“Everyone in Jackson County is touched in some way by the Charity Challenge Program."
“Everyone in Jackson County is touched in some way by the Charity Challenge Program. Twenty nonprofit agencies that provide vital services for residents of all ages rely on the success of this event to make our community a better place to live. The challenge is on! We encourage folks to join us and walk or run to support their favorite charities. This year we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Charity Challenge and it looks like this will be our largest year to date in terms of participation and funds generated. Over 700 folks have already registered to run or walk and we anticipate that the 2012 event will generate over $175,000 in charitable dollars for our community. If our projections are accurate, the Charity Challenge event will have provided approximately $1 million for our charities over the past ten years - which is a true testament to the generosity of our community,” commented Jane Winters, Our Community’s Foundation Regional Manager of Affiliates. Our Community’s Foundation – Jackson County (JCCF) will host the 10th annual Charity Challenge on Saturday, September 22nd. This event is one of the largest collaborative fund raising efforts in the state. This unique program and its volunteers have been recognized with a prestigious Governor’s Service Award for volunteerism and community impact. Over the past nine years the Charity Challenge Program has provided $800,000 in funds for a wide variety of community programs and projects. The special 5K Run & Fun Walk Benefit and Matching Program not only serves as a community wide fund raising effort, it also builds public awareness for the many important community projects produced by the non-profit organizations in Jackson County. The event will be held from 9am - 11am in Ravenswood, beginning and ending beside the shopping plaza on Washington Street. The theme is appropriately titled - “Together we are building a stronger community!” Race day registration will open at 7:30am on September 22nd at the Ravenswood Senior Center beside the Washington Street Plaza. Twenty local non-profit organizations have been selected to participate in the charity event. Each organization will be devoting runner and walker sponsorship funds and matching funds to a specific community program. The participating organizations are working to raise funds that will be matched by the Community Foundation at a $1 for every $2 contributed. JCCF Board Chair Carla Parsons remarks, “This event truly supports the entire community. It is a wonderful demonstration of the Community Foundation’s effectiveness in helping local nonprofits meets local needs. 100% of the funds contributed through Charity Challenge stay here in our community and are put to work to make this a better place to live and raise our families.” While this united fundraising event and matching program appeals to the nonprofit groups it supports, it also involves the business community by giving them a unique opportunity to support a number of different charities with one gift to a matching program. The first Charity Challenge was held in 2003 with 18 nonprofit agencies participating with 300 runners and walkers and 750 donations providing $48,000 for community programs. The program had grown dramatically. Last year twenty nonprofits and more than 625 runners and walkers participated with over 2,000 residents donating $116,000 to the participating agencies. The community foundation issued $25,000 in matching dollars which generated a total of $141,000 for community programs. In addition to issuing challenge grants, the Community Foundation also uses the event to raise funds for the Jackson Community Support Fund, the foundation’s community grant making fund. “We are very grateful to The Dickirson Corporation for underwriting the costs involved in producing this event. Their underwriting allows us to devote 100% of the proceeds from this program directly to the community programs of the 20 participating nonprofit agencies and to the community’s Jackson County Community Support Fund. We would also like to extend our appreciation to the businesses and individuals who created the matching funds to leverage $1 for every $2 raised by our groups,” commented Jane Winters. The event is open to the public. Join your neighbors and friends and support your favorite charity. If you are interested in running or walking in the event, the registration form is available on line at www.pacfwv.com under News & Events – Charity Challenge. Registration forms are also available at local banks and Our Community’s Foundation office at 716 West Main Street (inside the United Branch Bank). Runners and walkers can select a specific participating organization to benefit from their sponsorship donation or they can devote their sponsorship donation to the overall matching fund. Additional information regarding the Charity Challenge Event and Matching Program is available by calling the Community Foundation at 304-372-8588. The Jackson County Community Foundation is a regional affiliate of Our Community’s Foundation – the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and the regional affiliates of Doddridge, Jackson, Little Kanawha Area, Mason and Ritchie Counties.