100 Women Who Care picks SPCA

JOHNSTOWN — 100 Women Who Care of the Adirondack Foothills this week announced its latest philanthropic donation: To the Fulton County Regional SPCA in Gloversville.

Its August group donation done by vote will be made to the SPCA — a “very special organization” — according to the 100 Women Facebook page. The amount was not listed.

100 Women Who Care of the Adirondack Foothills has been operating online in recent months. Its message included a big “thank you to all our members who made this online experiment work.”

The philanthropic group has been operating virtually online last spring and this summer. 100 Women recently considered eight August nominees: The Glove Theatre, Fulton County Regional SPCA, Elizabeth Candy Stanton Hometown Association, Community Youth Center of Canajoharie, Lexington’s Calendar of Love, Helping Hands Food Bank, Mountain Valley Hospice, and the Nathan Littauer Hospital Foundation.

Chosen randomly were these three finalists: Fulton County Regional SPCA, Elizabeth Candy Stanton Hometown Association, and Nathan Littauer Hospital Foundation.

In recent five-minute videos, the three nominees made their pitches.

Alex Jackson, a volunteer, had made a pitch for the Fulton County Regional SPCA. The organization is located at 117 W. Fulton St. in Gloversville. The registered, “no kill,” not-for-profit mostly caters to dogs.

“We don’t receive any money from the county, the state or any of the national animal welfare organizations,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the organization is staffed by volunteers and relies solely on donations. She said the volunteers do a multitude of tasks which include feeding, walking and cleaning up after the animals, grounds work such as cutting grass and shoveling, taking dogs to vets, repairing broken kennels, operating security cameras and social media sites, answering phones, and handling cruelty complaints.

She said the Fulton County Regional SPCA is currently contracted with the city of Gloversville for strays and unwanted dogs in the city. The SPCA has an eight-kennel shelter. She said 90 dogs were reunited with their owners and 72 pets were adopted.

“We have made a conscious decision not to bring in dogs from other states,” Jackson said.

The Fulton County Regional SPCA has a youth education program involving area schools, Jackson said. Unfortunately, she said some animals come to the shelter starved or beaten.

“For most of the dogs we get in, the shelter is the best thing that ever happened to them,” Jackson said.

She also said the SPCA volunteers are “some of the most compassionate people you’ll ever meet.”

During the COVID-19 situation, she said the Fulton County Regional SPCA hasn’t been able to do some of its fundraisers and is concerned about future funding.

Other nominees for the award were:

∫ Cheryl McGrattan, vice president of marketing, community relations at Nathan Littauer Hospital, related how the Gloversville health care facility is in need of a portable negative pressure system during the pandemic.

“I think it is a great project,” McGrattan said. “Air flow is vital for our patients and it’s vital for the safety of our staff.”

McGrattan noted that remnants from COVID-19 stay in the air, and Nathan Littauer Hospital needs to avoid “cross contamination” in its 50-year-old building. She said the East State Street facility wasn’t originally built to respond to a global pandemic.

“The answer is a portable negative pressure system,” she said.

McGrattan said hospitals nowadays use negative pressure to prevent cross-contamination in rooms. She said Nathan Littauer uses it in rooms such as the ICU and the OR. But the best feature is a mobile unit, she said.

“It allows us to push the unit to wherever we may need to isolate a patient,” she said. “That is a gift to patient care.”

Ideally, she said the hospital would like to buy two or three Tri-Kleen 500 units. McGrattan said the equipment is an “important asset” during COVID-19 and would be a “lasting gift to the hospital.”

∫ Nancy Brown, of the Elizabeth Candy Stanton Hometown Association, noted the organization was started 11 years ago with three main goals: Education, economic development, and service to women. Named after the Johnstown native and women’s rights leader, the association has taken on various projects, Brown said those include: The “Reflections” collection at Berkshire Bank in Johnstown, a 2015 Happy 200th Birthday video, cell phone tour, Women’s Web Spot website, and the Sunflower Shoppe for woman.

The clothes shop has been staffed by 55 volunteers and given away 608 articles of clothing. As part of the shop, a section known as Elizabeth and Eileen’s Prom Closet offers affordable formal wear.

Brown said the Elizabeth Candy Stanton Hometown Association has 115 members and a Garden Party fundraiser is normally conducted every August.

“Despite our closures, we still need to pay our rent, utilities and insurance which comes to approximately $750 each month,” she said.

Brown said the organization has about $17,557 currently in its treasury. She Said a Bicycle Tour honoring women’s right to vote was reset for Aug. 20-22, 2021.

100 Women Who Care of the Adirondack Foothills has already donated nearly $90,000 to community charities. It usually meets in large groups at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Johnstown, but has had to meet virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The group couldn’t hold its May meeting in-person because of the pandemic, but is now back in full force online.

Instead of gathering in a large group of more-than 100 members to choose a local charity to support, the group has adopted a completely online process, according to a news release. Since its formation in 2018, members of 100 Women Who Care have held quarterly meetings to consider three local charities. After discussion, members decide on one recipient by a secret majority vote.

That successful non-profit then receives a gift of $100 from each participating member. This month, because of the pandemic, the group’s process has been reinvented to use online resources. During a Zoom meeting, organizers drew three charities randomly from those submitted by members. The entire group will receive a short, informal video about each of the charities made by the individual sponsor. These videos are emailed to all members, who then vote by email.

Once the vote is tallied, each member has agreed to donate $100 to the chosen non-profit.

100 Women Who Care is a group made up of women from Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties. It supports the concept of “collective philanthropy,” a form of charitable giving that is becoming popular across the country. The group’s inaugural meeting was held in May 2018, and it quickly exceeded its initial goal of 100 members.

Members pledge to meet four times per year to choose a local charity from a pool of non-profit groups nominated by one or more members. Each member then contributes $100 to the awardee.

In the past, significant donations have been given to the Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter, NOAH Free Community Meal, CAPTAIN Community Human Services and others. The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 5.

Founding members include Amy Karas, Patricia Beck, Audrey Kline, Holly Chamberlin and Marj Kline. Women wishing to join as a new member may register online at the organization’s website at www.100womenadk.org. Information can also be obtained at the 100 Women Who Care ADK Facebook page; or by email at [email protected]

By Patricia Older