East Stroudsburg, Monroe County – Eyewitness News is a proud supporter of tonight’s Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser at the new Kalahari Resort in Monroe County.
Vaccine company Sanofi Pasteur has organized the fundraiser every year for twelve years. This year, nearly 500 people will attend the gala event.
Sanofi Pasteur donates all of the event cost so every dollar raised goes right to charities. This year the event raised more than $195,000. “We are going to be handing out to the non profits more money than we have ever handed out in the history of this event. So, we’re very excited,” said Sanofi Pasteur spokesperson Ellyn Schindler.
The money will go to:
– Family Promise of Monroe County
– The Make-A-Wish Foundation
– Pocono Alliance
– Pocono Mountain Public Library
– The Salvation Army
– Women’s Resources of Monroe County
People like Maria Marriot will benefit. A divorce and financial issues led her to lose her home in Tobyhanna to foreclosure. She found shelter at the Salvation Army in East Stroudsburg.”I am thankful I still have a roof over my head,” she said.
Marriott and her 9-year-old daughter now stay at the Salvation Army family shelter. “If this program wasn’t here we would be out on the street,” she said.
At any given time there are about 35 people staying at the shelter. “I think it’s a blessing for many folks that find themselves in hardship,” said Marriott.
The Salvation Army has been struggling financially. Major James Gingrich told Eyewitness News an expected federal grant of about $100,000 didn’t come through. So, getting support from the Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser was a life saver. ”It’s like the burden was lifted off my shoulders knowing that we’re going to be able to continue to operate the shelter 24/7,” he said.
That’s just one of many positive outcomes thanks to the Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser.
“I want to say thank you to all the people that is involved with it,” smiled Marriot.
Eyewitness News Reporter Laurie Monteforte was the co-emcee for the event.
At tonight’s 12th annual Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser, a brand-new venue, exotic surroundings, and a record number of non-profit recipients provided the perfect formula for increasing the impact of one of the largest fundraising events in the Northeast Pennsylvania region.
This year’s event, titled “Looking Forward. Giving Back. The Circle Continues. . .” infused a winning formula of creative community engagement and fruitful fundraising for a record six Monroe County non-profit organizations.
Set against the stunning backdrop of the brand-new, African-inspired Kalahari Resort in Pocono Manor, more than $203,000 was awarded to (in alpha order): Family Promise of Monroe County, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania, Pocono Alliance, Pocono Mountain Public Library, The Salvation Army, and Women’s Resources of Monroe County. Combined prior fundraising totals from both the Pocono Mountains and Lackawanna County Community Fundraisers now total more than $2.3 million.
“Given the record number of attendees and non-profit recipients, and the largest fundraising total to date, 2015 will be noted as one of the most successful years in the history of the Fundraiser,” said Frank Epifano, vice president, North America & Global Finance, Commercial Operations, Sanofi Pasteur. “This year’s additional media exposure through in-kind local television and billboard advertising, combined with the enthusiasm for the new venue is a win-win – especially for this year’s non-profit recipients, which are all conducting critical work for the Monroe County community.”
Funding awarded at this year’s event will help the following programs:
· Family Promise of Monroe County — provide daily transportation of homeless families with children between the Family Promise Day Center and temporary housing
· The Make-A-Wish Foundation — underwrite the cost of three Monroe County families’ wishes, such as a 6 year old suffering from neuroblastoma, a 7 year old who lives with the challenges of muscular dystrophy, and a 15 year old struggling with multiple sclerosis (MS)
· Pocono Alliance — help ensure all children enter school and are ready to learn through the creation of a Children’s Care Coordination program, addressing the needs of children and their parents in overcoming key barriers
· Pocono Mountain Public Library — purchase specialized computers to provide easily accessible STEM and language arts programs to a broad spectrum of students, as part of the Library’s Children’s Technology Education Center
· The Salvation Army — shelter homeless single adults and families
· Women’s Resources of Monroe County — provide evidence-based prevention education programs for Monroe County schools that will encourage healthy relationships and respect for others while developing youth leaders. These youth leaders will serve as role models and ambassadors for non-violence in their community
Since its inception in 2004, the Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser has grown to be the largest single fundraiser event in Monroe County, giving back more than $1.85 million to the community. The agency selection committee, which voted on year’s non-profit winners, includes representatives from the following organizations: East Stroudsburg University, Farr Associates Consulting, Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce, Northampton Community College, Pocono Medical Center, Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation, Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, Pocono Raceway, Ray Price Automotive Group, Sanofi Pasteur, and Vigon International.
Past fundraiser recipients include some two-dozen non-profit organizations, including Burnley Employment and Rehabilitation Services, Equi-librium, Monroe County Meals on Wheels, Monroe County Habitat for Humanity, Pocono Area Transitional Housing, Pocono Services for Families and Children, Weller Center for Health Education, and others.
Laurie Monteforte, Stroudsburg bureau reporter for Eyewitness News/WBRE-TV/WYOU-TV, served as a co-emcee for tonight’s gala, along with representatives of Sanofi Pasteur. More than 470 Monroe County enthusiasts enjoyed an array of culinary delights – including the event’s signature lobster, and danced to music from Brotherhood and Djoniba.
Corporate and Media Sponsors for the 2015 Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser include: Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, Publicis Groupe, and Sanofi Pasteur (Diamond sponsors); DME Alliance, Inc. and East Stroudsburg University/East Stroudsburg University Foundation (Signature sponsors); Aumvis Pharmatec LLC, Capitol Counsel, Desaki/Trapasso Family, Green Leaf Productions, Mattioli Foundation, Monroe County Bar Association, Mount Airy Casino Resort, Pocono Medical Center, Relevant Solutions, LLC, Sanofi, and Weiler Corporation (Gold sponsors); Adams Outdoor Advertising, Advanced Cleanroom Microclean, Biosector 2, DrugDev, Eyewitness News/WBRE-TV/WYOU-TV, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, LR Costanzo Co., Inc., PPL Corporation, Stone Office, Inc., Tunnell Consulting, Inc., Vigon International, Inc., and Wise Solutions, Inc. (Silver sponsors); and Turner Construction Company (Shining Star sponsor).