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Local nonprofits raise $226,000 through Weaver Challenge

MURRAY – After receiving an overwhelming response from the community in its inaugural year, it would appear that the Drs. Dick and Jan Weaver Challenge for Charities is poised to become a staple fundraising opportunity for those looking to support local nonprofit organizations. 

The Murray Calloway County Community Foundation, in conjunction with the Weaver Educational Trust, a trust started by the late Drs. Dick and Jan Weaver and administered by the Weaver family, created the fundraiser as a way to shine a spotlight on several local nonprofits while also bolstering their financial longevity. 

The challenge kicked off with 20 local nonprofits on Sept. 15. They had until Nov. 30 to raise a minimum of $1,000 to be eligible to receive a matching grant of up to $5,000 to be deposited in the organization’s endowment with MCCCF. Ultimately, 18 completed the challenge; their fundraising totals ranged from $5,081 to $16,625. Collectively, the nonprofits raised $136,002 in donations through the challenge and received $90,000 in matching grants from the Weaver family, for a total of $226,002.

Participating nonprofits had three ways to receive donations. First, each held a special fundraising event, for example, CASA by the Lakes hosted a murder mystery dinner and Angel’s Attic held a “Special Treasures Sale”. In addition to the event, people could donate to a specific organization through its Weaver Challenge PayPal account or by filling out a Weaver Challenge brochure and sending a check. While the organizations knew how much they raised during their special event, they did not know how much they raised through brochures and online donations until yesterday, when MCCCF announced the totals during the Christmas CUBS (Calloway United Benevolent Services) Luncheon.

All 18 organizations received the full $5,000 matching grant. With $16,625 in total funds raised, Life House Care Center had the highest total. CASA by the Lakes raised $12,284, and the Humane Society of Calloway County rounded out the top three with $10,470. 

The other nonprofits’ totals were $8,605 for Neartown, $8,336 for Soup for the Soul, $8,314 for Murray-Calloway County Need Line, $8,075 for the United Way of Murray-Calloway County, $7,377 for the Murray Woman’s Club, $6,751 for the Murray-Calloway County Senior Citizens Center, $6,555 for Playhouse in the Park, $6,377 for the Anna Mae Owen Residential Hospice House, $5,605 for the Murray Art Guild, $5,600 for Serenity Recovery, $5,514 for HOPE Calloway, $5,300 for the Murray Lions Club Foundation, $5,177 for Murray Christian Fellowship, $5,100 for Angel’s Attic and $5,081 for the Murray Rotary Club.

Only two of the organizations did not previously have endowments set up with MCCCF, but they do now. Serenity Recovery and Neartown each had $5,000 deposited in their new endowment. MCCCF Board Member Linda Avery explained that the minimum endowment balance is $10,000, but the organizations have three years to meet that target. 

Sentinel Staff

Jessica Paine
I’m Jessica Paine, founder of The Murray Sentinel. You may know me from my time as a citizen journalist, running the Calloway Covid-19 Count page on Facebook, or you may be familiar with my more recent work for another local news outlet. Being that I’m “from here,” you may have known me since I was “knee-high to a grasshopper,” although you knew me as Jessica Jones. But whether you know me or not, I’m glad you found your way here.

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