Women Who Care makes first donation to Manistee Community Kitchen

Sharron Lemmer pitches the Manistee Community Kitchen to the Women Who Care in Manistee at the first meeting on Tuesday evening. A donation of about $3,500 will be given to the organization through the women’s group. (Justine McGuire/News Advocate

Sharron Lemmer pitches the Manistee Community Kitchen to the Women Who Care in Manistee at the first meeting on Tuesday evening. A donation of about $3,500 will be given to the organization through the women’s group. (Justine McGuire/News Advocate)

MANISTEE COUNTY – Caring women raised about $3,500 on Tuesday evening and donated it to the Manistee Community Kitchen.

The first meeting of 100 Women Who Care in Manistee was regarded as a success by co-founders Jenni Naffie and Judy Crockett, although there weren’t quite 100 women in attendance.

Around 30 women from around the county attended and donated $100 each to the kitchen, with more women being notified by email and sending checks later.

“We know that when people see the power of what happens when the nonprofit receives the money that it will grow because that’s the way women are,” Naffie said.

Those who were at the gathering were allowed to nominate a nonprofit organization by writing it and their name on a card, and then three of the cards were drawn: the kitchen, Friends of the Ramsdell and Meals on Wheels.

The women who nominated the three organizations were allowed to speak the group about them and answer questions for five minutes each. After that, they voted.

“How many of you have ever felt hungry? How many of you have ever felt overweight?” said Sharron Lemmer, who presented for the kitchen and is a member of its board. “That’s what the Manistee Community Kitchen is here to fight: hunger and obesity.”

Seventy percent of people in the county are overweight, 80 percent don’t get enough fruits and vegetables, and 53 percent of children qualify for free or reduced lunch, she said.

The money will go toward the kitchen’s Iron Works Café, which after the donation still needs to raise about $16,500 before it can open.

“I’m very grateful, this is going to be a really good boost of encouragement to the Manistee Community Kitchen and the Iron Works Café project,” Lemmer said.

Lemmer or another representative of the kitchen will speak at the next meeting on April 15 to tell about how the donation was used. Subsequent meetings will be on July 15 and Oct. 21.

“I’m very enthused about the amount of energy that you felt in this room tonight and to see so many new faces, and to know that many of them are from out of town, new to the community and even out of state who are participating,” Crockett said.

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Posted by Justine McGuire

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