970-260-6140 jjvan6@gmail.com

At each meeting members learn about local organizations and the amazing contributions they make to our community.

Who will be nominated and garner the most votes on August 5, 2019?
5-6-19 Meals on Wheels (fka Gray Gourmet) - $21,500

The last meeting of our FIFTH year in existence and a time to celebrate the impact we have made in Mesa County.   After tonight’s meeting we have impacted 20 different non-profits by donating over $333,000 to them.    And remember it is always donated with no strings attached nor any reports to write!   A nonprofit director’s dream!

The meeting room was near capacity when the three nonprofits were pulled from the hat.  I might add I noticed the dessert side of the room filling up quickly with the light lemon bars and deep chocolate browning within reach.

Gray Gourmet was the first out of the gate (Kentucky Derby talk) with Betty Fulton sharing her experience of volunteering for them and her compassion for helping seniors who might not otherwise eat nutritiously, if at all.   I was touched and saddened by the fact they end up delivering some meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

CEC was both the 2nd and 3rd cards selected!   Teresa Bou Matar shared the story about how the Counseling Education Center got started and how it helps so many people in need who might not otherwise be helped due to their limited income.   Teresa said while she was a school counselor CEC was the only place in town which would accept children to counsel.

Last the Symphony was pulled from the hat.  In the beginning our symphony was considered rather mediocre yet today it has turned into an amazing symphony!  With the support of the community it has certainly grown and changed over the years.  They offer programs of all types to those both young and old.

And as the headline states – The Gray Gourmet received the most votes and thus will be receiving our donations (which included about $1600 in birthday donations for a member who was having her 60th birthday that day!)

 

 

2-4-19 HopeWest - $20,050

The crowd was lively, the food was amazing (we will be talking about the bacon for meetings to come – it was seriously that good) and the vote count was extremely close.

Most of us have heard of HopeWest while some of us, perhaps, have directly benefited from their services.  What struck me personally last night was learning a high number of kiddos benefiting from their children’s grief program had lost a loved one to suicide.   I had always thought of that program helping kids who had lost a parent to cancer or something similar.    This is one thing I love about The Giving Club, I’m always learning.

C.L.A.W.S. gives hope, help and homes to stray cats in the valley.    And there is a lot of work which goes into the care, feeding, and attention needed by these homeless cats and kitties.   We are lucky to have such a dedicated group of volunteers watching out for our feline friends.

Lastly the Symphony Foundation was pulled from the hat.   Just sit back and picture your day without the sound or beat of music.  Can you even imagine no music in the world?    Supporting music starts locally.   The Foundation does an incredible job keeping music alive in our lives and hearts.

11-5-18 Pro Bono Project - $19,350

Close your eyes and picture the lobby of SpringHill Suites … hear the loud chatter of women catching up with old friends and being introduced to new ones?   Smell the aroma of something delicious in the air?   Taste the sweetness of a chilled local Riesling?   See the two huge dogs a hotel guest is walking in?   What is missing?   Only those of you who did not attend.

Ninety five women, 46 nominations, 11 new members, nine guests and out of the hat, as always, three nonprofits were pulled.    Two out of the three nominations were made by brand new members too!   Sheryl Shicora, a dedicated volunteer to CLAWS, told us about how a little Siamese kitten ultimately brought her to the cat shelter and what an amazing service they do for our feline friends in need.   Elaine Johnson-Craig shared with us the great work The Western Slope Center for Children does in our community.   Not only do they provide sexually abused children a place to start healing, they reach out to educate children about inappropriate touching and the safety to tell.  Lastly Amanda Bernal,  their executive director and sole paid employee, shared with us what the Pro Bono Project is all about….how she helps educate those facing domestic or landlord issues and helps match eligible clients with no-cost attorneys.

Now imagine Pro Bono Project’s delight when it was announced they garnered the most votes?   And their thrill at receiving approximately $19,350 to use at their discretion … no reports to complete, just surprise money!     I believe that is why this club is so rewarding.   You walk away from the meeting feeling very good about how your $100 is going to make an impact.

 

 

8-6-18 HOPE of the Grand Valley - $19,500

Meeting Notes August 6, 2018 ….

Our Fifth Cycle started fabulously with 91 lovely ladies enjoying fine food, drink, fellowship and Giving! Eighteen nonprofits were nominated in total, with the following three selected for consideration…

Grand Junction Symphony Foundation – Improving our community through the beauty of music. Did you know they also support numerous children’s programs, including Concerts in the Classroom, Crystal Baton Composition Competition, Instrument Petting Zoo, and Symphony Storytime?

HOPE of the Grand Valley – Our friends at HOPE tell us, “We provide a hand up, not a hand out, by fostering and encouraging independence for hardworking, low-income families.” Their programs include budgeting how-tos, job/interview preparation, and family support services.

The Pro Bono Project of Mesa County – Provides a full range of needed civil legal services and education for Mesa County residents through volunteer attorneys. They assist with domestic violence, family law, and landlord tenant and consumer law issues.

And drum roll, please…….

HOPE of the Grand Valley was our lucky winner (close vote again)! Thanks to all the worthy organizations nominated and the great work you do to make our comunity a better place to live, work and play.

5-7-18 Dinosaur Journey - $ 19,150

Meeting notes May 2018 …

Sharpies, tape, protective eyewear ….

who knew Dinosaur Journey, which is enjoyed by so many, is in need of so much?

who knew KAFM lets kids be DJs?   or music helps bring back memories in Alzheimer’s patients?

who knew 4-H isn’t just for farm kids?  Responsibility, plus much more, is taught in a way that captivates the passions of both farm and city kids alike?

who knew “All The Light We Cannot See” is a favorite book of many members?

Well you would have been in the know about these and other questions and curiosities had you been able to attend our meeting last night.   One where we heard about “the entry drug into science”, learned where radio connects groups to volunteers, and how a 4-H project turned a young girls life around!

The vote was extremely close (enough where your vote might have made a difference) …. and Dinosaur Journey came out ahead.      So write your $100 check TODAY to Dinosaur Journey and mail it to P.O. Box 1382,  Grd Jct, CO  81502.

2-5-18 The Good Samaritan Clinic - $20,000

Meeting Notes February 5, 2018 ….

The roses were festive, the food scrumptious, the crowd chatty and the air springlike.   Only you were missing!

Twenty Two different nonprofits were nominated – four for the very first time.    And two of those were pulled from the hat.    Claudia Waterman nominated the 4H Foundation and shared with the crowd her experience as a 4H member for 10 years, her children each having been a member, and now her grandchildren.   4H isn’t just about animals and home economics … it is about leadership, citizenship, and much more.    Many members are farm kids who can’t always afford to participate in everything offered and these funds would be put to good use and go far.   https://www.mesacounty4-hfoundation.org/

Joy Huduk was thrilled to see the Riverside Education Center pulled from the hat.    This is the first time it was eligible to be nominated again having received our donations three years ago.    The need is still great and the kids at the center receive so much more than tutoring … they are surrounded by a support system and people who believe in them.   http://www.rec4kids.com/

Lastly we were introduced to the Good Samaritan Clinic which takes appointments on Saturdays for uninsured and underinsured community members for basic medical and mental health needs.    It is totally staffed and runned by volunteers.

While votes were counted I was happily taste testing every dessert!!!     The Good Samaritan Clinic received the most votes and thus were selected to receive our donations – 174 members @ $100 each makes a HUGE impact.    Thanks for being a part of that impact.

11-6-17 Partners $18,050

November 11, 2017 meeting notes …

Last night couldn’t have felt more “Grand Junction” fallish.    Leaves still falling, sun starting to set, local wines poured!    November has historically seen the most members attend.   Not record breaking yet but there were nearly 100 high energy ladies chatting, laughing, and enjoying themselves.

The first first …. our very newest member Cary Atwood had her favorite organization “Grand Valley Audubon Society” pulled from the hat right off the bat.    Having never witnessed a presentation she did a great job in sharing with the group that the Audubon Society is “More Than Just Birds”.     As a retired teacher she is passionate about exposing youth to the outdoors, birds, and science.

The second first ….. our very first member Anna Stout has been nominating her favorite nonprofit since attending her first meeting in 2014.    Finally it was picked from the hat … Foundation for Cultural Exchange.  She admitted she didn’t expect to garner many votes but for her it was an opportunity to bring awareness to members about our sister city in El Salvador and its needs.   Over 100 local residents have traveled there; each having life changing experiences.    Anna is very passionate about an upcoming trip where cats and dogs will be spayed or neutered.

The third first, which was the last of the firsts (I’m just having fun now) … PARTNERS was pulled from the hat for the first time.     As Jill Derrieux said “Surely everyone knows PARTNERS.”    Many of the programs offered to youth needing an extra shoulder in life were shared with members.    She also shared the unfortunate reality of having funding recently cut.

Desserts were plentiful (and tasty) and visiting continued while the votes were tallied.    PARTNERS garnered the most votes!

8-7-17 Search and Rescue of Mesa County - $ 18,170

AUGUST 7, 2017 meeting notes:

Another Awesome Evening!!!     There were close to 100 women attending.    Although we found the gathering area was perhaps a bit warm as we caught up on each others lives there definitely was enough food for everyone (strawberries and brie – my new fav) and for sure some new friendships were being formed.
When it came time to vote on which  randomly selected nonprofit  was to receive the evenings checks it was hard to not vote for all three.   A newer member sitting next to me said “How does one even begin to decide?”    
Diabetes Counts dedicates their time to children who take insulin every day.    They are a support group, an educational outlet, and a place where kids with this horrible disease can just be kids.    After the two minute overview a member stood up and emotionally told us about her son who was diagnosed at age 12 and she “didn’t have anyone”.    He was told he’d never have kids.   She then shared he is now 34 and expecting his first child.
Next up was 
Colorado Discover Ability whose mission is to increase the independence, self-confidence, self worth and education of people with disabilities, their family and friends, through outdoor recreation.   From skiing to cycling to river rafting and beyond this great community based organization touches so many lives.     They are also in the midst of a capital campaign to build their own building near Los Colinas park and the Botanical Gardens.
Mesa County Search and Rescue was the last nonprofit to be pulled from the basket.    SARC is a totally volunteer cross section of our community – from water to ropes to snow – they are there when someone is lost or hurt.    SARC primarily depends on donations with some reimbursement from rescued parties if they happen to have a fishing or hunting license or have registered their ATV or snowmobile.    These funds would go toward training and updated technology.     Getting lost can happen to anyone – don’t let it happen to you.
…. now you can see how hard it was to vote.
Search and Rescue ended up receiving the most votes!    I overheard many women comment on how they learned so much about all three nonprofits and were planning to donate to all three.    We live in a generous community.

5-1-17 Grant a Wish - $20,200
May 1, 2017 meeting notes …
One of those beautiful spring evenings in the Grand Valley with many members sipping their drinks while sitting outside on the patio area of SpringHill Suites or standing at cocktail tables adorned with bright yellow tulips.  Talk, as always, is all over the place – upcoming vacations, kids graduating, weddings planned or even what nonprofit did you nominate.    These meetings bring together old friends who spend time catching up on their busy lives and new friends who have only recently met.    Always a few new people join – often as a guest of someone or maybe they heard about it from friends.    D51 Foundation brought a beautiful arrangement of white lilies and roses as a thank you to the club for the donation they received in February.   A member was randomly picked to take the big bouquet home with them to enjoy.      The meeting was, as always, on task and energetic.    First up to bat was the Colorado Canyon Association who is trying to obtain a grant to revise the park in Riverside and surrounding bike access.    They need a 10% match to make this a reality and were hoping members would vote for their organization.    KAFM was the lucky second pick from the hat.   A very dynamic local community radio station which might just lose federal funding in the coming months if Washington continues to talk like they are talking.    We need this radio station, nonprofits certainly benefit in many ways from their support and it is just the right thing to keep the programs airing.    Last up was Grant-a-Wish (not to be confused with the national outfit Make-a-Wish).    It was fun learning about this community start up which supports kids in need with scholarships to participate in programs and be around strong adult role models and mentors.      The decision was tough and the vote was close yet Grant-a-Wish came out ahead and received the evening’s donations of $20,200.
2-6-17 D51 Foundation - $19,500
February 6, 2017 meeting notes ….
I’m trying to find different words to describe the atmosphere of club meetings but can’t seem to come up with anything besides high energy, amazing enthusiasm, totally engaged, and a ton of fun.  Add rewarding and motivating to the list and I think I just about have it down.    The appetizers and desserts were provided by Spoons (the eating establishment of Hope West).    I admit to having more than one chocolate mousse for dessert.   Wanda Putnam was declared the woman with a magical touch.   Her nomination for The Symphony Foundation was drawn for a fourth time and she reiterated to the members the real need for funding to go to music in our community.    Karen Hilderbrandt, a new member, had her nomination for The Symphony pulled too.    Both ladies provided compelling reasons for both their organizations to be chosen (and they also educated the group on the TWO DIFFERENT, independent organizations they are).   Also chosen was the D51 Foundation.   Angela Christensen, also a new member that night, spoke about how the foundation supports technology for students and professional development for teachers … things the school district doesn’t always have the funds to accomplish.    When the votes were all counted and the desserts tasted, D51 garnered the most votes and thus will receive $19,500 from club members.
11-7-16 Suicide Prevention Foundation - $18,500
November 7, 2016 meeting notes …
The meeting was very close to being standing room only… a record 110 woman came out on a beautiful fall evening to eat, drink, laugh, learn, nominate and vote.   As always the energy was high and the talk of politics was refreshingly absent.   The Symphony Foundation was randomly selected from the hat for the third time … as Wanda said “Perhaps the third times a charm”.    The arts in our community seem to have a difficult time receiving support and funding.   Wanda shared the new Symphony Conductor was thrilled to learn not only was the symphony in the black financially but that we had a foundation too.   Pretty impressive.     The Western Slope Center for Children was also pulled out of the hat and Giving Club members chimed in on what a great job they do with making the entire process comfortable for victims.      Lastly the Suicide Prevention Foundation was pulled from the hat.   With the recent 15 year old suicide at GJHS parking lot this subject was on a lot of member’s minds.    What can we do to stop such loss of lives?   The Prevention Foundation offers hour long classes letting us know what we should look for and what we can do to possibly prevent suicide.    The Suicide Foundation garnered the most vote and will be receiving $17,000 (plus an additional $1,500 due to excess hospitality fees in our bank account) this month.    Additionally another $1000 in checks were written to either the Symphony Foundation or the Western Slope Center.    A sure sign we are all touched by what we learn.   
8-1-16 Ariel - $16,800
August 1, 2016 meeting notes …
So many deserving organizations serving our community.   I’ve lived here over 25 years and I continually learn about resources I never knew existed.    Nadine, a rather new member, spoke about her and her husbands passion about the John McConnell Math and Science Center​.   Especially about the lack of girls interested in math and how this center is making a huge difference.   Pam, a board member of Suicide Prevention, spoke about the high suicide rate in Mesa County and how that organization is working to stamp out suicide (Lisa, a teacher, spoke about losing a student to suicide last year and how important this organization is to our community).  Lastly supporters of Ariel spoke about how they serve the needs of foster children and provide the heart.   There have been nine child abuse fatalities in Mesa County so far this year.    Heartbreaking.     Ariel garnered the most votes and walked away with over $16,000 to provide support and services in this community.
5-2-16 Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) - $16,500
May 2, 2016 meeting notes …
What I remember … CASA, KAFM, and Girls on the Run were the three randomly selected nonprofits of the evening.   CASA ended up with the most votes.    I failed to update this part of the website timely so besides the above I remember a great group of women, a fair number of new members, and an awesome meeting.   Oh an a toast of champagne to celebrate the amazing milestone of over $100,000 given away to local nonprofits!
2-1-16 Fruita Monument High School Band - $15,600

February 1, 2016 meeting notes ….
Six new members, five inches of snow, three nominations, one excited member screaming in glee as the final vote was announced and … you have yet another successful meeting.    Although the snow definitely kept many members away, 45 ladies stayed warm with the electricity our gatherings tend to naturally spark and we all left with that familiar warm and fuzzy feeling one always gets by giving!      Mosaic, Fruita Monument High School Band, and the Western Slope Center for the Arts were the three nominations randomly selected out of the basket.    A very moving presentation regarding band director Ryan Crabtree’s commitment to teaching not only music but the life skills of hard work, integrity, compassion, and the makings of inspired and worthwhile citizens placed it with the most votes for the evening.  The band program (a 501 (c)(3) receives a mere $2000 a year so we know this windfall will be immensely appreciated.

11-2-15 Mesa County Land Trust $15,000

November 2, 2015 meeting notes …
A beautiful warm fall night downtown and the place was buzzing.   Our meetings always seem so full of energy.   When it is time to start the meeting we always hate to break up the party in the lobby!    Mesa Land Trust, West CAP, and Steadfast Steads were the three lucky nonprofits to be pulled randomly from the bucket.   When all was said and done Mesa Land Trust came out with the most votes and received $15,000 in donations from our generous members.   

8-3-15 KidsAid - $14,200

August 3, 2015 meeting notes …
So fun to think back a year ago and see how much the Club has grown.   We celebrating our success (as of tonight we’ve donated close to $60,000 to five different local nonprofits) and grown from 70 members to 150 members.    The Suicide Prevention Foundation, Kids Aid and the Grand Junction Symphony Foundation were the three lucky nonprofits to be selected from the hat.    It seemed somewhat fitting that Kids Aid was chosen on this first day back to school (although the votes were once again quite close).   Two of the gentlemen from the newly formed Guy’s Giving Club attended our meeting to see how things worked and smoothly came together – they were meeting for the first time the next night.    We’ve been challenged to stay ahead of them in member numbers!    Time will tell but we feel pretty confident women will rule.

5-4-15 Imagination Library - $13,700

May 4 2015 meeting notes …
Once again all were worthwhile nonprofits … in fact a few members went ahead and wrote checks to all three organizations.    Catholic Outreach continues to touch the lives of many people who find themselves struggling while WestCAP (Western Colorado AIDS Project) is part of our community whether or not we wish to acknowledge it.    Members learned this project works with kids as young as 3.    WestCAP is our community-based referral, advocacy, and service provider offering non-judgmental, confidential and compassionate assistance to HIV-affected persons, families, and loved ones.   Lastly GJ Imagination Library is totally run by volunteers.  This program sends a FREE book, every month, to any child five or younger who signs up.    The book comes with tips for parents to encourage kids to read.   Parents, who reside in local zip codes listed on-line, can sign up their children for this wonderful gift of literacy and reading.

2-3-15 Riverside Education Center - $12,300

February 3, 2015 meeting notes ….
Information about their nominated nonprofit was reported by the lucky member and numerous enthusiastic endorsements for each were shared from the audience.    We learned Catholic Outreach stretches the value of each dollar received by 12 fold and are making a huge impact in our community by reducing homelessness; we learned there are lonely, home bound seniors among us who rely on visits and help from volunteer senior companions; and we heard about the dropout rate of Latino boys and how the Riverside Education Center has positively impacted and transformed so many lives.     Once the votes were in it was announced we should make our individual $100 checks out to the Riverside Education Center … a total of $12,300 collected in less than two hours and provided, no strings attached nor any reporting to be made, to a very deserving nonprofit.

11-3-14 Roice Hurst Humane Society - $9,900

November 3, 2014 meeting notes …
Eighty amazing and spirited women met and enjoyed another meeting of The Giving Club.    Three local nonprofits were randomly chosen from the bucket. They were Catholic Outreach,  HopeWest and Roice Hurst. Once again, the ladies who nominated these organizations gave heart felt reasons why the organizations are important to the community, what impact they are making, and how donations from The Giving Club members would be welcomed.  Ultimately Roice Hurst was voted on as the organization to receive the evenings donations.   

8-4-14 Western Slope Center for the Children - $6,400

August 4, 2014 meeting notes ….
Our first meeting was held the evening of August 4, 2014 and it was fun, energetic, rewarding, and amazing!!!    These organizations were nominated Grand Junction Symphony Foundation, Mind Springs Health, and the Western Slope Center for Children. The ladies who nominated these organizations each spent about 3 minutes sharing with the group of 50 about why their nominated nonprofit should receive the evening’s donations.    Each presenter did an excellent job and the audience chimed in with other great reasons to support those nonprofits.     The Western Slope Center for Children received the most votes and thus will receive this evenings donations.