Since 2012, some local women have enjoyed quarterly social gatherings for a cause.

It started as a simple thing, remembers founding member Jackie Gunn, who had teamed with friends to invite Kirk & Hill customers to a philanthropic evening.

More than six years later, what Gunn, Kirsten Hillstrom, Mari Sinton-Martinez and Betsy Sobral dreamed up has become 100+ Women Who Care — Colorado Springs, following a national model.

And in those years, it has raised more than $215,000 for local nonprofits.

Half of each quarterly donation is matched by the Richard M. Schulze Foundation, up to $5,000.

That total grew again after the first event of 2019 on Jan. 16, when Peak Education received $12,000 for its “One Student at a Time” mentoring program in Harrison District 2.

Members of 100+ Women Who Care — Colorado Springs (tinyurl.com/yd3j98jq) pledge $100 each quarter. During the appetizers and wine get-togethers at The Warehouse, members nominate charities, and three of those names are drawn from a big pink bowl.

Either the woman doing the nominating or a representative of the nonprofit drawn has three minutes to tell about that organization’s work. Members vote, putting their choice into the big pink bowl, and one recipient is drawn.

The three nominees this time were Shield 616, Peak Education and Special Kids Special Families.

Recipients of the November donation delighted members and guests as they described how their gift was being used.

Children’s Colorado Colorado Springs Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic nurses were emotional describing how young “clefts” will be able to go to the Outdoor Education Center in Breckenridge for four years.

“Just picture our little patients in the mountains of Colorado,” said nurse Amber Kerr.

“Not all kids have the means to go to Breckenridge.”

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