In the spirit of giving known for the holiday season, three women out of 100 attendees drew winning fortune cookies, which allowed them to donate grants to non-profits of their choice.
During Tuesday night's fourth annual Festive Night of Light, Luck and Delight, Mallory Weymer, Beatrice Gamble and Sharon Ippolito, all of Williamsport, grabbed the right fortune cookies that gave them $3,000, $2,000 and $5,000, respectively, to donate. The event was held in the Pennsylvania College of Technology's Madigan Library.
The $10,000 donation came from the Williamsport Lycoming Community Fund.
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
Attendees of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Northcentral Pennsylvania’s fourth annual Festive Night of Light, Luck and Delight browse in The Gallery of the Madigan Library on the Pennsylvania College of Technology campus Tuesday evening.
For Weymer, the choice was simple. Weymer, who works for the YWCA, chose to give her winnings to it.
"I really believe in their mission, which is to eliminate racism and empower women," Weymer said. "It's a critical time for the services we provide."
She said Liberty House helped the homeless, Wise Options helped with domestic and sexual assault victims and CASA of Lycoming County helped child advocacy in the court system.
This was Weymer's first time attending the event, which gives people the opportunity to celebrate grant making in the community.
Gamble also had an easy decision. She is co-founder of The Community Alliance for Progressive Positive Action (CAPPA), a youth mentor program.
"I'm very happy we came," she said. "It's a good event to come to, to see the representatives of the non-profits downtown. We all have very similar goals. It's nice to see everyone come out."
For the third winner, it was tougher to decide between passion and work. Ippolito, a nurse, saw the American Cancer Society and the local theaters as options for her $5,000 winnings. In the end, she chose to give $3,000 to the Community Theatre League and $2,000 to the Community Arts Center.
Ippolito said she always had done theater, so she wanted to donate to something she really cared about.
It was her first time attending Festive Night, and she did not know what to expect.
"I knew it was for the community, but I didn't think that I would have a chance to donate money," she said. "It's my first time. It's a wonderful thing."
The winning quote of the night came from a Greek proverb, "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."
Jennifer Wilson, president and CEO of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, said the generosity of hundreds of donors throughout the years continues to support the local non-profits now and in the future.
Help from a few businesses allowed the First Community Foundation to grant more than $264,000 to 11 nonprofit organizations for flood disaster relief, she said.
The foundation also is finalizing the fall grant recipients for 2011.
Wilson said the event began four years ago as a way to celebrate community grant-making. The First Community Foundation wanted to have an event around the holiday season. She said the name came from the light of the season, the luck of drawing the right fortune cookie and the delight of the snacks they provide.
Each year it is held in the gallery in the library because the artwork is different each time.
"It's beautiful," Wilson said.