Airdrie’s 100 Men Who Give a Damn's next meeting will be an emotional one for the philanthropists as they prepare to honour founding member Keith Wilkinson, who recently passed away, at the group's first meeting of 2023 on Jan. 24.
Wilkinson, who also worked as an insurance and investment advisor and served as a past director of the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce, died on Jan. 2. He was a well-known volunteer in Airdrie who was active in multiple causes.
According to a release put out by 100 Men Who Give a Damn, Wilkinson’s passing has left “a huge hole in the group, and in the wider Airdrie community.” His funeral drew more than 300 attendees.
"Any community is going to have a few people who step up and really try to make a difference and make the city a better place to live in," said Jack Lumley, another co-founder of the 100 Airdrie Men group. "Keith was absolutely one of those guys. He rolled up his sleeves and got his hands dirty, so to speak, and really did whatever was needed to get the job done."
To honour Wilkinson’s commitment to the cause, the group intends to raise at least $10,000 at the Jan. 24 meeting. The group meets four times per year and each member donates at least $100, with members voting on which charity to give the $10,000 to each quarter. To date, members have raised over $250,000 for non-profits in Airdrie and area.
The 1861 Local Bar and Grill in Meadowbrook will be the host of this quarter's meeting starting at 7 p.m. Members and non-members who want to see what the group is all about are encouraged to get there early.
Lumley said Wilkinson will certainly be missed moving forward, not only by members of the 100 Airdrie Men group, but by the community as a whole.
"He was larger than life. It's easy to say 'I want to help,' but he was one of the guys who truly did come out to help," he said.
—With files from Scott Strasser/Airdrie City View