The 24-hour Washington County Gives online fundraiser which ended at midnight Thursday raised $161,378 for four dozen county nonprofit organizations.
The amount came from 1,564 contributions from 1,021 unique donors, according to tallies at washingtoncountygives.org.
While the goal was to raise $300,000, Bradley N. Sell, executive director of the Community Foundation of Washington County, which spearheaded the fundraiser aimed at benefiting area nonprofits, was pleased with the inaugural results.
“All in all, any time we can raise money for the nonprofit community for them to do their great work in the community, we’re pleased with that,” Sell said Thursday night at Valley Mall in Halfway.
A computer, at which passers-by could make online contributions, was set up in the Valley Mall food court from 5 to 7 p.m., and Hagerstown resident Deirdre Norris made donations to five nonprofits dear to her heart.
“I just want to give because maybe next week I can’t, but this week I can,” said Norris, 36, noting she might need to call upon the county’s nonprofits for assistance one day. “You never know what can happen in life.”
A nonprofit leaderboard on the washingtoncountygives.org site listed donation amounts that the 48 nonprofits had received throughout the day.
The top three were HEAL of Washington County Inc. with $11,635, followed by the Humane Society of Washington County with $11,295 and Girls Inc. of Washington County with $8,730.
HEAL, which stands for Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles, may have been the day’s underdog, as the nonprofit was founded only a few months ago.
“Sincere appreciation,” HEAL Executive Director Jenny Fleming said of the contributors.
Hagerstown Regional Airport Director Phil Ridenour, who was representing Children’s Village of Washington County Inc. in addition to Children in Need Inc., for which he serves on the board of directors, also was at the Valley Mall food court Thursday.
Ridenour’s organizations were “neck and neck” on the leaderboard at spots 18 and 19 around 6:30 p.m, he said.
“I say any money that we have at the end of the day is more money than we had when we started the day ... I think it’s a great thing,” Ridenour said.
Bernadette Wagner, co-director of Volunteer Washington County, was also at Valley Mall in support of her nonprofit.
She held a brightly colored Afghan blanket, the squares of which had been crocheted individually by members of the community.
Wagner spread the Afghan out proudly and said: “By ourselves we can’t do a lot, but when we come together we can really make a difference.”