A new local group has formed with the mission of investing in Perry’s future by financing quality-of-life projects by area charities, non-profit groups and individuals with good ideas and “worthy projects,” according to a spokesperson for One Hundred+ People for Perry.
Still in its infancy, One Hundred+ People for Perry hopes to attract 100 or more people to its ranks and to make four large donations each year, with 100 percent of each donation staying in the local community. No national charities will be considered but only local projects.
“Put very simply, we hope to make a difference,” said Tom Lipovac, student activities and student services director at Perry High School and one of the organizers of One Hundred+ People for Perry. “We believe that a small group of people can give back to our community and make a difference in the lives of others.”
Lipovac said he became aware last fall of two groups recently formed in the Des Moines metro area: 100 Men on a Mission and 100 Women with a Cause. “We wanted to provide a comparable opportunity in Perry,” he said, “and rather than making it 100 men or 100 women, we thought we’d just combine it and be One Hundred+ People for Perry.”
Joining Lipovac in founding the group were Linda Kaufman, retired PHS English instructor and longtime student council adviser and PHS Volunteer Service Day founder, and Mark Powell, a local attorney active in many of Perry’s public service organizations and civic groups.
“We have all seen the good work supported by the Bock Family Foundation and the Dallas County Foundation,” said Kaufman. “One Hundred+ People for Perry is comparable to the grant programs, but yet it’s a simpler process. We’re not competing with them but rather wish to supplement their good work.”
Kaufman chose one of the group’s mottos, borrowing from an ancient Greek proverb: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
“Much has been made about the negativity surrounding Perry,” Powell said. “It is time for the people who care about Perry to change the dynamic and show that positive things are happening.” He said the members of One Hundred+ People for Perry will get a chance “to educate themselves on all the phenomenal groups that are out there doing wonderful things. This is an awesome learning opportunity for people who choose to be members.”
The group’s first public act will occur Monday, Jan. 18 at 12:45 p.m. in the Perry Performing Arts Center, when Powell introduces the group and its mission to the staff of the Perry Community School District during a professional development day.
“We thought that would be one good way to get the word out to the 150 people on staff in the district,” Lipovac said. One Hundred+ People for Perry will hold its initial meeting Monday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at LaPoste.
The rules of One Hundred+ People for Perry are simple. The members will meet quarterly, with each member having signed in advance an agreement to donate $100 at each meeting. Members will be free at each meeting to submit projects for consideration by the group, and three of the proposed projects will then be randomly chosen for consideration by the membership.
The members sponsoring the projects will each give a five-minute presentation, pitching the project and describing how it will “advance the quality of life in the community and the betterment of Perry,” according to the group’s mission statement. After the three presentations, the membership will vote on which one of the projects to fund, and the winning project will then receive a pile of $100 tax-deductible donation checks from the members of One Hundred+ People for Perry.
Lipovac summarized the process neatly. “We’ll have a social hour or half-hour before the meeting,” he said, “and then we’ll consider three proposals, vote on one and write checks for one.”
To qualify for a gift, the projects must be conducted by a charity group or non-profit group and must be registered with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt 501 (c)(3). Individuals with a “worthy cause” to pursue can also seek sponsorship from a local 501 (c)(3). A list of local 501 (c)(3) groups is provided below.
For unknown reasons, the Perry Lions Club was omitted from the list below. If readers notice other 501 (c)(3) groups that should be on this list but have been omitted, please contact ThePerryNews.com.
The main requirement is that proposed projects be beneficial to the Perry community.
For more information about One Hundred+ People for Perry, contact Tom Lipovac at email@example.com, Linda kaufman at kaufmanlinda1948