The entrance queue extends past the large, wooden support beam that holds the roof above the foyer of Marten Brewpub.
As the crowd of 100 men shuffles into the bar, it’s clear that, while they’re lighthearted and having a laugh, these are 100 Men Who Give a Damn.
They sit down at their tables, filling the rustic-chic brewpub. As the guys order their craft beers and sit down with their bacon cheeseburgers, three groups come to speak to them, in hopes that the 100 men will vote for their charity to receive the donation.
“The three (charities) get put into the ring,” said one of the 100 Men Who Give a Damn, Lyle Doucette. “It gives each charity the opportunity to come in and say their piece.”
The charities presenting that day are all announced at the meeting, giving each an equal opportunity and removing any bias from the voters.
“It gives everyone the opporunity to form their own opinions,” said Doucette.
The 100 Men Who Give a Damn meet every quarter, and each member brings a cheque for $100 to donate to the winning organization. If a charity doesn’t win, they are then put back into the rotation and have the opporunity to appear at a future meeting.
“It was amazing how many people said this is perfect for me,” said Doucette, adding that the hour-long quartlerly meeting is easy for anyone to fit into their schedule.
“Some people don’t have an hour per week, or per month, but everyone has one hour (per quarter) they can donate.”
In their fourth meeting, held in April, the 100 Men Who Give a Damn donated $12,800 to the Food Action Society of the North Okanagan.
“We clearly are a group of guys that give a damn, and we’re building steam,” said another of the 100 men, Andrew Thompson.
The group, while originally designed to be a group of 100 men, has grown exponentially.
“I had no idea a year ago that this group would come together as it has,” said Thompson. “I’m honoured to be a part of it.”
100 Men Who Give a Damn is always looking for more members to help out, said Doucette. The only criteria is to be a man who cares. While it is a men’s group, there are opportunities for women as well, in the form of a related group called 100 Women Who Care.
Doucette urges anyone looking to for the oppprtunity to give back to the community to attend a meeting.
“It’s a great atmosphere. It’s infectious.”
For more information about 100 Men Who Give a Damn, visit www.vernons100men.com.