Participation has tripled for Geary County Community Match Day since it began two years ago, organizers said.

A total of 39 nonprofit organizations participated in the annual event this year, increasing by five from last year and by 13 from its first year, and Calvin Pottberg, chairman of the Greater Geary Community Foundation, said he believes the event will continue to grow.

On Match Day, GGCF matches donations made to participating endowment funds. Matching funds of up to $140,000 are available to provide a 50% match — up to $7,500 per participating organization. The matching donors this year are R2B4 Bramlage Family Foundation for up to $100,000, the Central Charities Foundation for $20,000 and the Crosby Foundation for $20,000.

Pottberg said he doesn't yet have the full results of the event. The foundation will announce them within the coming weeks.

Match Day raised about $241,000 last year, with $125,000 match funds, for a total of about $365,000 raised for participating organizations. Pottberg said they don’t have a number goal for this year, but they hope to surpass the previous year.

“A light bulb comes on for these people, because this is a lot easier way to make money than selling cookies and other things,” he said.

To participate in Match Day, organizations must be tax exempt and be members of the GGCF. On Match Day, people can donate in a variety of ways. They can come to the event in person and donate there, donate online at gearymatchday.com or send donations through the mail.

About 27 of the organizations this year came to the event at the Junction City Municipal Building Gymnasium to set up tables with informational displays and flyers for community members who chose to stop by in person. Tables held monitors, demonstrations, candy and games to help explain the purposes of the organizations and what the funds from Match Day would help them to accomplish.

The CASA organization of the 8th Judicial District had clear and blue-colored glass stones on a table to represent the number of children in the area that the organization still struggles to reach.

The I.C.A.R.E. Center table exhibited children’s books bought and received for its I.C.A.R.E. That YOU Read Project, where the organization encourages reading skills for pre-K through 5th grades in local elementary schools by presenting them with age-appropriate books.

“It’s really good to get all these organizations together, and it is wonderful that we have these foundations that chip in to match the contributions made by members of the community,” said Kathy Triplett, treasurer of the Little Theatre Foundation.

She said whatever the organization receives through Match Day will be used to help with renovations and maintenance on the Junction City Little Theater’s Annex building at 618 N. Jefferson St.

The GGCF’s Board of 12 members served as volunteers to help the event run smoothly. Pottberg said they received in-person donations until 5:30 p.m., online donations until midnight on Match Day and continued to collect funds sent to their P.O. box throughout the week.

Pottberg said most of the organizations that set up in the gymnasium were happy with the in-person turnout on Match Day. Whatever they receive from the event will be held in an account for them until they request it.

“It is invested for them, so we have some organizations that ask for it immediately if they have a need, and we have others that have left it in there and accumulated it,” he said. “Like the library working on fundraising for a new building. They leave theirs in there, and it just grows.”

The GGCF’s goal is to continue to see the event grow and provide more funds for the non-profit organizations that participate. Thus far, they said they have accomplished that goal each year since its start, and they already have a few organizations that were not part of the event that are interested in participating next year.

To become a member of the Greater Geary Community Foundation and participate in next year’s Match Day, call the foundation at 785-762-5716 or email info@greatergearycf.org.

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