By: Tara Kerrigan Hayes
Proving that the generosity of spirit is alive and well in Boston, this year’s Giving Tuesday was the perfect night to hold the 100 Women/Men Who Care’s annual Fundraiser. To date, The 100 Guys/100 Women Who Care groups have made a significant impact on local charitable organizations donating over $100,000, and they have no intention to stop any time soon.
Graciously hosted by The Black Rose, this year’s fundraiser featured live music by The Lewis Brothers, with Irish whiskey tastings sponsored by Tullamore Dew, complimented by hors d’oeuvres to make for a festive evening to celebrate 100’s mission of collective giving. Yet the focus of the night remained ever present – the quest to find the right organization that would be gifted the donation of $10,000.
Not your typical fundraiser, this annual philanthropic enterprise has a simple structure providing opportunity for a diverse array of charities. With each donation, registered guests have the chance to nominate any charity of their choice, which gets submitted to a raffle. Three organizations, (four this year), then gets drawn at random, and a representative of each charity is allowed center stage to deliver a brief, informal presentation followed by a written ballot vote by the actual attendees themselves.
But what one might expect to be a string of droning speeches turned out to be captivating stories of humanity, generosity and compassion, each more touching than the next as speakers poignantly described the heart and soul of their charity’s mission.
At a time of year when donating almost feel almost obligatory with vague destinations and questionable allocations, it was both reassuring and inspiring to hear first-hand, intimate accounts of exactly where the money would go and precisely who it would help.
There was hardly a dry eye after a heartfelt speech from Brian Gravel of Santa’s Magic, an organization with a mission is to brighten the lives of hospital patients. He spoke of volunteers paying personal visits to hospitals on Christmas Day (and other special occasions), providing special gifts and companionship to aging veterans and the terminally ill, including cancer patients who may never see another Christmas.
Also among the nominees and this year’s winner was Camp Hale, represented by Director, Jerrell Cox, who eloquently spoke about the camp’s mission: “to harness the power of our diverse community to disrupt the cycle of poverty for children and their families”.
To top off the evening, two representatives of winning charities from past years shared touching stories of how the funds directly impacted recipients, offering earnest thanks to the community on behalf of our youth whose lives had been altered for the better, as a result of the annual fundraiser.
While not every charity won direct donations, they did gain exposure for their causes to spread the word about lesser known yet extraordinary organizations in our area, with the help of 100 Guys Event Coordinator, Dave Greenwood, who seamlessly ran the event, keeping it both upbeat and informative.
Though guests came into the night with the intention to give, many of us left something as well; the gift of gratitude as we were reminded of the struggles of those less fortunate in health, wealth, opportunity and downright luck, and the importance of the incredible impact we can have on our fellow humans, thanks to organizations like 100 Guys/100 Women Care.
100 would like to offer a special thanks to The Black Rose for donating their space as well as staff for such a worthy cause.