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2010 Faculty & Staff News

Two professors and a staff member lead a local organization that has given more than $46k to area charities

November 3, 2010

Two faculty members and a staff member in Longwood University's Department of Health, Athletic Training, Recreation and Kinesiology are the leaders of a Farmville-based organization that has collected and distributed more than $46,000 to area charities in the last two years.

The organizers of 100+ Women Who Care in Southside are Nancy Scruggs, administrative assistant; Dr. Allison (Vonnie) Colvin, professor of physical education; and Sharon Menegoni, assistant professor of athletic training. The organization, patterned after a national organization called 100+ Women Who Care, is composed of women who have pledged to write a $100 check to a charity that is selected at each of four meetings a year.

At each meeting, members write the name of a favorite charity on a slip of paper and place their name and charity in a basket. Three slips are selected at random, and each of those three people, or a representative, is allowed to speak about their charity for five minutes. Questions may be asked. Then members vote by secret ballot, and everyone writes a $100 check to the charity with the most votes.

Though the organization has no officers, Colvin is master of ceremonies at the meetings, Menegoni is in charge of drawing the charities, and Scruggs keeps the records.

"Even though we have many other members from Longwood, some of whom have been with us since the first meeting, we also have members from Hampden-Sydney College, the local schools, and folks who just work in town," Colvin said. "This is truly a community effort, and we're a part of the community. We're always looking for new members."

The organization was launched after Colvin had a phone conversation with a friend in Charlottesville who'd just returned from a meeting. When Colvin asked where she'd been, the friend described a meeting of a chapter of 100+ Women Who Care. That organization, founded in November 2006 in Jackson, Mich., has spawned local chapters across the country. Colvin then started talking about the idea to Menegoni and Scruggs.

The first meeting of 100+ Women Who Care in Southside was held in June 2008. The most recent meeting, the 10th, was held Oct. 28. "Our high attendance was 58, and the low attendance, at our first meeting, was 32," said Scruggs. Meetings are held at Charley's Waterfront Café.

Including the recent meeting, combined contributions at the 10 meetings total $46,300. Organizations to which money has been given include SCOPE/Meals on Wheels, FACES, Habitat for Humanity, STEPS, Southside SPCA, and Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library. Organizations must either be in Prince Edward County or in a bordering county to be eligible for a contribution. After receiving a contribution, they are ineligible to receive another for a year.

At the recent meeting, Heather Lettner-Rust, assistant professor of English, brought 21 students from her English 400 class, which examines citizen leadership. "She wanted them to see what true citizen leaders do," Colvin said.

The organization was featured in a front-page article in the Oct. 27 issue of the Farmville Herald. For more information, email Colvin at colvinay@longwood.edu.