The final numbers are in. The Greater Salina Community Foundation’s Match Madness giving day back in early March was a big success.
According to the organization, although the event looked different this year due to COVID-19, over $291,000 was raised for 74 nonprofit organizations through donations and bonus prizes in just 24 hours.
“I continue to be amazed by our community’s generosity, but, this year in particular, I am humbled by the many people that still stepped up to the plate to give during this pandemic,” said Jessica Martin, president and executive director of the foundation.
A total of 582 unique donors contributed $283,968 through 1,621 gifts. Because the event was held virtually this year, donors primarily made gifts online or by mail. All gifts were matched at 50% by the foundation. Together, Match Madness donations, bonus prizes and matching funds combined for a total benefit of $423,783 for the Salina community.
“Now more than ever, our nonprofits need support so that they can continue to impact lives and make our community stronger,” Martin said. “Thank you to everyone for doing their part!”
While the in-person event was originally slated to include the Bill Grevas Memorial Free Throw Contest and the new BE Wealth Half-Court Shot for Charity, the re-tooled virtual Match Madness event still included basketball, competition and prizes.
The foundation worked with Match Madness sponsors to host a nonprofit Pop-A-Shot tournament, which was broadcast live on Facebook throughout the day. Pop-A-Shot donated a customized Match Madness unit for the occasion. All 74 participating charities were placed in a bracket, and foundation staff and special guests were randomly assigned to play Pop-A-Shot on behalf of each organization. Sacred Heart Jr. Sr. High School emerged as the champion and received a $1,000 prize from BE Wealth. They were represented by James Westling of Rocking M Media in the final round.
Additionally, the Pop-A-Shot tournament included a community bracket challenge. Participants filled out an online bracket to make their picks, and the challenge winner, Tasha Rice, received her own Pop-A-Shot unit.
Rice was grateful for the Pop-A-Shot prize.
“[This was] a bright moment to our really dull week,” Rice said. “The event was pretty fun to watch throughout the day. Thank you for making it still work!”
Anyone who donated to Match Madness by 6 p.m. was also entered into a drawing for a Pop-A-Shot, and Ryan and Sheila Douglas were the winners.
Each organization who signed up to participate in the Bill Grevas Memorial Free Throw Contest received a $70 consolation prize, thanks to sponsor Salina Regional Health Foundation.
Following the event, bonus grants were awarded to the top three nonprofits with the highest number of donors. The Salina Emergency Aid Food Bank took first place with 92 donors and received a $750 prize; Rolling Hills Zoo took second with 70 donors and received $500; and Sacred Heart Jr. Sr. High School took third with 68 donors and received $250.
Donation results for each nonprofit can be found at www.matchmadnessgscf.org.