Ready to Give to the Max?The holidays are just around the corner, but area nonprofits are asking locals to dig deep and find funds for them as well.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
The holidays are just around the corner, but area nonprofits are asking locals to dig deep and find funds for them as well.
And they’re making it worth your while.
The Red Wing Family YMCA will be filled Nov. 15 with locals singing, running, reading and eating peanut butter sandwiches — and some surprises are in store as well.
Thursday is the Give to the Max day, a fundraising effort for nonprofits throughout the state. Locally, it’s also the day of the second Red Wing Gives event.
The “giving fair” houses local nonprofits at the YMCA and features entertainment, activities and opportunities to learn more about the organizations. There will be at least 35 local nonprofits participating in the event this year, said Elaine O’Keefe of the YMCA, one of the organizers.
“We’re generating more excitement around the idea of supporting the nonprofits that really make a critical difference in our community,” she said.
The goal of the free local event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the YMCA’s gyms A and B, is in part to raise awareness about local nonprofits along with bringing in funds.
Last year more than 1,200 people attended the first Red Wing event. Area nonprofits brought in more than $195,000 during Give to the Max in 2011, up from the more than $125,000 in 2010. This year’s goal is to raise at least $200,000 collectively, O’Keefe said.
Local businesses — Capital Safety, Red Wing Shoe Co., White Rock Bank and Merchant’s Bank — also are offering hourly $200 drawings to add to nonprofits’ funds, and Give MN, which organizes the statewide Give to the Max day, has prizes and additional funds for those that bring in the most money as well.
At the YMCA, announcements every hour on the fundraising progress also will feature events, some hinging on whether the group has met its collective goal for that time of day, O’Keefe said.
Those who want to donate can do so in person at the event, where computers will be set up with Red Wing High School Key Club volunteers to help if needed. Even if people can’t make it to the YMCA on Thursday, donations will be accepted on givemn.org from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Nov. 15.
“It’s a great vehicle for giving for people,” O’Keefe said.
Alongside funds, the food shelf will accept food donations and the United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha and Pierce Counties will take donations of peanut butter.
The event also allows time for nonprofits to network.
“There are collaborations that come with sitting in a room with people all day long,” O’Keefe said. It’s networking for community members too, she added.
“There are a lot of people that are wanting to help but they don’t know how,” she said. This event can help highlight opportunities locally.
“It makes people feel connected and it makes the community stronger,” O’Keefe said.
O’Keefe said last year the average nonprofit in Goodhue County raised $1,200, while those who participated in the Red Wing Gives event raised an average of $4,900.
“It was significant for everybody,” she said.
The second annual Red Wing Gives event will include a variety of events, including those listed below. All events are free of charge, open to the public and will take place in gyms A and B at the YMCA unless otherwise noted.
• Girls on the Run marathon, all day (track)
• Zumba, 11:15 a.m. to 12:10 p.m., Move Your Body 12:30 p.m.
• Disability awareness presented by ProAct, 1:30 p.m.
• Red Wing Has Talent, 2:15 to 3 p.m.
• Kayaking, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. (pool)
• Rock wall climbing, 4 p.m. (gym C)
• Kids’ reading time, 4:15 p.m.
• Violin performances by SoundStrings students, 4:45 p.m.
• Peanut butter sandwich eating contest, 5 p.m.
• Friends of the Bluff information, 5:15 p.m.
• Blood pressure checks, 5:30 p.m.
• Red Wing Swim Club swimming, 6:30 to 8 p.m. (pool)
• First Robotics, 6:30 p.m.
• Final announcements and surprise finale, 6:45 p.m.