Spirit of giving spreads at Toledo Walleye Nonprofit Night

Spirit of giving spreads at Toledo Walleye Nonprofit Night
Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 8:47 AM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Greater Toledo Community Foundation invited nonprofit organizations in the area to enjoy a Walleye game.

The philanthropic organization, which gives grants to projects bettering the community, partnered with the Walleye to host a Nonprofit Night to round out its 50th anniversary celebrations.

According to Keith Burwell, the president and CEO of Greater Toledo Community Foundation, around 30 nonprofits were invited to the game.

“They carry out the boots-on-the-ground work,” Burwell said of the nonprofits. “We may provide grants, money, energy to make things happen, but they are the ones that really carry it out. So we wanted to do something special.”

Some of the groups experienced their first game in Huntington Center.

“Some of these groups might not have the ability to come out and enjoy some of these games, so we thought what better opportunity to bring them out in one night and let them all experience the game together,” Taylor Vandenbroek, the Toledo Walleye event and fan entertainment coordinator, said.

The Walleye sported a special jersey to commemorate the night, and auctioned them off at the end of the game as a fundraiser, further promoting giving back.

The uniform featured the Toledo skyline wrapping around the front of the jersey, and names of local nonprofits on the sleeves.

“This jersey is actually a demonstration of what we talk about when we say community, because we are the Greater Toledo Community Foundation,” Burwell said. “Our mission from beginning to end is ‘how do we build a better community?’”

Volunteers were also thinking about building a better community, noting that November is a special time for giving back.

“November is giving month, so November 28th is giving Tuesday, so pick your favorite charity and please, please give,” Randy Loeffler, a volunteer at the local nonprofit 419 Cares, said.

Even if it is not donating, volunteers encourage people to get involved.

“There’s a need out there and I encourage everybody to listen to your heart and see if there’s something that you can do,” David Berghian, another volunteer at 419 Cares, said. “Your talent or your time maybe, just follow your heart.”

The Greater Toledo Community Foundation launched its Giving Tree, highlighting a list of local organizations to give back to.

Berghian said it is best to act when you see a cause to support, or something in the community that you would like to change.

“I believe that you can curse the darkness, or you can light a candle,” Berghian said.

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