A relatively small group of women that meets only four times a year has had a tremendous impact on the community in the short time they have been operating. The philanthropic organization called 100 + Women Who Care Florida Nature Coast formed in December of 2016. The group recently awarded a $3,800 grant to the Hernando Youth Orchestra.
In addition to the $3,800 awarded to the orchestra by the organization, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation will match half that amount, bringing the total to $5,700. Schulze was the founder of the electronics company, Best Buy. Each quarter the members of 100 + Women Who Care nominate local 501(c)3 organizations to be the recipient of a grant.
Mary Crouse, representing the group, remarked, “The non-profit must be vetted by us. They must operate locally and not be part of a larger national organization. All the funds must stay in the area to benefit the local community. The members vote for the nominees. Then the votes are counted and the organization getting the most votes receives the grant.”
Counting the matching grant money from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, 100 + Women Who Care has given more than $30,600 since the group started in December of 2016. Past grant recipients have included Crescent Community Clinic, People Helping People Hernando and K9 Partners for Patriots.
For the Hernando Youth Orchestra (HYO), the grant means a lot. The orchestra was founded in 2007 to provide a place for young people ages 5-21 to hone their musical skills, gain proficiency in their instrument of choice and give back to the community through public concert performances. Everyone who works with the students is a volunteer, including Allan Breithhaupt, the conductor; John St. John, director and one of the founders; George Rubis, co-founder; as well as all the board members. It receives no government funds but relies strictly on individual and corporate donations, along with grants from the Hernando Fine Arts Council. The $5,700 grant money will be put to good use by the HYO.
Ellen Paul, Executive Director of the Hernando Youth Orchestra, stated, “We were thinking about using the grant money to offer more lessons in strings because there are not very many places around here that offer lessons in strings. Also we need to replace our music stands and to buy some new music. That's quite expensive too.”
100 + Women Who Care Florida Nature Coast and the Hernando Youth Orchestra are two stellar examples of dedicated people enriching our community and making it a better place in which to live.