The 100 Club of New Mexico was founded on May 15, 1969.
How it started: in the line of duty...
On November 8th, 1971, just west of Albuquerque, New Mexico State Trooper Robert Rosenbloom was ambushed and killed by two felons who later hijacked a plane to Cuba. Trooper Rosenbloom left a wife and two small children.
On August 29th, 1973, Alamogordo police officer James Vigil was killed...leaving behind a wife and two small children.
One month earlier, on July 19th in Clayton, Sergeant Emilio Maestas was tragically killed...in the line of duty.
Within 24 hours of these tragic events, immediate financial aid was given by a group of quiet individuals: Wiley Banes, Charles C. Spann, Ben Lomand Roberts, Jack Mulcahy and Robert S. Poage, the founding members...
Those members took as their motto these words which best exemplify the sole purpose of THE 100 CLUB:
Every day and every night of our lives in New Mexico, city, county and state police officers and firefighters have the well-being of the citizens in their hands. And always, even under the best set of circumstances, there is the constant -- ever present -- shadow of danger.
They also work with an almost certain knowledge that should they lose their lives in the line of duty, the financial burdens to their families may be too much to overcome. Even though, through federal and state programs, insurance money is there for the officer's family, it takes time. That is why immediate financial aid is so important -- and THE 100 CLUB is there -- no questions to answer, no forms to fill out, and no papers to sign when the check is delivered.
In most cases, within 48 hours or less of the death of a police officer or firefighter, members of New Mexico's 100 CLUB deliver a check to the next of kin. Each case is evaluated individually, and should circumstances warrant, New Mexico's 100 CLUB is prepared to be of further assistance.
New Mexico's 100 CLUB is a non-profit (501-C-3) corporation existing solely on membership dues and contributions. Member's dues are $100 annually.
In 1969, the 100 Club on NM was formed by five Albuquerque business people to be sure if a sworn police officer or sworn fire officer was killed in the line of duty their surviving spouse would get a stipend, in cash, to cover immediate needs that may arise with the death of their breadwinner.
The Club's motto was declared: “Because We Care”
The five founders were Charles Spann, Attorney at Law; Wiley Banes, an owner of metal construction buildings, Ben Lamond Roberts, Real Estate and Insurance Broker, Robert Poaque, Banker, and Jack Mulcahy, Federal Saving and Loan Officer. All committed $100 a year to build a fund to pay next of kin benefits because they cared. People continued to commit $100 to the 100 Club, and have allowed their board of directors to distribute benefits to survivors.
Local Banker, business person, Mahlon Love joined the group five months after the founding, members and he has personally visited with more survivors than any Board member and has always been available for any assignment.
The Club's first distribution was made in 1971 to the family of NM State Policeman Robert Rosenbloom, who was killed by two hijackers who fled to Cuba. The most recent payout was to the family of NM State Police Sgt Thomas Vitale in 2018.
The 100 Club of New Mexico has been able to defer some expenses for 70 fallen police and fire officers, based on the vision of the five founders who started the giving 50 years ago. Over that 50 year period, the Club ha distributed more the $520 thousand dollars for immediate financial assistance to the families of fallen officers to help them through the most traumatic time of their lives.
All 350+ members of The New Mexico 100 Club, started, and based in Albuquerque take pride in “50 Years of Caring”.
The commitment of private donors will continue into the next 50 years and keep our police and fire families close to us knowing people who care will always be there to help.
In 1950, a Detroit businessman asked 100 of his friends and associates to help the family of a slain police officer. Since then, 100 Clubs have developed in many cities and countries around the world - including the 100 Club of New Mexico.
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THE 100 CLUB sponsors no benefits, sells no tickets and does not lend its name to promotions of any kind. Operating expenses are minimal, enabling the 100 CLUB to maintain a fund large enough to cover most contingencies.
100 CLUB members are well aware that any amount of money is small payment for a gallant life. Members realize that little can be done to assuage the sorrow and shock of families of firefighters and police officers who are killed in the line of duty.
THE 100 CLUB realizes that financial problems only add to the burden of sorrow and a need for immediate cash may represent a crisis.
The original group of New Mexicans who founded our state's 100 CLUB was small. This small group has now grown -- quietly without publicity -- to include members in cities and small communities throughout our Land of Enchantment.
OF NOTE: The name "100 CLUB" originated in Detroit, where 100 men wanted to help the widow and new born infant of a Detroit police officer slain in the line of duty. Word of this group's efforts spread to Massachusetts where a second 100 Club was formed. THE 100 CLUB OF NEW MEXICO was patterned after the Detroit and Boston clubs.
As 100 CLUB members, we want the law enforcement officers and the firefighters of New Mexico -- and the families that support their careers -- to know how much they are appreciated by us and the public at large.
The immediate financial help THE 100 CLUB OF NEW MEXICO provides, at a time of tragedy and at a time of need, is not considered charity, but rather a token, a symbol of appreciation for these gallant men and women whose work is hazardous even under the best of circumstances.
These neighbors of ours who choose a life of fighting fires or enforcing the law are frequently your families who rarely have the opportunity to build even a small financial reserve. THE 100 CLUB'S contribution is tiny indeed compared to the contribution they make to every New Mexican's peace of mind.
THE 100 CLUB OF NEW MEXICO is the only organized group in the state helping with immediate financial aid to the families of the men and women who are charged with our protection.
This booklet has been prepared to inform civic-minded New Mexicans about the activities and goals of THE 100 CLUB OF NEW MEXICO. It is hoped this information will spur the growth of THE 100 CLUB throughout the state in order to ensure that all dependents of firefighters and law enforcement officers have some immediate financial aid in their time of tragedy.
The state's growth requires more and more officers and firefighters. They need to know there is a group of fellow New Mexican who care about them and their families.