May 10 and 11, 2022 marked the 11th annual Centre Gives, Centre Foundation’s 36-hour online giving event. And this year, Centre Gives grew to be more than an online platform where community members donate to their favorite local nonprofits. It expanded to include Centre Gives Fest, an in-person event where the community could come together to celebrate their generosity and collective impact on Centre County.

Centre Gives Fest took place on May 11 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza in downtown State College where members of the community gathered to count down the final four hours of Centre Gives 2022. They were joined by 13 local nonprofits who hosted a variety of fun activities.

For the first-ever Centre Gives Fest, Centre County PAWS, Centre Safe, ClearWater Conservancy, Discovery Space, Flutopia Initiative, Good Day Café, Jana Marie Foundation, The Makery, Mid-State Literacy Council, Park Forest Preschool, Ridgelines Language Arts, the State College Food Bank, and Youth Service Bureau sent representatives from their respective organizations to be a part of the festivities.

Centre County PAWS set up a Pop-Up Pet Pantry and provided dog and cat food, as well as spay/neuter vouchers.

“Centre Gives is our biggest fundraiser, and we love the show of support we receive from our donors and friends, as well as how it affects all the nonprofits in the community. It engages people, and every year they are excited about it,” said Christine Faust, Director of Development at PAWS.

Centre Safe invited community members to create cards for survivors of sexual violence in Centre County.

“We’re always honored and excited to participate in Centre Gives and once we heard about Centre Gives Fest, we knew we had to be there. It’s a great way to engage with the community and other organizations doing great work,” said Brittany Sherman, Prevention Educator at Centre Safe.

Representatives from ClearWater Conservancy led Centre Gives Fest attendees on an “AWEsome Walk” to observe nature and admire public art downtown.

“We’re delighted to be a part of Centre Gives and Centre Gives Fest. This is our big launch for our sixth season of Centered Outdoors. We’re really excited to share the program and are grateful for the way this event brings the community together,” said Andrea Murrell, Strategic Communications Coordinator at ClearWater Conservancy.

Discovery Space combined science and snacking with their Liquid Nitrogen Brownies, which were a crowd favorite.

“It’s nice to come to an in-person event so people can see and taste a bit of what Discovery Space does. This event helps raise awareness for what we do and it’s for a great cause,” said Lissa Wise, Development Manager at Discovery Space.

The Flutopia Initiative brought President and Treasurer Cathy Collinge Herrera, and member Cecilia Leskowicz, to perform a flute duet at the beginning of Centre Gives Fest.

“I love the fact that we have this opportunity [Centre Gives Fest] since it’s not natural for me to ask for money. This is a vehicle to do so in such a fun way,” said Cathy.

Good Day Café brought treats and a growler full of coffee beans, challenging attendees to guess how many were inside.

“We’re so thankful for Centre Foundation for giving us this opportunity to be a part of Centre Gives Fest. Centre Gives is our third biggest fundraiser of the year, and this is a great opportunity to put a face to Good Day Café,” said LaRae Fultz, Assistant to Strawberry Field’s CEO, Cynthia Pasquinelli.

Jana Marie Foundation brought a weaving activity to get community members involved and build something together.

“We’re thrilled to be at [Centre Gives Fest] with other local nonprofits spreading mental health awareness. We are grateful to our supporters who spread our message and are comfortable knowing they aren’t alone in their struggles,” said Hannah Brewster, Office Coordinator at Jana Marie Foundation.

The Makery stayed open late and provided Giant Spring Bloom crafts.

“[Centre Gives Fest] was a beautiful expression of our community and showcased the joyful celebration of our community,” said Amy Frank, the Makery’s Founder/Director.

Mid-State Literacy Council held a book giveaway and brought literacy games.

“We’re excited to share books and literacy activities with the community. It’s a great event and we’re having a wonderful time,” said Amy Wilson, Executive Director of Mid-State Literacy Council.

Park Forest Preschool provided a poster board where attendees could add their painted fingerprints and ‘make their mark’ on the community.

“Centre Gives is a very important part of our budget to provide free preschool to low-income families. We have a great committee within our Board of Directors who make sure we understand how we can make the most out of it,” said Sue Hills, Director of Park Forest Preschool.

Ridgelines Language Arts invited attendees to contribute to a community poem.

“It’s a beautiful evening for these deserving groups to be together and take part in Centre Gives, the best place to give to our communities. We appreciate Centre Gives for the opportunity to fund the whole year. [Centre Gives Fest] is a good chance to highlight those who work behind the scenes,” said Katie O’Hara-Krebs, Board President of Ridgelines Language Arts.

The State College Food Bank donated refreshments like healthy snacks and water for attendees to enjoy.

“We are always very fortunate this time of year for Centre Gives. It helps us immensely, especially heading into the summer. We’ve been seeing an increase in people coming, as well as the cost of food. This will be even more helpful this year than in years past,” said Allayn Beck, Executive Director of the State College Food Bank.

The Youth Service Bureau provided a community paper quilt for attendees to contribute to community-inspired prompts.

“We appreciate being a part of Centre Gives, as well as the amount of donations we’ve been getting. It has been an amazing two days and I’d love to see [Centre Gives Fest] continue,” said Jennifer Crane, Program Director of DeClutter & Parenting Plus at the Youth Service Bureau.

In 2022, community members once again raised over $2 million for Centre County’s nonprofits with a total of $2,180,591 via 15,577 gifts in 36 hours. The full list of prizes that were awarded throughout Centre Gives can be found here.

Thank you for your support and for being a part of Centre Gives 2022!

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