Thanks to more than 100 local men who “give a damn,” thousands of abused and neglected children will receive assistance, including mentoring and legal help, through the nonprofit RaisingHOPE.
Members of 100 Men Who Give a Damn, Conejo Valley chose local charity RaisingHOPE as the winner among three competing organizations (Many Mansions, Westminister Free Clinic) to receive $100 from each of the men attending the networking event.
“We are so excited and honored that RaisingHOPE was selected as the charity!” says Executive Director/Cofounder Tamalni Barnett. “What a great event and what a great group of men who really care about their community!”
The 100 Men group is a non-organization without directors, officers, a treasurer or bank account, “because we don’t collect, spend or donate anything—it’s our members who make the donations,” according to the website, 100MenConejoValley.com.
Each quarter, 100+ men attend a one-hour meeting at which three charities present their causes for 5 minutes each. Each of the men are asked to give $100 directly to one of three nominated charities. At the end of the presentations, members vote to determine by majority which charity will be the recipient of the $10,000+.
The group’s quarterly events run on a budget of zero by a core team of big-hearted volunteers, with assistance from very generous sponsors, who “coincidentally also give a damn.”
“I love how simple the concept is,” says local businessman Tadd Eskstrand, who brought the idea to the Conejo Valley via his friend and business partner, Jason Dawes, a Canadian. “Jason’s friends run the group in Vancouver and when Jason moved down here he told me about the group, and I thought we had to start one in the Conejo Valley,” adds Ekstrand, CEO and Wealth Advisor of Invictus Asset Management, LLC.
“As a business owner, the idea of setting up a 501(c)3 and running that in addition to my business was not going to be possible. However, I wanted to be involved in the community,” he explains. “Being a non-organization, it’s extremely easy because the group is basically a bunch of guys getting together to network and hang out and helping give exposure to three charities at the same time,” says Ekstrand, who has watched the group grow from about 75 members last June to more than 185 men at their fourth most recent event in April at the Sherwood Lake Club.
“This is my second event of the four that have taken place so far in the Conejo Valley,” says member Jeff Landau. “I loved the concept from the start and my enthusiasm continues. It’s networking with a cause. Not only do I get an opportunity to meet philanthropically-minded men in the area, we also get to learn about three local nonprofit organizations and how they help our community. And to top it off, we donate over $10,000 to one of those organizations!”
The winning charity, RaisingHOPE, provides advocacy, awareness and funds to abused and neglected children, many of whom are or were in the Ventura County foster care system. Past organizations that have participated in the 100 Men events include K9s for Warriors, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Conejo Valley, Fit 4 the Cause, California Association of Highway Patrolmen, the YMCA, James Store House, The Young and Brave Foundation and The Jonas Project.
The group’s fifth event is scheduled to take place in July.
“Feel free to invite your friends,” says Ekstrand. “The more people there that give a damn, the greater our damn impact!”
For more information about 100 Men Who Give a Damn, Conejo Valley and to nominate a charity or join, visit 100MenConejoValley.com.