ERIE, Pa. — During 12 hours of Erie Gives, the community raised millions for local organizations.
“It’s amazing to watch and sit here and refresh the eriegives.org page all day. In just seven minutes this morning, we raised over $45,000,” said Jenna Roesch, who is interning with The Erie Community Foundation.
Between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday, 7,681 donors gave $4,410,227, which well exceeded the $3,451,087 raised in 2016.
“It has grown really beyond our expectations,” said Mike Batchelor, president of The Erie Community Foundation. “The first year, we were thrilled to raise $750,000. We really had no idea what would happen.”
This year, 377 nonprofit organizations participated. Wayside Presbyterian Church, located in Millcreek Township, was one of more than 50 nonprofits taking part in the drive for the first time.
“Anytime there’s a need, regardless of what that need is someone or groups of people seem to step up and fill the need,” said Elder Matthew McGill, who was on the church committee that registered for Erie Gives.
Scott Lee, vice president of marketing and development for the Foundation for Free Enterprise Education, monitored the numbers live as his organization raised $335,279.
“What a phenomenal opportunity it is for people to just get involved and make their community better. It’s the greatest day that we have as a community in Erie.”
The organization, which was the top earner during the campaign, educates high school juniors and seniors. Lee said, “the overall goal, obviously, is to open up their minds to business careers… to opportunities not only in the commonwealth, but right here in Erie County.”
With the community’s support of the seventh annual Erie Gives, hundreds of groups will be able to better serve others.
“Just thanks to everyone who gave, and it’ll be interesting to see how that money gets used,” said McGill.
The Erie Community Foundation has partnered with sponsors to distribute a percentage of $315,000 to the participating organizations.
The sponsors of the match pool include GE Transportation, Erie Insurance, Presque Isle Downs & Casino, Northwest Bank, E.E. Austin & Son, ERIEBANK, Frontier General Contracting, Little Caesars, and McInnes Rolled Rings.
For more information about Erie Gives results, visit ErieGives.org/.