The inaugural event for 100+ Harbor Women Who Care exceeded all expectations, with more than 160 attendees donating a total of $16,300 to a local charity Thursday evening.
“This is just another great example of how wonderful Grays Harbor truly is,” said co-founder Jessica Hoover. “We came together and, in less than two hours, we raised over $16,000 as a collective unit for an organization that does so much good in the community!”
Three local 501(c)3 organizations presented their cases for funding: the 7th Street Theatre Association, which is looking to replace and upgrade the venue’s lighting; ARC of Grays Harbor, which hopes to purchase a wheelchair van; and the Cancer Alliance of Grays Harbor, which gives small grants to selected Harbor cancer patients with financial woes.
“It was an honor to represent one of the nominees at the inaugural event,” said Mickey Thurman, who made the presentation for the theater group. “I’m so proud of our community for coming together like this, and to see so many participate.”
Dr. Juliette Erickson of Family Medicine of Grays Harbor and her former officer manager, Jan Dahl, made the presentation for the Cancer Alliance, which was selected to receive the funds raised Thursday evening.
The alliance has been operating very quietly since 2008, helping Harbor cancer patients cover basic needs such as groceries, gas and utility payments — often anonymously. “We’ve even been able to prevent homelessness for some people,” Dahl said.
“We took a leap of faith to unmask our ‘ninja charity’ and were overwhelmed by the enormous support we received from the event,” said Erickson. “With the donations we received, we will be able to support so many in need.”
The alliance relies on a Harborwide network of social workers, nurses and patient advocates who request aid for those in need while maintaining full confidentiality.
“Each of our patient advocates can apply for funds on behalf of the patients by filling out a simple form and submitting it,” Dahl said during the presentation. “Funds are paid directly to the Grays Harbor business that the patients need services from.
“The magic of it all is because of the small-town trust, some businesses discount the bill completely,” she added. “People helping people, inspiring people to help people — that’s who we are.”
The alliance wasn’t the evening’s only beneficiary, either.
“ARC left with five checks as well, so (executive director Jeff Meeks) was very happy with the exposure,” said Harbor Women co-founder Maryann Welch. “It was amazing — the energy in the room. The overwhelming generosity in Grays Harbor knows no bounds.”