'Raise the Region' effort under way online today
Two Shamokin-based nonprofits and several organizations that help people throughout Northumberland County are part of today's unique "Raise the Region" online fundraising event.
Sponsored by First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania (FCFP), Raise the Region began at midnight and goes until 11:59 p.m. tonight.
"We are very excited to bring this first regional event to the area and help all these great organizations," Erin Ruhl, FCFP director of community relations, said Monday. "We will be watching the site all day (today) to see the money just grow and grow."
Donors are urged to go to www.raisetheregion.org and, from a computer, smartphone or other online connection, make a donation to one or more of the 161 organizations from Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties. A minimum $25 is needed for each tax-deductible contribution.
The contributions will be matched by Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships, which has pledged $125,000 to the cause.
"All of these organizations had applied to us by Feb. 15 to be a part of this event. The requirement was that the organization had to be a 501(c)3 nonprofit," Ruhl said.
People can watch the leaderboard at raisetheregion.org for running totals as the site will be updated in real-time as the donations come in. Staff from FCFP will be talking about the event at locations throughout the area, and will be at the Blaise Alexander dealership in Muncy watching the numbers come in from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Additional incentive prizes totaling $37,500, donated by Autotrakk prepaid transportation and Larson Design Group, will be given away. Among them is the $10,000 Powerful Communities Prize, where each participating nonprofit that has at least one gift by 10 a.m. is entered to win. Then, every hour between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., two organizations will be randomly selected from the pool to receive $1,000 each.
A few "founder" prizes will play off FCFP's origination date, 1916. The organization that receives the 1,916th donation will receive $1,000, as will the organization that receives a donation closest to 7:16 p.m., "19:16" in military time.
The foundation, whose slogan is "Creating Powerful Communities Through Passionate Giving," describes Raise the Region as a unique event "that provides an opportunity for people who care about their community to come together and raise as much money as possible for local nonprofits in 24 hours." It's the first time FCFP has supported this type of fundraiser.
FCFP primarily serves Lycoming, Montour and Union counties, but included Columbia, Northumberland and Snyder counties for this event on behalf of Alexander, which has dealerships in all six counties.
Two local groups
In Shamokin, Central Susquehanna Opportunities (CSO) Inc. and the Northumberland County Council for the Arts and Humanities are among the participants.
CSO also got help over the past three days from Rob's Good Time Grill in Shamokin and Irish Isle Provisions and Brewser's SportsGrille, both in Coal Township, with each business contributing part of a day's proceeds toward CSO. Today, Wayside Inn, Route 61, Weigh Scales, will donate 20 percent from each customer's bill toward CSO.
Countywide organizations that are part of Raise the Region include American Red Cross Sunbury chapter; Northumberland County Court Appointed Special Advocate, part of a national program that provides volunteer advocates for neglected and abused children in the court system; Boy Scouts of America Susquehanna Valley Council and others.
Adam Alexander said his family's company had always given to one charitable organization each year, but "Raise the Region gives us the opportunity to support a number of local nonprofits in one year by matching the gifts that people at home make to nonprofits through this event," he was quoted in a press release from the foundation.
All gifts will be verified for eligibility and an announcement detailing the money raised and incentive prizes will be made Wednesday. All organizations will receive their money within 30 days, Ruhl said.
On the Net: www.raisetheregion.org.