LEWISBURG — Four Valley nonprofit organizations on Thursday night divided $30,000 in grant money given by the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania (FCFP), at an event and fundraiser held at Jim's Church of Antiques on North Third Street.
In her opening remarks before a crowd of about 50 people, FCFP president and CEO Jennifer Wilson said, "Community foundations are complex. There are more than a thousand of them across the United States. FCFP has been working to create powerful communities through passionate giving for more than a century."
What began in Williamsport, she said, has grown into a regional community foundation comprised of 369 funds and $96.8 million in assets. "Those 369 funds represent our grant making." She then explained that the $30,000 in grant funding to be awarded that evening came as a result of a competitive process that analyzed 41 applications with combined requests of $300,000.
The Southern Tier fund — covering Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties — was created using dollars for the following five funds at FCFP: Ben Franklin Fund for Union County; Bob and Mary Ann Fleck Fund; Century Fund for All; Earl G. and Meda E. Stroble Fund; and the Union County Community Fund.
The $30,000 in grant money was divided this way:
— Girls on the Run, $5,250. This is a program designed to enhance girls' social, psychological, and physical skills and behaviors. Funds will support a county coordinator position to recruit and manage coaches for girls in Snyder and Union counties, as well as funds for scholarships for Montour County participants.
— Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way, $8,500. Funds for the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained) program. Funds will support educators and caseworkers, twin beds for children and gap funding.
— Shape of Justice, $6,250. A program to provide menstrual products to low income girls in small towns and rural areas. Funds will be used to purchase more than 113,000 women's sanitary products to be distributed at local shelters, pantries and other nonprofit partners.
— The American Red Cross, North Central Pa. Chapter, $10,000. Funds will be used to buy a new disaster preparedness trailer to increase their fleet to up to eight, for additional service area coverage. Funds will also be used to buy emergency needs such as bedding, cots, comfort kits, cleaning supplies, walkers, wheelchairs and ramps.
The FCFP also announced Thursday night the launch of the Campaign for Forever, an initiative to create $1 million in new endowment funds to support nonprofits and provide scholarships benefiting residents in Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties.
Todd Ross, president of T-Ross Construction, and a member of the Community Foundation Partnership board of directors said, "Tonight we're here to talk about the Campaign for Forever. The campaign represents a critical moment in time. It is a unique opportunity when you can make an investment in our four-county region and know the impact will be felt forever.
Ross continued, "The campaign will continue to provide for our community beyond our lifetime."
FCFP's board of directors created a $200,000 challenge for the Campaign for Forever, as an inventive to build new endowments to support the future needs of the community. For every $25,000 commitment given to a new endowed fund, FCFP will contribute an additional $5,000 to a field of interest fund.
This field of interest fund will create new grant-making opportunities for nonprofits benefiting Valley residents, Wilson said.