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Local Rotaries working with HCCF

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GREENFIELD — A new collaboration between Greenfield Rotarians and the Hancock County Community Foundation is set to move $20,000 into the operating funds of local nonprofits organizations by this summer.

Greenfield’s Rotary and Rotary Sunrise clubs have long been among the state’s fundraising leaders for the national organization’s medical relief efforts overseas, but for more local impact, the clubs debuted their Steak’n, Bake’n raffle fundraiser last October.

Some 358 people attended dinner accompanied by a reverse raffle, silent auction and 50/50 drawings. The event produced a windfall exceeding $20,000 between the two clubs, said event co-chair Dave Anders.

Sunrise Rotary donated its $2,500 to the Rex Pasco Hospice Endowment, supporting Hancock Regional Hospital’s inpatient hospice unit.

Noon Rotary netted more than $18,000, and after funding its own local programs, awards and scholarships, the club realized there was a significant opportunity for a countywide benefit.

“It came to us that we had $10,000 we wanted to go to local philanthropic efforts, and if we partnered we could pump $20,000 into the community for operating grants,” Anders said.

Enter the Hancock County Community Foundation, one of the county’s prime point organizations for acquiring, managing and channeling charitable contributions.

“We were delighted they made contact,” said Mary Gibble, foundation president. “It was a very attractive opportunity for us.”

The foundation provided a $10,000 match to the Rotary’s donation from its Spirit of Community Fund, which is a discretionary, unrestricted fund to address the community’s changing needs over time, Gibble said.

The Spirit fund was used to kick-start the foundation’s 2012 Match Day in July that raised more than $200,000 for county nonprofits.

The funds will be awarded in $2,500 increments to county 501(c)3 organizations for their operating budgets through a competitive bidding process, Gibble said.

The foundation will design the grant application, publicize the process and administer the competitive grant cycle that begins March 1, Gibble said.

“We are very happy with this,” Anders said. “Our purposes are aligned, and we have a common focus and goals,” he said.

Once the applications are in, Anders said the clubs would like to see the money distributed by June.

“We got the money, and we want the money to flow,” Anders said.

“At the end of June, early July, we’ll be reaching out to sponsors for next year’s event, and we want them to realize we did what we said we were going to do.”

The clubs have already set Oct. 13 as the date for the 2013 edition of the Steak’n, Bake’n raffle, which organizers hope will be an expanded version of its inaugural run, Anders said.

“The community really came together, and it’s important for us to let the community know that we walked our talk that this money would flow back to the needy organizations within our county.”

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