Wonder women

Power of 100 membership surging, organization making a difference

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Power of 100 Canadian County founding board members enjoyed their kick-off event in 2020 at the Palace Event Center in El Reno. Pictured, from left, Tresa Smith, Tammy McKee, Anita Bishop, Kim Baker, and Nancy Campbell. (Photo provided)

By Michael Pineda
Staff Writer

The Power of 100 has been a game changer for nonprofits and charities in Canadian County. 

Since its inception in October 2020, the group of women has raised $126,000 that has been split among seven entities. Tammie McKee, one of the five original founders for the county group, described the growth as “remarkable.” 

The original goal was to have 20 to 25 members. As of last week, the group has 201, each donating.

“It’s kind of humbling when the community kind of backs something like this,” McKee said.

There are Power of 100 groups throughout the nation. McKee described it as a concept rather than a national group. She heard about it, began to research it. After contacting a few people, the decision was made to move forward. 

“There were five people,” McKee said.” From then, we started the non-profit in 2020. We didn’t really think it was a good time to be starting a nonprofit during the pandemic but then we decided, what better time? The charities really need our time. 

“We were wondering, can you really get donations during this time and it ended up being fabulous. People were willing to help. They were calling us all the time, ‘Yes, I want to do this, I want to help.’ It’s been remarkable.”

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McKee said people are drawn to the group through a desire to make an impact somewhere. Donations are $100 quarterly or $400 per year for membership. Meetings are also held quarterly, during which a non-profit is selected to receive a financial award.

“What we do, if you become a member, then you may nominate a non-profit charity in Canadian County,” McKee said. “Then we collect those. We vet the charity and then the name literally goes into a hopper. That night, we draw from the hopper. Whoever we draw, they may speak to the group or they can have a representative speak to the group about that nonprofit. We only draw three, and from those three we vote that night. Whoever gets the most votes gets to receive what we call the Hope Award.”

Typical awards are in the amount of $15,000 to $18,000. Recipients are similar to membership in that both are diverse. McKee said people are drawn to the group for different reasons. They realize the impact their funds – with other membership donors – can really make. They also enjoy coming together and helping others.

During the most recent quarterly meeting, Youth & Family Services was voted by membership to receive the Hope Award.

“Youth & Family Services is honored to have been selected by the Canadian County Power of 100 for this quarter’s big give,”  said Carol Plemmons, Youth & Family Services, Inc. community outreach lead. “The dollars received will be used to help recruit foster families to help meet the very present need of homes for children that have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.”

There will be a check presentation in a couple of weeks. Those presentations are a highlight for Power of 100 leaders and membership.

“The presentation of the checks is the best part of the entire thing,” McKee said. “We get to give them money. We get to meet all the people, a lot of them that work there that show us the facility. They give us a one-on-one tour and they will tell us an exact area where there is a need – what they need for right now or for the future. 

“Then, we give them a couple of months and then they come back for a next event and tell us how they spent the money.”

For information on how to get involved or make a donation, visit https://www.powerof100cc.org/.

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