WILLIAMSPORT - Two Shamokin entities did well in this year's Raise The Region online fundraising campaign, which itself exceeded expectations.

The second annual event, sponsored by First Community Foundation Partnership (FCFP) of Pennsylvania, raises money through a 30-hour campaign in which people can make online donations toward more than 200 participating organizations, including Central Susquehanna Opportunities Inc. and St. John's United Church of Christ.

With a $125,000 matching gift from the Blaise Alexander Family of Dealerships, and several other incentive prizes, Raise the Region hit $1,002,673.38 when the 30 hours expired at midnight Wednesday.

"It feels great to know people have donated that much money to help organizations throughout the area," said Glen Smith, FCFP director of strategic philanthropy.

Locally, CSO once again benefitted from the event, receiving 58 donations totaling $10,986.49, topping last year's total of $9,391.

Gale Zalar, CSO's community action director, said she and other staff were up until midnight watching the total rise.

"We are very excited about the results," she said Friday.

A matching gift from the dealership last year, added to the donor total, raised CSO's

take to $10,987.47 - 50 cents more than this year. But this year, CSO will also receive a $1,000 prize for winning a Walmart Green Flag award, being one of the first five organizations to receive 10 donations at the start of the campaign, which began at 6 p.m. Tuesday. And, with matching pro-rated funds, Zalar said the total amount raised this year could reach $13,000.

The money will be used to support CSO's many community-oriented programs.

"We have been overwhelmed this year with requests for support for food and energy, so this will really help us," Zalar said.

Raise the Region also raises awareness for CSO, she noted. Also, she thanked Rob's Good Time Grill and Brewser's SportsGrille for sponsoring special nights at their businesses for us that helped raise money for the campaign.

$4,800 for church

St. John's United Church of Christ, Eighth Street, only received eight gifts in its inaugural foray with Raise the Region, but those gifts totaled $4,800.61.

"It was amazing to see people be that generous with all of the great organizations that were part of the event," St. John's church secretary Cheryl Sherman said.

She said the money will help to continue the ministry of the church.

"We can't wait to participate again," Sherman said. "When you have an event that gives people an incentive to give, it appeals to the hearts of so many."

FCFP's slogan is "Creating Powerful Communities Through Passionate Giving." It primarily serves Lycoming, Montour and Union counties, but included Columbia, Northumberland and Snyder on behalf of Alexander, which has dealerships in all six counties.