Organizers seeking 100 plus 'men who care'

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Banking on the power of numbers and taking a page out of the 100 Women Who Care organization's playbook, a cadre of Putnam County men hope to make a big community impact of their own with a new group.

In the formative stages with a board in place and a goal of involving more than 100 local men, the group 100-Plus Men Who Care will conduct its first meeting Wednesday, March 18, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Inn at DePauw.

In the meantime, February is being considered recruitment month as board

members contact prospective local candidates from all walks of life within the community.

Anyone interested in joining the organization may get sign-up information via the website if not otherwise contacted.

Each member will commit to donating $100 to the 100-Plus Men Who Care endowment at the Putnam County Community Foundation (PCCF) and $400 goes to the four different selected charities for a total commitment of $500 a year.

The upshot, Chairman Scott Davis said, "is that in 45 minutes your $100 donation will become a $10,000-plus check, and each year the group would award more than $40,000 locally."

Davis has rallied 10 men to organize the group with a steering committee that includes Page Cotton as vice chairman, Ralph Cuhna and Dave Murray as event managers, Eric Wolfe as treasurer, Ken Eitel as publicity chairman, Jeff Sigworth in charge of IT, and Michael Clampitt, Bob Jedele, Todd Lewis, Chuck Schroeder and Alan Zerkel as committee members.

"We were inspired by the women's group for sure," Davis admitted, noting that there are only 12 known men's groups across the country.

"There's a lot of guys who've always let the women carry the flag," added Davis whose wife Joan is a charter member of the women's organization that began last year. "This is our opportunity, in a fun setting, to make a difference and a huge impact in less than an hour."

Another highlight, he noted, is the "simple democratic process."

"The beauty of this," Davis added, "is just the simplicity. It's simple, powerful and impactful."

Here's how the program works: 100-Plus Men members will meet four times each year for a 45-minute meeting. At each quarterly session, a member may nominate a local 501(c) (3) non-profit public charity or a government entity to be included in a drawing.

Three members' nonprofits are randomly drawn from a fishbowl, and each of the three members receive up to four minutes to provide an explanation of the organization and its services. Two minutes are also provided for questions if needed.

At the end of the three presentations, members cast secret ballots, which are counted and a winner announced. The men then make out their checks or pay $100 in cash to the selected charity.

"As individuals, we sometimes feel that it is difficult to make a very large community impact," Davis said. "But as a group of 100 plus, we have the ability to make a meaningful difference in ways that we never thought possible."

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