Author Archives: Tannis Sprott

Press Release April 2017 (Ed Video)

“Ed Video’s Syrian refugee project receives funds from 100 Women Who Care Guelph”

Ed Video has been a vital part of Guelph’s arts community for 40 years, working tirelessly to foster and promote the creation and exhibition of independent media arts. Indeed, the “Ed” in the name refers to “Educational”, and while training is their primary function and essential to the success of any artistic endeavour, Ed Video offers up equally important but more intangible supports – belief in individual artists’ creative ideas, and a ways and means to bring those ideas to life.

Ed Video believes art is essential in bringing us all together as a community. They are proud to mentor artists, assisting them in taking their creative ideas through to completion, showcasing the diversity and different viewpoints that flourish among the people in our region.

A continuing challenge for Ed Video is to be able to provide the necessary technical equipment to facilitate these projects. Presently they are supporting the “Sense of Wonder Project”, working with d/Deaf youth to connect us all – d/Deaf and hearing – by exploring what we share in common rather than what makes us different. They are also offering a Technical Skills Development Program for Women in Video and Film, designed to bring women’s technical skills up to the same level as their creative skills.

The third program they would like to offer is an opportunity for Syrian refugees living in our community to tell their own personal stories, to help us share in their journey, giving us greater understanding and insight into what it means to be a refugee. Thanks to a generous donation from 100 Women Who Care Guelph, Ed Video will be able to purchase the extra equipment needed to make this project a reality.

The mandate of 100 WWCG is to support those in need in our community, and this quarter they are proud to be a supporter of the arts. Their next quarterly meeting will be held on Monday, July 10, 2017. Go to for more information or to join this group of compassionate and caring women.

Press Release January 2017 (Start2Finish Running and Reading Club)

“100 WWCG Tops $100,000 Mark in Giving to Guelph”

Last night at the end of their 10th meeting, 100 Women Who Care Guelph succeeded in raising over $100,000 for local charitable organizations. The latest recipient of their collective donation was the Start2Finish Running and Reading Club, which plans to start up a new club at Westwood Public School, the fourth in this city.

Start2Finish is dedicated to the elimination of child poverty by empowering children for life through improving their literacy skills along with their physical fitness and social and behavioural skills. This work is done through a volunteer led weekly after-school program offered to children in grades 3 – 6. The running component involves 45 minutes of physical activity through the use of circuit training and active games, followed by a healthy snack, a “word of the day” character-building portion, and finishing with reading one-on-one and in small groups with a mentor. The end of the 32 week program culminates in the Start2Finish 5K Running & Reading Challenge, and an awards ceremony recognizing each child’s achievement at the end of the school year. Along the way, the children learn to love to move, to read, and to find increasing confidence in themselves, all vitally important skills to finding their way in life.

100 WWCG was pleased to help provide the opportunity for 60 more children in our city to participate in and benefit from this important program.

Over the course of two and a half years, 100 WWCG has raised close to $119,000 in support of local charitable initiatives. To become a part of this collaborative effort visit their website at to sign up and join the other 150+ women in Guelph who have a passion for supporting those in need in our city.





Press Release October 2016 (The Association of Parent Support Groups in Ontario – APSGO)

Parental Support Group awarded $15,000 for conference

Troubled teens acting out – in trouble at home, at school, with drugs, alcohol or the law – and desperate parents, feeling isolated and looking for ways to cope with nowhere to turn. Or is there?

The members of 100 Women Who Care Guelph learned of the local chapter of The Association of Parent Support Groups in Ontario (APSGO) at their first meeting of the year last night. At APSGO, weekly parent support groups are led by trained and experienced parent volunteers, people who have experienced similar parenting challenges and have found their way through the crisis.

Rosemary Fernandes-Walker, who heads up the Guelph chapter, assured everyone there was no problem new under the sun that they had not heard of. APSGO is there to provide support to parents; not to change the child, but to help parents acquire the strategies, support and practical techniques essential in dealing with disruptive behaviour, because for each of us the only behaviour we can control is our own.

APSGO was awarded $15,000 from 100 WWCG to support an upcoming conference here in Guelph. Their goal is to connect the parents and parent volunteers with professionals, working on ways to achieve the end goal – that of improving the relationship between parent and child. A worthy goal that spoke to the hearts of 150 caring women of Guelph.

Press Release July 2016 (Alzheimer Society Waterloo Wellington)

Alzheimer’s Minds in Motion Program receives $15,100 in funding from 100 WWCG

Alzheimer’s – a word that comes fully loaded with dread, anxiety, sorrow and increasing isolation, and a disease more Canadians are diagnosed with every day.

The impact on both the person living with dementia and their care partner is enormous, but there is help out there. 100 Women Who Care Guelph chose Alzheimer Society Waterloo Wellington’s Minds in Motion program to be the recipient of their July 2016 donation of $15,100.

Minds in Motion is a community-based social program offered to people with early to mid-stage signs of Alzheimer’s disease and their care partners. It offers physical activity and mental stimulation, both of which are critical for brain health. Equally importantly, it offers a supportive social network to help combat the increasing isolation that accompanies the diagnosis.

As of 2011, 747,000 Canadians were living with Alzheimer’s disease. That figure is projected to grow to 1.4 million by 2031. Programs like Minds in Motion are of immense importance to our community, and organizations like 100 WWCG, whose mission is to support the most vulnerable among us, help to ensure that no one feels alone in dealing with this disease.


Press Release April 2016 (North End Harvest Market)

100 WWCG Press Release – Tuesday, April 12, 2016

100 WWCG donate $14,100 to North End Harvest Market

The story of a local grassroots organization creating a market to offer free fresh fruits and vegetables to low income individuals and families in order to meet their healthy food needs touched the hearts of 100 Women Who Care Guelph. The North End Harvest Market, a part of the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition here in Guelph, was the recipient of  a $14,100 donation from 100 WWCG.

The goal of the Market is not only to help improve the diets of their clientele by providing healthy food alternatives, but also to feed their souls by creating a welcoming community where they are treated with dignity. The volunteer run organization provides a fun, family centred experience by offering entertainment for the children while shopping at the Market. There are 150 people per week served by the Market, which is supported by donations of food from local farmers, or funds from groups such as 100 WWCG, who have whole heartedly embraced the concept of investing in our local community by supporting such groups as the North End Harvest Market. Visit their website for more information or to become a member.


A Thank You from GW Women in Crisis

Sly Castaldi, Executive Director of Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis, extends her heartfelt thanks for our donation last quarter.

Sly Castaldi, Executive Director of Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis, extends her heartfelt appreciation for our donation last quarter.

I want to start out by saying thank you very much for being selected to receive your generous donation. I think what 100 Women Who Care is doing in this community is absolutely phenomenal and I want to explain why.

I think our stories are somewhat parallel. Women in Crisis started in 1977 with five young women at the University of Guelph. Women between the ages of 16 and 25 are at most risk of sexual violence and these young women wanted to do something about the sexual violence happening on campus. One woman’s boyfriend was president of the University’s Central Students Association and he provided them with a room and a phone. As soon as the rape crisis line opened they were receiving calls. They soon realized they needed to do something about women being assaulted in their own homes. They found someone to provide them with an apartment and started hiding women in this tiny little apartment. One of the first women they hid was Marianne, who our shelter is named after, and her children. They could only house one family at a time, so as the need started to get bigger they got a house. They applied for seed funding, hired a staff member and started to become both a sexual assault and a domestic violence service. Then they started getting calls from women in the county and they realized women who live in the rural areas of Wellington County face particular kinds of barriers. Again they sought out funding and started providing the Rural Women’s Support Program.

I wanted to tell you our “her story” – of how the organization came about, because five women cared and started to do something that turned into what we have today – Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis.

I don’t always like to refer to ourselves as a charity because I believe it is a right for women and children to live a life free of violence and to live to their full potential. So I am resentful of the fact that every year we have to fundraise 15% of our budget just to keep the doors open to serve the 1500 women a year who walk through our doors. The Transitional and Housing Support Program, which was showcased here, is the program that sees the largest number of women. We provide services to anywhere between 600 and 700 women every year in that program area alone. Not all women need to go to Marianne’s Place, but they need help figuring out how they’re going to leave, how they’re going to support themselves, where they’re going to live and we provide that support so at some point they can make those decisions. Even if the women have left the abuse does not stop, it just gets more sophisticated. We are there if they need help with custody and access, help with finance, help with housing, help with the family, help with trying to rebuild a family outside of what they knew. They may need support with Family and Children’s Services, because if you have children, you are forever tied to your abusive partner.

The interesting part about our organization is it’s unique in Ontario and it’s unique in Canada as we provide fully integrated programs and services. We don’t ask women to separate their lives and go over here to deal with sexual violence and over there to deal with domestic violence. Chances are they have experienced violence on that continuum and we work with them on what their needs are at that time. We don’t ask women to make a choice, to leave, to do anything. We don’t make their choices, it’s their life. We respect the choices that they make because they are the expert of their own life. Our slogan is “You don’t have to be hit to be hurt. You don’t have to leave to get help. You don’t have to be in crisis to call.” This resonates with women in our community.

Today we are comprised of a 28-bed shelter called Marianne’s Place, a Sexual Assault Centre, a Rural Women’s Support Program, a Transition and Housing Program, and a Family Court Support Program. We provide services to 1,500 women a year through our organization. Our 24-hour crisis line responds to between 3,000 or more calls every year. That’s in this community, that’s in your community. Those five young women who wanted to do something about sexual violence had no idea what they were about to create and build for this community.

I want you to know the story of our beginnings, because it’s a brilliant story. It’s a story of survival, it’s a story of meeting needs, it’s a story of caring, and we should care for our sisters. So, 100 Women Who Care, think about what you are doing in this community. From that perspective I say to you “thank you”. You have no idea the difference your group is making to all of the charities in this community. You have no idea how many women that $100 cheque you wrote helps in this community. On behalf of my Board of Directors, on behalf of all the women who walk through our doors, or who may walk through our doors, or those who never have to walk through our doors, but are grateful to know it is there for anyone, I say “thank you”. Thank you for what you’ve done, thank you for the support you have given to my organization. I wish I had thought of this 100 Who Care idea. It’s brilliant, and congratulations. I really, deeply appreciate what you’ve done for us. Thank you.


Notes from Meeting 5 – October 5, 2015

We can’t believe it’s year two already!

After extending a warm welcome back to our members, a reminder of the $46,600 we contributed to Guelph last year, and a brief update on procedures, we launched right into picking our three charities up for contention.

We heard three very passionate speeches on behalf of the Alzheimer Society of Waterloo Wellington, The Children’s Foundation of Guelph Wellington, and our eventual winner (drum roll please) Dunara Homes For Recovery Inc., who received approximately $12,400 to aid their cause.

Dunara Homes for Recovery, our 5th winner! Michele Mactaggart (left), proud presenter on behalf of Dunara Homes, and Tannis Sprott of 100 WWCG (right) celebrate our newest winner.

Dunara Homes for Recovery, our 5th winner! Michele Mactaggart (left), proud presenter on behalf of Dunara Homes, and Tannis Sprott of 100 WWCG (right) celebrate our newest winner.

Many of our members were unfamiliar with Dunara Homes for Recovery. They have been quietly working away in our community since 1981, helping those suffering from mental illness as they transition from an institutional setting to a community setting, providing all the support they need on their road to recovery. They work towards autonomy, individual responsibility, engagement in the community, empowerment, hope, self determination, the elimination of stigma, and the opportunity for meaningful choice for their clients.

Our latest gift to Dunara Homes for Recovery was graciously accepted by Executive Director Yvonne Bowes (on right) and Yoland Webster, their Program Manager (on left), presented by 100 WWCG Organizing Member Tannis Sprott (centre).

Our latest gift to Dunara Homes for Recovery was graciously accepted by Executive Director Yvonne Bowes (on right) and Yoland Webster, their Program Manager (on left), presented by 100 WWCG Organizing Member Tannis Sprott (centre).

We were delighted to hear back from Sly Castaldi from Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis, our winner from July. She was able to draw a parallel between the beginnings of GWWIC and 100 WWCG (other than the obvious alphabet soup of Gs, Ws and Cs), saying you never know when you start something how important and far reaching it can become, and she applauded 100 Women Who Care Guelph for making an incredible difference to all the charities here in Guelph.

We hope to have her comments posted here shortly so those of you who missed her wonderful thank you will have a chance to hear it, so check back soon!

You have until January 4th to get your charity nominations in before our next meeting on Monday, January 11th, 2016, from 7 – 8 pm (registration begins at 6:30) at the Delta Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre, where we will choose our next member nominated charity! Help us to grow by inviting your friends to join you in this amazing venture. See you there!