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Giving Tuesday raised over $200,000
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Representatives from some of the top 10 gift recipients from the local Giving Tuesday pose for a photo at Thursday’s Great Bend Chamber Coffee, held at the Prince of Peace Parish Center. Additional matching grants and Giving Tuesday incentives were announced. - photo by Dale Hogg/Great Bend Tribune

More than 650 donations totaling over $200,000 were made to area organizations and endowed funds last month during the Giving Tuesday campaign overseen by the Golden Belt Community Foundation. On Thursday, GBCF Executive Director Christy Tustin and staff announced the results of the campaign at a Great Bend Chamber Coffee held at the Prince of Peace Parish Center.

“This is our fifth year of Giving Tuesday,” Tustin said. “And this year we invited all charitable organizations in Barton, Pawnee, Rush and Stafford counties to participate.”

There were 23 new participating organizations — a total of 76 organizations and funds. The 650-plus individual donations totaled $204,375. Some people made multiple donations. In comparison, last year’s donations were closer to $150,000, Tustin said.

Each organization chose whether to get any gifts received as a grant back for immediate use or to build their endowment fund at GBCF.

But the benefit to area organizations didn’t stop there.

An additional $10,000 in matching funds and $5,000 in giving incentives and drawings were awarded. Twelve area elementary schools also participated in Giving Tuesday by having a classroom contest to raise funds.

 The classroom at each school raising the most will receive a $500 grant.

The final Giving Tuesday total comes $248,875.48, according to Nikki Omenski, director of development at the Foundation.

The 2018 giving incentives included two $500 “Golden Tickets.” There was a random drawing of all donors who gave during the month of November, and the Golden Ticket winners received $500 for the charity of their choice. 

Jessica Milsap won a Golden Ticket and designated $250 for the Kans for Kids Fighting Cancer Foundation and $250 for the Central Kansas Dream Center. The other Golden Ticket was won by Craig Pangburn who chose to support the Golden Belt Humane Society.

There were other incentive drawings, such as selecting a name from all donors who gave online during the lunch hour. Each winner could select a charitable organization to receive an additional grant. Twenty organizations were selected to receive special grants, Omenski said.

Another incentive was the Video Challenge. People were urged to create a My Favorite Charity social media video and the best two won $250 for their favorite charities. Danielle Feist created a video for the Kansas Oil and Gas Museum Foundation and eighth grader Alyvia Mingenback created a video for United Way of Central Kansas. The videos can be seen on Facebook at #GiveGoldenBelt.

Top 10

“This year there were several new names appearing in the Top 10 list of organizations that raised the most funds,” Omenski said.

The 2018 Top Ten Giving Tuesday organizations and funds rasied are:

1. Prairie Godmothers Funds, $51,214.77

2. Barton County Emergency Aid Association, $18,590.20

3. Holy Family School, $13,225.96

4. Almost Home Inc., $12,851.83

5. Forever Rozel and Burdett Endowment, $7,961.44

6. Golden Belt Humane Society, $6,720.15

7. United Way of Central Kansas, $6,197.35

8. Community Food Bank of Barton County, $5,748.10

9. Meals on Wheels of Barton County, $5,237.00

10. Sunflower Diversified Services Foundation, $5,231.20

Looking ahead:

The next Giving Tuesday will be Dec. 3, 2019.

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Nikki Omenski, director of development for the Golden Belt Community Foundation, announces the Top 10 Giving Tuesday organizations and the amount of funds they raised, Thursday at the Chamber Coffee.