Hiawatha Community Foundation

The Hiawatha Community Foundation “Give Back to Move Forward” match day fundraiser over Memorial Weekend was a huge success with nearly $175K being raised to benefit local organizations.

The HCF raised $35,000 in funds to match all of the donations and President Virginia Freese said the amount of $173,801.54 (as of mid-week, not including some checks that were still coming) doesn’t reflect any of the foundation matches or those that were raised by the individual organizations.

“We are so pleased and thankful for the community’s support to help multiple agencies and multiple causes,” Freese said. “I don’t have the words to describe how excited we were when the money started coming in.”

The event kicked off Saturday at the Fisher Community Center with the organizations able to set up a booth and donations could be accepted on the spot. On Sunday, the event continued at the Hiawatha Country Club, piggy-backing off the Memorial Weekend Alumni Golf Tournament. Many donations were raised through online giving through the website www.givebacktomoveforward.com — which is still operating and anyone can continue to donate at that site.

Freese said there was a steady stream of people stopping to make donations and 88 percent of the donations were either mailed in checks or from people stopping at either of the sites to donate. She said 11 percent was through online giving and there were a total of 359 gifts.

“This really exceeded the expectations of the Hiawatha Community Foundation and most of the agencies who participated,” she said. “We had no idea what to expect.

Freese said the HCF plans to keep the donation doors open for these agencies as an avenue for people to make tax deductible donations to support community projects and organizations. They hope to make this an annual event.

Leading the list of donations was the Hiawatha Baseball and Softball Sports Complex at around $46,000 mid-week. Little Hands Daycare was second highest with a little more than $21,000 in donations raised, Amberwell Hiawatha Foundation had nearly $15,000 and the Brown County Historical Society had collected around $12,000 in donations.

For a complete look at all of the agencies who participated and the donations raised so far, go to www.givebacktomoveforward.com and click on “Leaderboard” on the top menu. Additional donations can be made at this site, however Freese said the funds would not be matched.

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