Kim Tarnopolski Jacqueline Destremps Jo Ann Black 100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun

100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun leaders Kim Tarnopolski and Jacqueline Destremps (center) present Help In Healing Home President Jo Ann Black, left, and 100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun member and Help In Healing Home Chief Development Officer Cynthia Wenstrom (far right) with a donation of over $10,000.

Scottsdale members of 100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun raised $10,150 for Phoenix nonprofit Help in Healing Home Foundation. 

The money was raised during 100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun’s April 22 giving circle, one of four giving circles held at the Scottsdale Hilton in southern Scottsdale.

“Help In Healing Home is honored to receive this support by an incredible group of local, caring women,” said Cynthia Wenström, chief development officer at Help In Healing Home Foundation, in a prepared statement.

Wenström, who is also a member of 100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun, nominated Help In Healing Home Foundation at the giving circle. 

The rest of the members then voted in favor of the nonprofit.

“Help In Healing Home is touched by the generosity and kindness of the 100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun,” Wenström said. “Our guests’ experience is enriched, and the casita program is enhanced by their thoughtful gift. Our goal is to always put ourselves in the shoes of our guests; their comfort is critical to us.”

Located at The Village at Mayo, Help In Healing Home provides affordable, prolonged lodging — priced at $45 per night for double occupancy — for individuals recovering from transplant surgery, as well as cancer patients undergoing extensive treatments.

At The Village, patients and caregivers stay in casitas. 

With a total of six bedrooms, each casita has private and shared living space and can accommodate 12 guests. 

The casitas are comprised of a great room, dining room, kitchen, library, laundry and a patio. 

Help In Healing Home will use the donation from 100+ Women to replace all 84 beds in their casitas. 

The beds have shorter life spans due to constant, extensive cleaning and moving of the beds.

“I don’t think I can adequately express the pride and joy I feel, and all the members of 100+ Women Who Care feel, in being able to do something that makes such an incredible impact in the lives of patients facing serious medical conditions,” said Stephanie Millner, chief charity officer of 100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun.

Millner added: “They deserve as much love and support as they can get when they are going through something as difficult as an organ transplant or cancer journey.”

100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun is a philanthropic group of women who have donated over $410,000 to local charities. 

The 100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun chapter has three sister groups: Ahwatukee, Scottsdale and East Valley. WWC Valley of the Sun has three groups: one in Scottsdale, one in Ahwatukee and an East Valley branch. 

As the name of the group suggests, each group has more than 100 women, with the exception of East Valley, which was recently formed in 2018 but continues to grow. 

The Ahwatukee group has 170 members, Scottsdale has 115, and East Valley has 85.

Tarnopolski describes the Valley of the Sun chapter’s women as 35 to 70 years of age, both retirees and working women. 

But the common denominator is all the women have a big heart and want to give back.

“Yes, it’s about giving and supporting a charity, but it’s also about just learning about charities,” Tarnopolski said. “That’s the great thing about this.”

In Scottsdale, 100+ Women has been hosting quarterly giving circles for the past four years. 

During these giving circles, three nominated and approved charities are randomly drawn. The WWC members who nominated the charities then make an informal presentation, stating why they believe the charity is deserving of the members’ vote and check.

After a Q&A, anonymous ballets are then cast, and the charity with the most votes receives the members’ donations.

Each member writes a $100 check made directly to the charity, no exceptions. Those who are not in attendance at the giving circle can send a blank check to the chapter or donate directly to the charity via their website or other preferred method.

It’s not necessarily $100 per person, either. 

The Valley of the Sun Chapter allows teams, so the $100 can be split two, three, four different ways, depending on the size of the team.

The final step of the quarterly giving circle is the executive committee collects all of the checks and gives the money to the charity within one month of the giving circle.

In total, WWC Valley of the Sun has raised and donated $375,325 to 46 local charities. 

The Scottsdale group, alone, has raised close to $150,000.

The chapter’s goal is to raise $500,000, across all three groups, by the end of year five.

“We’re going to have to get a little creative,” Tarnopolski admitted. “Right now, we’re averaging about $25,000 a quarter that we donate. So that’s going to put us shy about $40,000.”

She added that one of the ways she hopes the chapter can meet its five-year goal is to “try to bring people back into the fold for this last year that have dropped off.” 

“We’re always looking for opportunities,” Tarnopolski added, “whether it’s foundations here in the Valley who would be interested in what we’re doing and we want to do some matching donations with us.”

Nominated charities are vetted by the executive committee, which includes Tarnopolski. Two requirements are charities must have been a 501(c)(3) for at least three years, and they must be actively implementing their mission in the community. 

“We’d go through and make sure they’re in good standing and that they’re a business, not a hobby, because there’s a lot of charities out there that people start just because they like the cause, but they’re not really actively working the charity.”

Once the committee has approved the charities, they go on the approved list.

This vetting process is unique to WWC Valley of the Sun.

“One of the things that [WWC Phoenix doesn’t] do is vet their charities,” Tarnopolski said. “The women can literally just show up, put a charity in the hat, and it can be presented. And for me, I thought, if I’m going to stand at the front of the room and ask somebody to give money to an organization, I need to know that it’s viable and credible.”

The next giving circle of 100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun in Scottsdale will be held on Aug. 28, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Scottsdale Hilton.

For more information, to become a member or to register as a guest for the upcoming giving circle, visit 100wwcvalleyofthesun.org.