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Editorial: Community pitches in for nonprofit organizations

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THE quality of life enjoyed by so many in this community is made possible by a variety of individuals and organizations from the public and private sectors.

In some ways, the involvement from the private sector can be described as icing on the cake.

It was illustrated in a number of efforts that were reported over the past few weeks.

Car wash for Foundation for Youth

Programmers at the Foundation for Youth in Columbus have an extra $13,863 to work with thanks to a highly successful car wash fundraiser conducted at Mike’s Carwash on National Road.

The business set aside three days during which customers were asked to make donations to FFY when receiving a car wash. From Jan. 18 to 20 customers received 4,000 Mike’s “Works” car washes valued at $15 each, with a portion set aside for the United Way agency that provides programming and services to 14,000 youth. The money raised from the benefit will go to scholarship support, an important element in the overall operation, since half of the youth served by FFY in 2011 received some form of scholarship support.

Phones for United Way

Included in the assets of the Indiana Bank & Trust Co., which was acquired by Old National Bank last year, was a 2-year-old state-of-the-art phone system that was not compatible with the equipment of the new owner.

Those new owners easily could have sold the system but instead elected to donate it to the United Way of Bartholomew County after learning that the system would fill a vital need for the nonprofit agency.

The system, valued at $276,000, offers a variety of benefits to the United Way and numerous other nonprofit groups, most notably cost savings. For instance, the Foundation for Youth, which had been exploring a new phone system, is expected to save as much as $30,000 through the donation.

The system will link not only the agencies housed at the Doug Otto Center on the United Way campus but be made available to local nonprofits not housed in the former Arvin Industries building on 13th Street. Those agencies can save between $20 to $25 a month in service costs.

Dancing with the Stars chips in

The local version of “Dancing With the Stars” has come to be known as a “fun” event for both the audience and the participants, but its impact on the causes it supports is much more significant.

Several Columbus residents participated in the event that raised an estimated $70,000 for child care services and early childhood development programs offered by Children Inc. and Family School Partners.

That’s a significant amount for both organizations in meeting their respective missions, and it was made possible through the efforts of a number of volunteers who participated for much more than “laughs.”

Its popularity is unquestioned. About 1,000 spectators turned out for the program.

The participants did much more than simply show up. Competitors literally logged dozens of hours of practice time spread out over several months to hone their skills.

Their hard work brought smiles to hundreds of faces; but more importantly, it helped two important community organizations deliver much needed services.

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