Ephrata non-profits join the ‘Extraordinary Give’

By on November 25, 2015
Ephrata Public Library Executive Director Penny Talbert donned a

Ephrata Public Library Executive Director Penny Talbert donned a
number of costumes on Friday, including this seasonal favorite, as
she went business-to-business Friday seeking donations for the Extraordinary Give.

While more than $6.1 million was pledged county-wide last Friday, several Ephrata area organizations joined the fundraising effort with displays at the Ephrata Public Library.

The fourth year of the Extraordinary Give was a record-breaker, with new ground broken locally as well.

“The Ephrata Area Chamber of Commerce approached the library,” explained Joy Ashley, the library’s director of development. “This is the first year we tried something like this. We felt we were the ideal location to tie with other Ephrata organizations, with free Wi-Fi and laptops for each table. Our goal was to save time, money and generate media attention.”

The library itself had 213 donations, totaling $16,745 during the 24 hours of giving.

“We started Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. with a networking breakfast,” continued Ashley. “At 12:30, we had an afternoon tea, where we watched the BBC program “Downton Abby.” At 4, the Kids Hour featured ‘Elf on the Shelf’ and they also made Christmas ornaments. Finally from 6-8 p.m., we heard the traditional Irish band ‘Fire in the Glen.”

The Ephrata Recreation Center attracted 59 donors totaling $13,450.

“I like the event,” claimed Rec executive director Jim Summers. “It brings in donors that we do not see in other fundraising efforts. We see about 85 percent repeat donors and sometimes, you can get caught up in the hoopla. I’m a perfect example, as I intended to make two donations, but ended up making four.”

The Ephrata area Education Foundation tallied 52 donations and $12,455.

“It just speaks to the definition of a community event,” said representative Sarah McBee. “You get to learn more about each organization and create excitement. The money will be used for the greatest need at the discretion of the foundation board and the superintendent.”

The Ephrata Cloister Associates collected $3,910 from 52 donors. The Associates help support the Ephrata Cloister Museum plus educational programs and Founders Day. The organization’s representatives at the library were dressed in the white robe attire worn by “The Celibates” from 1732 until 1813.

“We have 280 volunteer members, and we hit them hard during the annual appeal,” explained Associates Board President Drew Myers. “It’s important to be part of the community and special events. I think there’s a camaraderie and fun. I’m committed to this type of event.”

The Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley was tapped by 34 donors and $2,575.

“I think the synergy is developing,” added Society President Lowell Haws. “I’m really glad the library did this. It would be nice to join forces and promote tourism in the northern part of the county.”

Several other non-profit groups in the Ephrata area were also successful during the 24 hours of Friday’s Extraordinary Give. Those include: Ephrata Performing Arts Center (211 donors, $27,080), Camp Conquest, Denver (206, $31,285), TNT Youth Ministries (157, $24,617), Bible Visuals, Akron (107, $17,265), The Jeff Musser Foundation, Akron (46, $16,001) Woodcrest Retreat (76, $13,513) and Diamond Street Early Childhood Center, Akron (55, $11,595).

Other local groups participating in the online giving effort included: Adamstown Library (87, $7,105), Ephrata Area Rehab Service (EARS) (41, $6,420), Fairmount Homes (34, $6,230), and the Cocalico Education Foundation (56, $5,100).

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