OTTUMWA — When Brett Monaghan started 100 Men on a Mission in 2017, he wasn’t sure if anything would come of it. Now the group is poised to raise its first $100,000.
The idea behind the group is simple. Wanting to make some kind of positive impact on the community, Monaghan realized that with enough people, a lot of money can be raised without individual participants needing to break the bank.
Four times a year about 100 men gather together at the Market on Main, and each participant pledges $100 toward a cause that is selected by a simple majority vote. The chosen cause must be a Wapello County organization that provides the community with some kind of good.
“We want something that we’re gonna be able to see,” said Monaghan.
In the past, the money has been donated to groups like Veterans Affairs, the Heartland Humane Society and the project to construct a new playground at Wilson Elementary.
Except for one year when a few very dedicated members of the group moved away from the area, 100 Men has managed to raise at least $10,000 at every gathering. The upcoming drive, which meets 5:30 p.m. Sept. 5 at the Market on Main, will be the 10th. It could also be the first that will push the group over $100,000 raised and donated toward the community.
“Very simply, we’ve given six figures back to Wapello County,” said Monaghan. “Frankly, it makes me smile.”
Monaghan urges everybody to come out and help contribute. Members in the group are everything from small business owners and bankers to doctors, educators and lawyers. As Monaghan stressed, it’s also more than a fundraising drive. It’s a chance for local men to come together, socialize and strengthen community bonds at the most basic level. Since the group makes use of the bar and food at the Market on Main, a local business is also supported at the same time.
Those interested in learning more can find the group on its Facebook page, 100 Men on a Mission- Wapello County (@100MenonMissionWC). The next gathering will be at the Market on Main at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 5.