The 100+ Women Who Care-Greater Durand Area held its first virtual meeting on Thursday, Sept. 17 due to COVID-19. The group heard from three worthy organizations.

   Cathy Mitchell nominated the Kerr Cares Closet/Neal Necessities Closet. The Kerr Cares Closet at Robert Kerr and Neal Necessities Closet at Bertha Neal were created to help families with small and immediate needs, and each year the programs have generated more and more requests. Parents can request items such as personal care items, clothing, shoes, boots, etc. This year, the goal is to supply much needed boots and snow pants. If selected, the total donation will be split between Bertha Neal and Robert Kerr schools.

   Jan Harper nominated the Durand Educational Foundation. The Durand Educational Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides funding for initiatives that enhance learning for Durand students. The Foundation began in the summer of 2014. Since that time it has provided over $60,000 for activities like field trips, science, math, writing and reading programs, skill-building camps and numerous other activities. This year, due to COVID-19, the Foundation Trivia Night fundraisers have been cancelled, but the needs within the school system are exceptionally great. The Foundation has already given stipends to 51 educators totaling approximately $5,000. In

addition, grants in the amount of $900 were also awarded. And, it’s only September. A Durand graduate has offered the Foundation up to $10,000 for every dollar that can be raised by Dec. 31, 2020.

   Janice Brownson nominated the National Railroad Memorial, Inc. The National Railroad Memorial, Inc. (NRMI) is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation. NRMI is an all volunteer organization whose operating expenses are underwritten by Dinse & Brownson, PC. The organization’s mission is to honor the men and women of the railroad industry by educating the public as to their role in our nation’s past, present and future. The group aims to accomplish its mission by building a national railroad memorial to honor them in Diamond District Park in downtown Durand. One-hundred percent of money from the Durand Women Who Care would be used to repair, paint and preserve the treasures in Iron Horse Park next to the fire station, including the 5632 steam locomotive, the 1919 Pullman baggage car and the GTWRR Gate tower. NRMI has agreed to help the city of Durand (who has no money to do so) with this project. After all, these treasures owned by the community are already a monument to the men and women of the railroad industry serving in and from the Durand area. They honor our railroad heritage, so NRMI has stepped forward to take good care of them.

   The votes were tallied and with 100 percent participation from its members, Kerr Cares Closet/Neal Necessities Closet will receive $12,000. With this donation, the 100+ Women of Durand has gifted over $83,000 to local organizations.

   New members are welcome to join anytime and can sign up online at

100+ Women of Durand Award Kerr Cares Closet/Neal Necessities Closet $12,000 was last modified: September 29th, 2020 by Karen Elford