(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)


by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor

The Durand Area Schools Backpack Program was selected as the newest recipient of the philanthropic efforts of the 100+ Women Who Care Greater Durand Area on Thursday, March 15, pushing the burgeoning young group’s donation total to $33,500 through four meetings.

Past recipients of the 100+ Women of Durand’s generosity include the Durand Educational Foundation, which received $6,300 on Sept. 22, 2016; Durand Union Station, which received $8,700 on March 23, 2017; and the Durand Robotics team, which received $9,000 on Sept. 21, 2017.

The Durand Robotics team, the most recent 100+ Women of Durand recipient, attended the March 15 meeting to share how the team has invested the donation they received last September. And as usual, the team of Durand High School students – led by coaches Justin and Rebecca Shankster – did not disappoint. The students impressed their audience by demonstrating the capabilities of this year’s robot, which was designed and constructed by the team earlier this year, proving that the 100+ Women donation was money well invested.

Established in 2016 by Shari Demo, Leslie Dietrich, Kasey Fiebernitz, Linda Greeson, Debbie Lintz, Karla Luchenbill and Kathy Wilson, the 100+ Women Who Care Greater Durand Area is a growing group of women which gathers twice a year to support the local community. By contributing to local charities together, as a unit, the group increases the impact of its donations.

For each hour-long biannual meeting, group members commit to donating $100 ($200 per year). Upon arriving at each meeting, members who wish to present – or nominate – a local nonprofit organization for consideration will complete a nomination ticket that is then placed in a hat. Three nonprofit nominees are randomly drawn from the hat during the meeting, and presentations are then made by the individuals whose nominations were selected. Each contributing member casts a vote, and the organization with the most votes is determined the winner.

The three organizations considered during the March 15 meeting were the Durand Backpack Program, presented by Sue Hatherill; I Cancer Vive, presented by Trisha Hackney-Browning; and Live Healthy Shiawassee, presented by Tricia Murphy-Alderman.

I Cancer Vive is a nonprofit that was created by Fringe Salon of Lennon. The funds raised by the nonprofit are used to provide local women who are battling cancer with high quality wigs and Fringe Salon pampering experiences. The salon’s most recent I Cancer Vive cut-a-thon, held on Saturday, Feb 25, netted more than $5,100. For more information about Fringe, visit the salon’s newly designed website at www.fringelennon.com.

Live Healthy Shiawassee is a coalition working to combine resources to promote good eating and physical exercise in the home, school and community. The organization is comprised of representatives from primary care, public health, mental health, education, faith and community based organizations that have been meeting for the past year to develop and coordinate programs and policy improvements in order to promote healthy daily living. To learn more about Live Healthy Shiawassee, visit the group’s website at www.livehealthyshia.org.

The Durand Backpack Program is supported by the Durand Rotary and Lions clubs, with the help of numerous local individuals and businesses. The program serves Durand Area Schools (DAS) students from kindergarten through 7th-grade by supplying a shelf-stable and nutritional weekend meal to those who may not have regular access to nutritious food outside of school. This year the program is providing weekend lunches to 130 students. The DAS food service director shops for the food and assembles backpacks each week, with the help of a team of volunteers, before distributing the weekend lunches throughout the school system every Thursday and Friday.

For more information about the 100+ Women Who Care Greater Durand Area, visit the group’s website, www.100womenwhocare-durand.org. The group’s next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20 at the Durand First United Methodist Church, 10016 E. Newburg Rd., Durand. Membership is not contingent upon being a local resident, though members must be present to vote during meetings.

100+ Women Who Care Greater Durand Area was last modified: March 26th, 2018 by Karen Elford