Generous group’s donations allow sheriff’s dive team to purchase new trailer

June 13, 2023

Generous group’s donations allow sheriff’s dive team to purchase new trailer

By Ron Beeber, Contributing Writer

When the first meeting of the Women Who Care of Oceana County occurred 11 years ago in June of 2012, who would have thought that these community-minded citizens would contribute a total $680,000 to Oceana nonprofit causes by now? Well, they have.  

The 150-member group recently launched its 12th year at a one-hour, quarterly meeting at Golden Sands Golf Course in Mears. They chose to have each WWC member make a $100 personal donation to the Oceana Conservation District’s Youth Program. It is hoped that this will qualify for a $5,000 matching contribution by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, which supplements qualifying contributions made by WWC chapters around the country that are located in the areas served by Best Buy stores. 

If so, the OCD program would realize a total boost of $20,000. OCD summer day camps are for children ages 6-11, who join conservation district staff and field experts for summer camp weeks held at beautiful Oceana County forests, farms and waterways. Campers connect with the natural world and make new friends through games, hands-on activities, drama and crafts and nature hikes. Smaller break-out groups are used to facilitate age-specific interests and abilities. For more information, see

After the WWC meeting, attendees also were able to see how the collective donations they made a year ago are now being used by the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team. The sheriff’s office used the funds to purchase a new trailer for storing diving equipment, and for transporting it to remote locations where its services are required. Deputy Mike Fillips was on hand at the meeting to show WWC members the many ways the trailer is a vast improvement over the 40-year-old Ford Econoline van that the team had used for many years.

Deputy Mike Fillips leads a tour of the dive team trailer.

On the first Tuesday of March, June, September and December, the women meet for an hour, learn about three worthy causes serving county residents, and choose one that everyone agrees to support with $100 personal checks. Socializing follows for those who have the time to stay.     

Membership is open to any woman who wants to be involved in this unique, joint effort to support Oceana causes. The next meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 5, at a location to be announced.  For more information, contact  Amy LaBarge at 313.268.2086, or visit 

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