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Boys and Girls Club garners the Golden Goose on Giving Tuesday

Courtesy Photo The Boys and Girls Club of Alpena earned Grant the Golden Goose for raising $32,665 on Giving Tuesday. Pictured, from left to right, are Brad Somers, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena, Christine Hitch, CFNEM marketing communications director, and Patrick Heraghty, CFNEM executive director.

ALPENA — Boys and Girls Club of Alpena Executive Director Bradley Somers is “absolutely over the moon” with the community’s generosity.

The nonprofit raised $32,665 in donations on Giving Tuesday, garnering the honor of housing Grant the Golden Goose at the club for the next year.

In its ninth year of providing the platform for local nonprofits to participate in the global Giving Tuesday movement, the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan helped 62 nonprofit organizations to raise a grand total of $336,643 on Nov. 28. The foundation held a virtual event on Wednesday to announce the final totals.

“We’re just amazed, yet again, about how much the community came out to support our nonprofits,” said Christine Hitch, CFNEM marketing communications director.

Grant, the Giving Tuesday Golden Goose, unveiled in 2017, was presented to the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena for raising the most funds during the 24-hour giving event. Funds raised on Giving Tuesday will help the organization with providing a “second home” for children and teens where they can thrive through the club’s many programs.

“To regain the top spot out of 62 nonprofits in the overarching areas that the community foundation is able to support is very emotionally overwhelming,” Somers said. “We literally celebrate every penny that comes into this, because we know what kind of an impact it makes on kids and the next generation.”

He said the money will help support services at the new facility.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for us to continue to step up and help families and kids, and help the community,” Somers said.

Grant the Golden Goose will once again make his home at the Boys and Girls Club, but he will have to adapt to the updated facility, because his last visit was to the River Street facility when the club won the honor in 2020.

“We have a lot of plans for Grant the Golden Goose,” Somers said. “We actually just got done celebrating him at an all-staff meeting.”

He said the team is excited to see the community support pouring out, which encourages them to keep working as hard as they can to do the best for the children and teens that use the club.

“These kids that come to this organization, they understand that this isn’t something that just happens overnight, and there’s got to be people that support them as individuals and young leaders, and it’s so important to teach that at a young age, to kids, because it resonates as adults,” Somers said. “It’s so vital to our mission to instill such confidence in these kids, but when they know that they have a community that rallies behind what they’re doing, they grow up with so much more confidence, and understanding how they can give back to the community, and how they can help.”

He can’t say enough about the community’s generosity.

“I’m thankful that we have a community that’s so supportive, because it really does show this next generation growing up that they live in a caring, wonderful community that believes in them and wants to see them do well,” Somers said.

He also wanted to express gratitude to the CFNEM “and what their team does to host this event and make it so that this money gets put right back into the communities that they serve. And the ability that they have as a trusted fiduciary in our community.”

“The generosity of northeast Michigan and those who care about it shouldn’t surprise us anymore, yet we are always amazed at it,” said CFNEM Executive Director Patrick Heraghty. “It is great to see our community show up with such incredible support for the nonprofits tirelessly serving northeast Michigan. Everyone who donated on Giving Tuesday should take pride in knowing they are part of this movement.”

Giving Tuesday follows the widely recognized shopping events of 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.

Sixty-two 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 went directly to the organization chosen by the donor.

The top 20 organizations in this year’s campaign are as follows:

¯ Boys and Girls Club of Alpena — $32,665.00

¯ Alpena Community College Foundation — $28,980.00

¯ Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan — $19,250.00

¯ Second Chance Animal Shelter — $17,874.00

¯ Northeast Michigan Women’s Giving Circle — $15,335.00

¯ Friends Together — $14,240.00

¯ Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary — $13,145.78

¯ Friends of Hubbard Lake Center — $12,095.00

¯ Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeast Michigan — $9,389.00

¯ Huron Humane Society — $8,550.64

¯ West Branch-Rose City Educational Support Partnership — $8,154.76

¯ CFNEM Community Impact Fund — $7,130.00

¯ Thunder Bay Community Health Service — $6,590.00

¯ Ogemaw County Historical Museum — $6,425.00

¯ Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative — $6,320.00

¯ Habitat for Humanity NE MI — $6,175.00

¯ Presque Isle Township Museum Society — $6,005.00

¯ Hope Shores Alliance — $5,330.00

¯ Sunrise Mission — $5,315.00

¯ Northern Michigan Children’s Assessment Center — $5,225.00

“A lot of gifts, a lot of money, a lot of good,” Hitch added.

She expressed appreciation to everyone who donated any amount, from $5 to $25,000.

“Every gift of every size really added up to that number this year,” Hitch said. “Their generosity and their power of collective giving is what made this day so successful.”

The CFNEM is a charitable organization committed to providing those 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 CFNEM oversees permanently endowed funds from a wide range of donors.

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