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Centre Gives Fundraising Event Rakes in Record $661,731

by on May 08, 2014 6:00 AM

In what's become one of the State College area's most-watched charitable events, Centre Gives has shattered its old fundraising record -- pulling in $161,000 more than last year.

By the time the 36-hour long online event ended at noon Wednesday, $661,731.94 had been donated. In 2013, Centre Gives collected $550,000.

Centre Gives, now in its third year, is run by the Centre Foundation, an organization that supports dozens of charities across the region.

Executive Director, Molly Kunkel, says while the fundraising total is impressive, she's also excited about the number of people who are making donations. Last year, there were 4,100 individual donors. This year, 4,927 people chipped in.

"We are just thrilled with the community support and all the hard work of the participating non-profits and all the hard work they did, and all the donors," says Kunkel. "It's inspiring to be a part of it."

The number of organizations supported by Centre Gives is also growing. A total of 96 non-profits will benefit in 2014, up from 82 the previous year.

Centre Gives is something of a friendly competition between those groups. The money donated to each non-profit qualifies them for a share of a $115,000 pot of grant money provided by the Centre Foundation. There are also cash prizes totaling $25,300. Centre Foundation says when you add it all up, $802,031 will go to those 96 charities.

Friends of Schlow Centre Region Library won the $5,000 Grand Prize for having the most individual donors. Clearwater Conservancy collected the most money, $45,045.

According to Kunkel, the prizes and the competition make it fun and gets potential donors involved. "I think there are a lot of people who love the community and love to support the organizations here," she says.

"In the three years since we established this granting program, Centre Foundation and our community have directed a combined total of $2 million dollars to the nonprofits that serve this area," says Kunkle.

The money goes to organizations that support a variety of causes, including care for the elderly, childhood education, emergency services, natural resources, cultural events and groups that care for animals in need.

Click HERE to see how much money was raised by each group.

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Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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