WEST CHESTER, PA — The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW), a nonprofit organization of eight YMCAs serving Chester County, raised more than $115,000 during its first ever “Season of Giving” virtual event on December 10th. Thanks to a community sponsorships, limited edition t-shirt sales, general donations, and virtual auction revenue, the YGBW was able to surpass their fundraising goal for this event by 15 percent.
Hosted in the YGBW’s own studio used for virtual fitness recording, Brian Raicich (Executive Director at the Upper Main Line YMCA) and Tom Gavin (Board Member at the West Chester Area YMCA and Director of Development at Chester County Hospital – Penn Medicine) took to the screen as socially-distanced emcees for the 40-minute-long event.
This family-friendly event featured a series of impactful testimonials and interviews that showcased the Y’s mission (both pre-COVID and present-day), highlighted familiar faces and programs at the Y, and of course, kicked off the holiday season. The YGBW did not charge a registration fee for the event.
“We wanted to keep promoting positivity with this event and not focus on the dark times,” explained Denise L. Day, President and CEO of the YGBW. “The live event took place just two hours after Governor Wolf outlined new restrictions that halts all indoor wellness activities for the next three weeks but we have to keep pushing forward in finding alternative ways to serve the community.”
The YGBW has been focusing on the key messaging of “Be the Good,” and “We’re Here for Good” since March. They were even able to get the attention of the optimistic and popular Life is Good® brand to design an exclusive t-shirt.
“People are excited about the limited edition Life is Good® t-shirt. Not only is it a really cool partnership opportunity but it really drives home that message of positivity and hope, which is exactly what we’re striving for as an association ,” said Patti Campbell, Vice President of Mission Advancement at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine.
These limited edition t-shirts are still available for purchase by clicking here.
In addition to live stream event, a virtual auction was opened up one week prior to the event to build momentum and stir up excitement. Some of the donated auction items included a week-long stay in Southern Spain in 2022, a Nintendo Switch Lite, unique experiences at the Y itself (e.g. a barnyard party at the Upper Main Line Y’s Nature Center), and various packages related to dining and safe excursions.
“COVID-19 has presented countless challenges for our entire organization, including the ability to hold large in-person events that we’ve traditionally held indoors. We really just wanted to connect with the families sitting at home and let them know we miss them,” shared Campbell.
You can watch the event in its entirety on YouTube by clicking here.
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