The First Community Foundation Partnership really had a million reasons to celebrate during its annual dinner Wednesday night.
The foundation, which provides for social services, support for the arts and scholarships for students through donor con-
tributions, has more than $80 million of working assets that it has used to support community development in the last year.
Lesley Larson, marketing and public relations manager for North Central Sight Services, right, shows off a few bins of plastic cases from the Library of Congress to a group from the First Community Foundation Partnership during a tour of the facility on Reach Road Wednesday. The plastic cases will be shredded and recycled.
This year’s recipients of the Raise the Region 2014 Awards from the First Community Foundation Partnership included, from left, Pam Burkholder, executive director of the Expectations Women’s Center; Jon White-Spunner, managing director of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble; and Joyce S. Hershberger, board president of the Lycoming County SPCA.
Spouses and members of the First Community Foundation Partnership enjoy a ride on the Carl Stotz Trolley to North Central Sight Services for a tour of the facility before the partnership’s annual dinner Wednesday.
"A million reasons to celebrate," the theme of the dinner, echoed throughout the night's events.
The dinner honored the top three nonprofits that had the most unique donors as part of the Raise the Region event. The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble was presented with a check for more than $37,000 for having 226 unique donors, the most of any participating nonprofit.
Expectations Women's Center came in second with 198 donors and was presented with a $27,157.88 check, followed by the Lycoming County SPCA, with 135 unique donors, earning a $21,341 check. The money awarded to the nonprofits was a combination of money raised during Raise the Region and prize money presented by the Blaise Alexander Family Dealership.
Raise the Region raised more than $1 million and gained community recognition for more than 200 nonprofit organizations.
"The name First Community Foundation Partnership now resonates in households throughout the community," said Glenn Smith, the foundation's director of strategic philanthropy.
Also honored during the dinner was First Community Foundation Partnership President and CEO Jennifer Wilson for her dedication to the organization.
"I've already been honored. It's an honor to go to work for this organization every day," Wilson said following the dinner. "The everyday work we do is rewarding in and of itself."
The dinner recognized the foundation's mutual fund support partnership with the Community Arts Center. Robert Steele, executive director of the CAC, said the center has been able to do more community outreach programs because of the fund.
"We're able to say yes because you said yes," he said.
Over the course of the dinner, the foundation recognized several community members for their generosity, honoring Silver Circle Society members, donors who gave $25,000 or more in their lifetime, and Legacy Society Members, individuals who have named the foundation a beneficiary of any type of planned or deferred gift.
Before the dinner, spouses of board members toured the North Central Sight Services campus and saw the $90,000 grants that the foundation provided for the company being put to use.
Lesley Larson, marketing and public relations manager for North Central Sight Services, showed the group through the 63,000-square-foot complex. The spouses saw the grant-funded Techno Trashcan, which grinds plastic from outdated media equipment. The trash program is just one of the many employment opportunities that the company provides for the blind and vision-impaired.
All in all, Wilson considered the event a great success.
"It's an opportunity to look back on the previous year and honor those who have served the community," she said following the dinner. "It's a great celebration of the work we do."