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More than $233K raised on Giving Tuesday through CFNEM

Boys and Girls Club of Alpena takes top spot

Courtesy Photo Grant, the Giving Tuesday Golden Goose, goes to the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena this year for garnering the most donations on Giving Tuesday. Grant will spend 2021 with the Boys and Girls Club.

By DARBY HINKLEY

News Lifestyles Editor

ALPENA – In its sixth year of providing the platform for local nonprofits to participate in the global Giving Tuesday movement, the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan (CFNEM) helped 50 nonprofit organizations to raise a grand total of $233,653 on Dec. 1.

“In what truly is a year like no other, our communities came together in support of our local nonprofits to help them in a huge way,” said CFNEM Executive Director Patrick Heraghty. “Honestly, we weren’t sure what to expect for 2020 in such a tough year, and with 10 fewer participating nonprofits than the last few years. Eclipsing last year’s total by more than $16,000 is a huge win for these organizations and our communities.”

The Community Foundation held a virtual Zoom and Facebook Live event on Tuesday, to announce the final totals, and totals raised for each individual organization.

“Every year we have looked forward to announcing, in person, our totals and the winner of our Giving Tuesday Golden Goose. Obviously, this year that event had to take place in a different way,” said Heraghty. “It was incredible to see the excitement of our participants and the greater community as the announcements were made. It’s the silver lining that community members could join us virtually this year, and in this way.”

Grant, the Giving Tuesday Golden Goose, who was unveiled in 2017, was presented to Boys and Girls Club of Alpena for raising the most funds ($24,905) during the 24-hour giving event.

Boys and Girls Club of Alpena Executive Director Bradley Somers was overwhelmed with joy by the community’s outpouring of support.

“With everything that’s going on this year, and how turbulent it’s been for not just our organization, but all nonprofits, to see a success like this has just been incredible,” Somers said. “The things that it opens up for us to continue doing, like feeding the kids and doing some very special initiatives for these young people … has just been an absolute blessing.”

Funds raised on Giving Tuesday will help the organization with its programming needs and services, as well as some funds being raised toward its capital campaign for its new building. Last year, the club served over 1,200 members, and this year the number is a little over 1,000, Somers said.

The club has been providing a food program and educational activity kits for members to take home during the pandemic.

“As an organization, we do a lot, when it comes to the different initiatives that we provide these young people,” Somers said. “From leadership programs, to mentoring, to a food program, to physical recreation, to the arts … we even started a (virtual) driver’s training program.”

He looks forward to offering even more programs and initiatives now.

“These kind of funds open a lot of doors for us to be able to better serve the kids,” he added.

He noted that because of COVID-19 shutdown orders, they were not able to have their annual raffle dinner that normally brings in $60,000.

“That hurt,” Somers said. “But this makes things a lot better.”

Somers is grateful for the community’s support, and credits the organization’s success to the hard work of his staff and youth volunteers who promoted Giving Tuesday.

“It’s the team of people that work here, and it’s the kids that attend,” he said. “And especially the parents who believe in what we do so that we can continue to serve their children.”

At the end of “such an atrocious year,” Somers said this “couldn’t have come at a better time.”

“Honestly, these kids have had so much put on their plates at such young ages,” Somers said. “To see something at year’s end where they can see their hard work, and they can see that it meant something, and that, when they come back here, they’re going to see the Golden Goose, is pretty incredible.”

Grant, the Giving Tuesday Golden Goose, will spend his year representing Boys and Girls Club of Alpena, and will move in 2022 to the nonprofit that raises the most funds during Giving Tuesday Northeast Michigan next year.

Giving Tuesday follows the widely recognized shopping events, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, offering a dedicated day for charitable giving as the holiday season kicks off. The hope for this worldwide movement is that people will set aside a few minutes, and perhaps some shopping money, to give back to their community through the charities and causes they support.

Fifty nonprofits from Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties participated in the event through the Community Foundation and its three affiliate foundations, which provided the online platform, marketing tools and all recording efforts, free of charge to the participating organizations. Every penny of each donation received is going directly to the organization chosen by the donor.

While anyone observing the Foundation’s website on Giving Tuesday saw the gift counter stop at just above $102,000, that only accounted for online credit card donations. The final totals include check and cash donations to all participants and the Community Foundation’s funds on Giving Tuesday, as well as walk-in donations.

“Every donation received on behalf of these great organizations this week is a success story of generosity and caring in northeast Michigan,” said Heraghty. “Seeing people show up in such a huge way to support the nonprofits doing incredible work in northeast Michigan is something each person, no matter the size of the gift, should take pride in knowing they’ve made a difference in their community.”

Heraghty also noted that, as has been true the last couple of years, the Giving Tuesday Northeast Michigan movement has a ripple effect, with many organizations reporting donations given prior to and after the event, all in the spirit of Giving Tuesday. Those totals are not included in CFNEM’s overall count, but Heraghty says the number easily eclipses an additional $30,000.

Giving totals have gone up each year, with $30,345 given in 2015, $41,187 given in 2016, $120,668 given in 2017, $156,058 given in 2018, $217,251 given in 2019, and $233,653 given in 2020.

“Though never surprised, we are always humbled by Northeast Michigan’s generosity,” Heraghty said during the Facebook Live presentation.

He added that this year, 1,592 donations were received, which totaled more donations than last year, although the average amount was less. So more people gave, despite being in the middle of a pandemic.

The top 25 donation recipients were:

1. Boys and Girls Club of Alpena: $24,905

2. Huron Humane Society: $19,220

3. Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary: $13,860

4. Women’s Giving Circle: $12,245

5. Art in the Loft: $11,685

6. Friends Together: $9,670

7. Presque Isle Township Museum Society: $7,755

8. CFNEM Community Impact Fund: $7,605

9. Habitat for Humanity Northeast Michigan: $6,480

10. Hope Shores Alliance: $6,445

11. Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan: $6,125

12. Ogemaw County Humane Society: $5,885

13. Ogemaw County Historical Museum: $5,750

14. Educational Support Partnership: $5,475

15. Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library: $5,410

16. Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeast Michigan: $5,155

17. Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative: $4,935

18. Thunder Bay Theatre: $4,865

19. Association of Lifelong Learners: $4,860

20. Thunder Bay River Center: $4,792

21. Sunrise Mission: $4,730

22. Friends of Plaza Pool: $4,165

23. Thunder Bay Arts Council: $3,540

24. Friends of Negwegon State Park: $3,395

25. Friends of APlex Courts: $3,120

The Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan is a charitable organization committed to providing people who care about the future of our area with unique and effective ways of supporting their community now, and for generations to come. Its three affiliate foundations include Iosco County Community Foundation, North Central Michigan Community Foundation, and Straits Area Community Foundation. Led by a volunteer board of local citizens, the foundation oversees a group of permanently endowed funds from a wide range of donors. Gifts of all sizes from individuals, families, businesses and agencies are invested in a balanced, well-managed portfolio to build endowments, enabling support for students and local community nonprofits now and forever.

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