By Kara Hallissey, Staff Writer
(May 11, 2018) The 100+ Women Who Care on the Shore charity donated $2,400 to the Germantown School Community Heritage Center in Berlin, which will be used to replace the water system at the historic site.
“I nominated the Germantown School Community Heritage Center because I know that 100+ Women Who Care want their contributions to make a big impact on their recipients’ organizations,” said Karen Prengaman, a 100+ Women Who Care on the Shore member, who nominated the school last month. “The Germantown School Community Heritage Center needed a new water system, but fulfilling that dream was beyond their reach.”
The 100+ Women Who Care on the Shore organization held its second meeting of the year on April 24 at the West Ocean City Bottle Shop on Route 50. Twenty-four members heard presentations about the Lower Shore Land Trust, the Ocean City Elementary Backpack Program, and the Germantown School in Berlin.
“I thought this would be a great way to show how much the community values both the history represented by GSCHC as well as the programs they offer to the community, programs that will, in the future, offer fresh, clean water,” Prengaman said.
The Germantown School Community Heritage Center is a restored school house, which now serves as a historical and cultural community center. It has a unique exhibit of memorabilia designed to celebrate the African American history in Worcester County.
The Germantown School was built in 1923 in an effort to improve the quality of public education for African Americans. The two-room school operated until the early 1960s for grades first through seventh.
“It is now a gathering place for all people, of all ages,” said Barbara Purnell, president of the Germantown School Community Heritage Center. “We have many events here such as baby showers, senior meetings, dances and after-school events for children. We also have a small museum where original and replica items are displayed to celebrate the history of the Worcester County African American population.”
Members of the 100+ Women Who Care on the Shore directly contribute $100 to three different charities each year, totaling $300. There are no administrative fees, and all donations are tax deductible.
During the hour-long meetings, each woman in attendance fills out a nomination form with their favorite nonprofit charity from Worcester, Wicomico or Somerset counties. The submissions go into a basket and three potential winners are picked.
“Those three women present their nominations by telling the group about why they are passionate about their charity and what great work the charity does for the community,” said Janelle Mulholland, co-founder of 100+ Women Who Care on the Shore with Susanna Eisenman and Anna Newton.
After presentations, each member votes for their favorite choice and the charity with the most votes will receive checks from all 100+ Women Who Care on the Shore members.
“Charities can be nominated over and over again, but once a charity has been chosen, it cannot be nominated again for one year,” Mulholland said. “Charities must be 501(c)(3). The money must also stay on the shore to help our residents in Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset counties.”
Since February 2017, the organization has raised $17,600 for local charities in five meetings, including the Stephen Decatur High School Band Boosters, the CRICKET Center, Women Supporting Women, Atlantic General Hospital’s new community garden, and the Germantown School.
“I first heard of the organization while visiting my mother in Iowa,” Mulholland said. “Her friends started their own chapter and I loved the idea of a group of women getting together and discussing charities in their community, and then writing checks to the chosen local charity. We wanted a way to make a direct impact on our community.”
The nonprofit organization began in Michigan more than a decade ago. Currently, there are more than 400 active chapters across the world.
The local chapter will have its final meeting of the year on Oct. 9 at the West Ocean City Bottle Shop on Route 50 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
For more information or to become a member, email Mulholland at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.facebook.com/100womenwhocareontheshore.