iron River and Crystal Falls food pantries of St. Vincent de Paul were nominated as two of the three groups eligible to win.
    “You could tell even then that something seemed a little different,” Rajala said.
    First to give its presentation was Louise Holmes of the Crystal Falls food pantry, followed by Gale Cerney representing the Iron River food pantry. What happened next stunned the members in attendance.
    Sarah Erickson, representative for the Northwoods Animal Shelter, which was the third and final nominee, got up to make her presentation.
    According to Rajala, Erickson started with something to the effect of “How do you follow that?”

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