The group that gathered for the first 50 Women $50 meeting last year. Photo: Betsy Kline

Castlegar women’s group makes an impact for local non-profits

50 Women $50 strives to make a difference in the community

One year after starting up, a local women’s philanthropic group is growing and reaching its goals of helping the community.

The group is called 50 Women $50. The premise is simple: women gather together once a quarter, already committed to contributing $50 each to a local charity.

Three local non-profits present their projects to the group. A vote is then taken to decide which of the groups will receive the entire amount of money gathered that night.

The group has grown to about 35 members, and creator Susan Kolebaba hopes to meet her goal of 50 members in the near future.

The group attracts women from a wide age range starting with 20-somethings all the way to senior citizens.

Reidun Squires decided to join the group after she moved to Castlegar from Toronto last fall because she was looking for a way to get connected with her new community.

“It is a really uncomplicated style of giving,” said Squires.

“It is a straightforward way of getting the community involved, with minimal work and investment on the donor side — you get to just show up and donate.”

She also appreciates learning about local non-profits and the fun of meeting new people.

Jessica Adrian has been a part of the group since its inaugural meeting last year.

PREVIOUS: New Castlegar women’s group focuses on supporting local charities

“It was a great opportunity to get involved in my community, without a ton of commitment,” said Adrian. “I wanted to learn a little more about what was happening in our community. It is a fun little social outing.”

So far the group has donated $1,200 to the Castlegar women’s shelter, $1,300 to Chrissy’s Place, $1,450 to Castlegar Hospice and $1,500 to the IRIS Project (Increasing Recreation Involving Seniors).

“I know the organizations appreciate the support,” said Kolebaba. “We are having a positive impact on the community.”

The group selected at the first anniversary meeting was the Castlegar Girl Guides, although funds for that donation have not yet been totaled. The Girl Guides plan to use the funds to purchase camping equipment.

“It will help not just the kids that are currently involved, but next year’s and the year after,” said Kolebaba. “I think we have a long-lasting impact.”

The best way to find out more about the group is through their Facebook page 50 Women $50 – Castlegar or by emailing 50womencastlegar@gmail.com.

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