They’ve “given a damn” all the way to a Best of Airdrie Readers' Choice Award.
The 100 Airdrie Men Who Give A Damn group has been declared the top fundraiser for this month’s Readers’ Choice Awards, after Airdrie City View readers voted for the non-profit in droves throughout the month of August.
“It was a total shock to us but it’s nice validation that the community and our members especially think that the work we do is valuable,” said Jack Lumley, the co-chair of the 100 Airdrie Men group.
The club was founded five years ago, with the goal of helping better the Airdrie community and local organizations that are trying to do the same.
“For me, it’s personal accountability. You have a little bit extra, you realize that people in the community don’t, you come out [and] do your small part to make the community better and it feels good,” Lumley said.
Each member contributes $100 every quarter, the idea being that 100 men will collectively generate $10,000 in donations. After determining a three-charity shortlist, members of those charities then pitch their cause to the group at the quarterly meeting. Following that, the 100 Airdrie Men members take a vote, and the $10,000 goes toward the charity they feel would benefit most from the donation.
“I’m always excited for each quarter because you get to see another group that’s doing some great things in their own right,” said Derrick Greenwood, the 100 Airdrie Men Who Give a Damn ambassador.
Lumley said the organizations receiving the funds fulfill a need for help and support within the Airdrie community in some way.
“[These] stories really hit home, because quite often it’s literally your neighbours,” he added.
When presenting, the organizations must identify who they are, how they benefit the community, and what they plan on doing with the funds. According to Greenwood, sharing success stories with the group is recommended.
“A lot of those are very compelling as it’s inspiring to hear about the ways people are affected by these groups,” he said.
Lumley and Greenwood both agreed the presenter can often bring tears to the eyes of the 100 Airdrie Men members, and those are the stories that tend to be the successful candidate for the donation.
Since being formed five years ago, the 100 Airdrie Men Who Give A Damn have raised over $225,000. The group has also helped supply a start-up fund to start similar organizations, which inspired the creation of the 100 Women Who Care.
Lumley is hoping to host more joint events with the ladies' group in the future. Additionally, the co-chair wants to grow the foundation.
“It’d be great if we could get 300 Men Who Give a Damn and then give $10,000 to each of the three groups,” Lumley said.
However, Greenwood assured the 100 Airdrie Men group has no ambitions of branching outside of the community. To Greenwood, the point of the endeavour is to benefit Airdrie citizens directly.
“Any community is only as good as its members and not everybody’s always in a position to be able to do something extra and so those of us that can, I think it’s important that we do,” Greenwood said.
Although winning a Best of Airdrie Readers' Choice Award was a surprise to the group, 100 Airdrie Men Who Give a Damn is happy to continue to support local organizations for years to come, he added.
“One of the things I love about the 100 group is that it’s men that come together from around the community,” Greenwood said. “To see this kind of validation, the recognition of them doing that – it’s just fantastic.”
Those interested in joining 100 Airdrie Men Who Give a Damn can visit theairdrie100.com.