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Centre Gives Shatters Fundraising Record

by on May 07, 2015 6:30 AM

Christine Faust stood with the rest of the staff of Centre County PAWS, anxiously staring at a computer screen as the Centre Gives fundraising marathon came to close Wednesday evening.

The no-kill animal shelter had been one of the many nonprofits raking in major donations during the annual two-day fundraising drive – but then, with only half an hour to go, the Centre Gives running tally of how much money had been raised suddenly froze up.

About 45 suspense-filled minutes passed, with the fundraising total frozen below last year’s total amount of $661,731. Would Centre Gives, sponsored by the Centre Foundation, surpass that amount?

Not only did Centre County donors surpass that amount, they absolutely crushed it. The new record is a whopping $765,916, distributed among 111 of the county’s charitable organizations.

Of that amount, PAWS walked away with over $37,500 from 371 donors -- plus its share of the Centre Gives $100,000 "stretch pool." The pool is shared with all of the organizations with larger shares going to groups that raise the most money. Faust had been practically pulling her hair out once the Centre Gives leader board froze, but all that suspense was completely worth it.

“We were all really overwhelmed,” Faust says. “I am thrilled to pieces that we received so many donations so we can take of these animals.”

But Faust says she has to tip her hat to the Schlow Centre Region Library, which walked away with the biggest numbers of the event: over $44,000 from 406 donors.

Library director Cathi Alloway was already moved by the community’s generosity when library patrons donated more than $30,000 to the library after a broken pipe flooded the building and destroyed about 1,500 books back in January.  To see so many people come together to support the library once again so soon is “deeply humbling,” she says.

“It’s so touching to see,” Alloway says. “It verifies that we must be having an impact on people’s lives, and we’re so proud to see that.”

Other nonprofits that did very well include the State Theatre ($25,578 from 245 donors), Centre Volunteers in Medicine ($38,386 from 238 donors) and the Clearwater Conservancy ($35,486 from 232 donors).

Chris Hennessey with the Clearwater Conservancy says the Centre Foundation does something very important each year through Centre Gives. Not only does it support everything from natural conservation to the arts, it allows the community to express its passion about issues people care about.

And when he looks at the  $765,916 raised by the 5,684 donors he’s thrilled and he’s deeply grateful. But he’s not surprised.

“Honestly, this is kind of what I would expect from the people who live here,” Hennessey says.  “This is the kind of community that really cares.”

 

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Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for StateCollege.com who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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