(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)
by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
The 100+ Women Who Care of the Greater Durand Area met on Thursday, Sept. 20 for the fifth time, and the charitable group of women voted during the hour-long meeting to donate $11,200 to the Operation Freedom Committee, bringing the group’s total amount donated to $44,600. The 100+ Women Who Care of the Greater Durand Area – which was founded in February 2016 by Shari Demo, Leslie Dietrich, Kasey Fiebernitz, Linda Greeson, Debbie Lintz, Karla Luchenbill and Kathy Wilson – has previously supported the Durand Educational Foundation, Durand Union Station, the Durand FIRST Robotics team and the Durand Backpack Program.
The Operation Freedom Committee organizes the annual Durand Area Schools varsity football game honoring veterans and active military members, which will be held for the third straight year on Friday, Oct. 5. Committee member and Durand Board of Education member Blair Pancheck spoke on behalf of the Operation Freedom Committee on Sept. 20.
All the funds raised during the Operation Freedom game every year go into the Operation Freedom Veteran Relief Fund, which is used to help local veterans and their families with unforeseen or burdensome expenses. The Durand VFW and AMVETS accept requests from local veterans for funds, and the committee reviews requests and grants funds when appropriate.
The two other causes that were presented during the Sept. 20 meeting were the Durand Senior Center and the Kerr Cares Closet. The 44 voting members in attendance for the meeting initially had a hard time making a decision. Operation Freedom and the Durand Senior Center both received 15 votes in the first round of voting, with the Kerr Cares Closet finishing with 14 votes. Operation Freedom prevailed in the second round of voting, after the Kerr Cares Closet was eliminated.
Members of the 100+ Women Who Care of the Greater Durand Area gathered with Pancheck (holding check/page 1) at the conclusion of the Sept. 20 meeting, which was held at the Durand First United Methodist Church. Pancheck, an ardent supporter of everything Durand, can be seen smiling, though her emotions nearly got the best of her as she accepted the check.
The next meeting of the 100+ Women Who Care of the Greater Durand Area will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 21 at the Durand First United Methodist Church, which is located at 10016 E. Newburg Rd. in Durand. The Durand varsity football team will play fellow Mid Michigan Activities Conference charter member Montrose on Oct. 5 for Operation Freedom III.