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Wish effort hits mark

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Grant A Wish, the holiday fundraising effort sponsored by the The Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, has come to a close, surpassing its goal of distributing $50,000 to worthy organizations around the county.

This year, the Heritage Fund received gifts totaling $31,000 from 140 individual and family donors. Matching funds provided by Elwood Staffing, MainSource Bank, Marguerite Rust and the Heritage Fund’s Community Fund brought the total to $58,000, which granted more than 200 wishes in the community.

“We’ve been very successful this year and have granted a lot more wishes,” said Lyn Morgan, program officer at the Heritage Fund.

Morgan said that some restrictions were put on the matching funds so that all organizations could receive some matching funds, which is why the total is not $62,000. Matches on individual gifts were capped at $500, and the match to each organization was capped at $3,000.

Initially, $25,000 was set aside to match gifts from the community, but Morgan said that efforts are being made to match all gifts received by Dec. 15.

So far, the Heritage Fund has matched $27,000.

“Once again the generosity of our community was demonstrated by the response to the Grant A Wish program,” said Tracy Souza, president and CEO of the Heritage Fund. “Every nonprofit organization that submitted a wish will receive grant funds, and the Heritage Fund had the good problem of finding additional match money to ensure that all donor gifts were matched.”

Some of the wishes granted include scholarships for sports activities through Foundation for Youth and Columbus Parks and Recreation; family memberships to the Indianapolis Zoo for children in foster care; and funds to replace worn and damaged toys in the Simmons One Room Schoolhouse in Hope.

Grant A Wish 2011 fulfilled 111 wishes and raised more than $33,000.

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