Giving Clubs donate $30,000 to prevent suicide, Grant a Wish

To make a common comparison, in the long term it amounts to less than that daily cup of fancy coffee.

Each member writes a $100 check four times a year, and together those checks amount to thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars for area nonprofits.

Members of The Giving Club (gjgivingclub.org) and its partner organization for gentlemen, The Guys’ Giving Club, this month will be donating almost $30,000 to a local nonprofit agency that helps children pursue their passions and one that works on many fronts toward preventing suicide.

At 4 p.m. today in the gazebo at Sherwood Park, members of The Giving Club will present $20,500 to the Grant a Wish Program (http://www.grantawishco.org), an organization founded in 2008 by Mackenzie Dodge to grant scholarships to qualifying youth so they can participate in programs and activities that focus on skill building and positive role models.

This may include everything from arts and music programs to summer camps, sports lessons or team fees and other activities, said Christian Hererra, vice-chairman of the Grant a Wish Program.

Each child, who generally is nominated through a youth service organization, may receive up to $400 in scholarship funds, “though we’ve definitely made allowances if a child needed more than that,” Hererra said.

More than 450 children have received scholarships since 2008, and so far this year the program has awarded scholarships to more than 90 children, Hererra said.

Last year, fundraising totals were about $12,000 and this year the goal was $15,000, “so this (Giving Club) donation is bigger than the total we were trying to raise for the entire year,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

The Giving Club has about 190 members who meet four times a year for socializing and friendship and to nominate area organizations to whom each member’s $100 donation should be given.

The process is identical for the Guys’ Giving Club, said Mike Baker, who oversees accounts administration for the club.

This month, the Guys’ Giving Club will give the $9,700 donated by its 97 members to the Western Colorado Suicide Prevention Foundation (suicidepreventionfoundation.org), which works to reduce the rate of suicide in this region through education, funding, messaging and advocacy.

The timing of this donation is fortuitous, Baker said, because the issue of suicide is being seriously discussed throughout the area.


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