New Women's Group Kicks Off

From left: Kristen Crouthamel, Laura Smith and Shannon Neff-Muell, the founders of 10 Squared Women on a Mission of Guthrie County, host an informational meeting for the new group on February 9. The organization's mission will be to raise money for local causes.
By CAITLIN WARE
Lake Times staff
 
A group of local service-minded women met and mingled last week to help form a new charitable organization: 10 Squared Women on a Mission of Guthrie County.
 
Inspired by the male version of the organization within the county —10 Squared Men Plus — Shannon Neff-Muell, Kristen Crouthamel and Laura Smith decided to found their own group. Members will work together to raise money that goes directly to causes within Guthrie County. 
 
On February 9, the three women held an informational meeting at the Lake Panorama National Conference Center to explain the group’s purpose, and encourage attendees to join. 
 
“I think it’s important that we take pride in where we live, and that we give back to our communities,” Neff-Muell said of the organization, which has branches across the globe. “This is an international idea, and it is in towns and cities all over the country. There’s even one in the Cayman Islands. (If) you get a big group of people together who can each make a small donation, the group as a collective can make a really big impact. I get chills when I think about that, because it is so cool.” 
 
During the meeting, Neff-Muell, Crouthamel and Smith explained how the organization will operate. They would like at least 100 women from all corners of Guthrie County to join the group. Four times a year, the members will have a chance to nominate a local cause in need of funding. There are no limitations on what can be nominated, so long as the money stays in Guthrie County, and no overtly political or religious areas are suggested. 
 
From the list of nominations, three will be randomly selected. At each of the quarterly meetings throughout the year, the three members who nominated the causes will have the opportunity to make a five minute presentation about why theirs is the best, followed by a three minute question and answer session. Then, in between drinks, snacks and socializing, all of the members will vote for the cause they like best. 
 
Once one in chosen, everyone will write a check for $100. By the end of the night, if the goal of having at least 100 members is met, the organization will raise a minimum of $10,000 for a local cause.  
 
“The basic idea of this group is simple: through the power of numbers, we will combine our donations to make an immediate, big impact on our local community while having some fun,” said an information letter for 10 Squared Women on a Mission of Guthrie County. “In doing so, we will create a culture of giving, connection, and support. We will have a bigger impact if we stick together!”
 
Neff-Muell said that by the end of the informational meeting, 42 women had submitted membership forms to join the group. Another 15 to 20 individuals that were not able to attend the meeting also expressed interest in joining. The first quarterly meeting to decide where the group’s initial round of funding will go is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Lake Panorama National Conference Center on March 16, and Neff-Muell hopes to be “100 strong” by then. 
 
“Hopefully you’ll join us and make a difference in Guthrie County,” Smith said during the meeting. 
 
To get more information about 10 Squared Women on a Mission of Guthrie County, visit their Facebook page, or email 10squaredgc@gmail.com
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