Grove City Record

Chamber Foundation geared up for Oct. 18 fundraiser

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Grove City Chamber Foundation will host its second annual reverse raffle and auction fundraiser Oct. 18.

Doors open for the event at 6 p.m. at the Grand Oaks Event Center, 1801 Gateway Circle.

The event will include a reverse raffle, 50/50 drawings, blackjack and Texas hold 'em tables and a silent auction. Hors d'oeuvres will be served, with a cash bar available.

"It's exciting," said Darlene Murphy, president of the Chamber Foundation, the charitable arm of the chamber of commerce now in its second year. "It's going to be a lot of fun."

The Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce has held annual fundraisers to fund its scholarship program for 34 years, but the foundation was founded in 2012 with a mission statement of supporting the chamber's charitable interests through education and workforce and development initiatives.

Allen Houk, president of the chamber board of directors and treasurer of the foundation, said the chamber operates a 501(c)6 organization. While that makes the chamber itself a nonprofit organization, members could only deduct dues for business purposes.

"If somebody wrote their check to the chamber, it wasn't deductible," Houk said.

Houk said a number of businesses had approached the chamber to say they had more money to donate for charitable causes, and the chamber foundation provides a more appropriate outlet for charitable donations.

"It's a truly a tax-deductible organization," he said. "There's going to be more funds available to us."

With that additional money, Houk said the chamber foundation can support more than just scholarships for college-bound Grove City high school seniors, as in years past.

"We are supporting Grove City residents and their families at all levels of college, not just freshmen," Houk said. "We can extend grants to employees of chamber members."

In its first year, the foundation awarded more than $7,000 in scholarships. Nine high school students received funds toward their college education and four local business employees received help toward continuing education.

"I was really proud of the year we had last year," Murphy said. "It's a way of giving value back to our members and giving scholarships to those students who grow in our community."

For 2014, Houk said the goal is to triple the amount of scholarship money and recipients.

The cost for a ticket to the Oct. 18 event, which includes a raffle ticket, is $100. An admission-only ticket, which includes hors d'oeuvres and soft drinks, is $35, but there are only 50 such tickets available.

Tickets can be purchased at the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce office, 4069 Broadway, or by calling 614-875-9762. More information can be found at gcchamber.org.

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