With a crowd of around 160 cheering them on 16 contenders from 8 nonprofit subsectors took the Wealthy Theater by storm during the first YNPN Nonprofit Smackdown!
From the first round till the last the surprises never stopped. The Arts and Cultural sector contenders kept it real with a rousing 2 minute story about the arts saving lives and the local YNPN contender streaked through the audience as national and local members chanted Y-N-P-N in unison. Environment stayed into the last round but Hunger and Homelessness eventually won out.
During the last round we pitted final contenders, Hunger (Kids Food Basket) and Homelessness (Coalition to End Homelessness) against each other, asking the audience to choose which organization would receive a $500 grant from the Grand Rapid Community Foundation. After cheering their hearts out for an hour for BOTH organizations the audience was torn and stepped up with an amazing solution: instead of choosing they would match the grant from their own pockets.....
The audience proceeded to spontaneously donate over $1,280 (plus the $500 from GRCF), bringing the total to be donated to both organizations to $1780 ($890 for each organization).
The feeling of goodwill was amazing and the feedback from participants and the audience was phenomenal. We could not have planned a more inspiring conclusion.
The organizations on stage reminded us all how vital they are to our communities. Thanks to ALL of the contenders who save the day....... everyday.
To watch a bit of the TV interview with Fox 17 check out this link
For a photo overview provided by Reed Sandridge click here.
We recommend checking out the last few minutes (start at 1.45) of the event on UStream.
Special thanks to Nikos Monoyios, Jeff Hill, Wealthy Theater (and WT staff) Erwin Erkfitz and our contenders:
Luisa Schumacker –West Michigan Center for Art and Technology
Erica Curry VanEe –Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University
Arts and Culture
Jill May- Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts
Matthew Downey- Wellspring/Cori Terry and Dancers/ Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University
Christy T. Buck- Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan
Jeremy Moore – Spectrum Health
Homelessness and Hunger
Janay Brower- Coalition to End Homelessness
Bridget Clark Whitney- Kids Food Basket
Professional, Membership and Trade Organizations
Kevin Ligell- YNPN
Maxine Gray- BLEND
Mike Goorhouse- Council of Michigan Foundations
Elizabeth Kidd- Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area
Claire Fisher –East Hills Council of Neighbors
Johannah Jelks- East Hills Council of Neighbors
Steve Faber- Friends of Grand Rapids Parks
Rachel Hood- West Michigan Environmental Action Council