100+ Women Who Care East County spur donations toward Gresham Soroptimists, Gresham Rotary

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Diane Noriega talks about the important work being done by the Gresham Rotary Club.No Steak Fry, no Teddy Bear Parade, no problem thanks to a group of amazing East Multnomah County women.

100+ Women Who Care East County came together Thursday evening, Oct. 7, at the Center for the Arts Little Theatre, 333 N. Main Ave., to spur important donations toward a pair of impressive nonprofit organizations that were reeling with the cancelation of important annual fundraisers.

The gathering, sponsored by Burns Feed Store, shone a spotlight on both the Soroptimists International of Gresham and the Gresham Rotary Club. Both groups had to make gut-wrenching decisions to cancel key fundraisers due to the pandemic.

For the second year in a row the Soroptimists shuttered the annual Teddy Bear Parade, while the Rotary Club couldn't hold its annual Steak Fry. Those events are not only fun for the whole community, but bring in sizeable funds to both groups.

While last week the members of 100+ Women Who Care cut checks to support both the Soroptimists and Rotarians, the hope is others in the community will join in as well. Learn more and donate to the Soroptimists at — learn more and donate to the Rotary Club at

For the Rotary Club the donations would mainly back the groups scholarship program, which offers $1,500 for two years to local high schoolers bound for Mt. Hood Community College.

"I joined Rotary to serve and change lives," said prominent Rotarian Diane Noriega. "With these scholarships we are making investments in our future."

For the Soroptimists the money uplifts the Live Your Dream awards, which is primarily funded through the parade. Applicants receive money that can be used in any way to support any cost associated with higher education. Many of the recipients are survivors of domestic violence, trafficking or sexual assault.

"The Teddy Bear Parade will come back," said Patricia Smith.

100+ Women Who Care is a group of forward-thinking community members who normally gather four times a year for meetings in which they learn about, and donate to nonprofit groups. Each member cuts a check for $100, combining for a significant donation. 

With COVID, meetings had to be moved to a digital format, but 100 Women continued to make a difference. And now with the hybrid meeting model, things continue to creep back to normalcy.

The group has made an incredible impact since forming back in the summer of 2018. They have donated more than $81,000 to 13 different nonprofit organizations.

If you are a woman living in East Multnomah County and are interested in joining 100+ Women Who Care, visit

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