Flannel and Frost: Foundation serves up so much more

They called it “Flannel and Frost,” but a recent event of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania might have been called “Flannel, Frost and Festive Funding.”

Centered around a hot chocolate contest, the event brought out about 100 people to cast votes for their favorite twist on cocoa and to hear the most recent round of grant announcements. By the time the night was over, grants totalling more than $1.5 million were awarded to 79 nonprofit organizations.

They included grants as small as $50 for the Montoursville Area High School Key Club to host a Halloween party for the elementary school to larger amounts such as $250,000 for the Geisinger Health Foundation to add a helipad at Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital, $110,000 for the Covation Center to help businesses prepare to hire previously incarcerated individuals or others with barriers to employment and $250,000 to replace the 25-year-old roof at the Community Arts Center.

That’s just a few of the grants that were awarded, some through separate funds at the foundation that covers five counties of north central Pennsylvania and reaches into six others. And it’s just some of the funding awarded in the past year. In all, the foundation made $4.6 million in grants in the past 12 months, benefitting 369 nonprofits.

The foundation did not do it alone. Many donors gave money to the foundation over time. Jennifer D. Wilson, foundation president and CEO, reported 5,500 donors made cumulative gifts of $6.2 million in the past year alone. To top if off, the foundation ended the year with a record-breaking $105 million in total assets.

The communities of our region certainly are fortunate to have this foundation that began in 1916 with just $33 in its coffers.

Way to go, First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania. Or should we say, way to grow!