Becky Nurnberg of the Emporia Community Foundation presents a check for $286,300.42, signifying the total amount raised during this year's Match Day.

In honor of Veterans Day, the sixth Emporia Area Match Day began with the national anthem and then volunteers from 25 organizations and the Emporia Community Foundation went to work.

Despite the bitter weather outside, donors were already in line and prepared to support their favorite causes with checks and friendly words of inspiration to those working at the booths.

“The groups went all out this year to promote their causes with things like Lindsey White’s 1950s era Cadillac; a partially framed building; soldiers passing out MREs; and of course, Match Day wouldn’t be complete without kittens,” Emporia Community Foundation Executive Director Becky Nurnberg said.

“This year the Emporia Municipal Band played live music, which added to the festive atmosphere. The groups worked extra hard this year and the record totals reflect their efforts.”

The total amount distributed to the organizations on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 3) was $286,300.42, which included the money raised from donors, $60,000 in matching funds and $5,040 in sponsored prize grant support.

This year’s Match Day total added to the previous 5-year Match Day funds brings the overall amount to an impressive $1,100,720 in six years. The $1.1 million has been given out to 33 local non-profits, all beginning with 15 groups and $20,000 in matching funds in 2014.

The Emporia Match Day would not be possible without the six funding partners for the annual event who provide the $60,000 in matching funds for the 25 charitable organizations. Funding partners included Clint Bowyer’s 79 Fund, the Hopkins, Reeble & Trusler Foundations, the Preston Family Trust and the WS & EC Jones Testamentary Trust, Bank of America, N.A. Trustee. The match money is pro-rated to match donations calculated in proportion to the total amount raised by individual organizations on Match Day.

This year’s Match Day again featured prize grants awarded throughout the day such as breakfast bonus, mid-day motivation, happy hour awards and random drawings along with hourly drawings. After the event, additional prize grants were awarded such as the organization with the largest increase in donors from last year, the new organization with the most donors, the amount of change donated and others.

As has been the case for the past several years, local businesses and individuals stepped up to provide donations for the prize money or to assist in other ways

As in the past, Citizens State Bank, Community National Bank, Lyon County State Bank, Emporia State Federal Credit Union, Capitol Federal and ESB Financial each provided $100 per class in support of the “Growing Up Giving” project for individual third-through-fifth-grade classes at the Riverside Elementary School.

This year’s event was a Mini-Match Day at the school the Wednesday before the event due to a conflict with school being out for Veterans Day. Nine Match Day groups set up displays for the students in their school and then the students did research on all of the participating groups to aid in their decisions.

The Kaltenbacher Charitable Fund, (a component fund of the ECF) provided $150 for each of the fourth, fifth and sixth grade classes at Chase County Elementary School. The Chase County students came to Match Day and visited each organization, then decided how to distribute their funds among the charities of their choice. In the afternoon, North Lyon County Elementary School students attended Match Day thanks to KansasLand Bank and the Spade Family.

Students also participated in a coloring contest with a drawing held from each grade level to pick an organization to receive an additional prize grant. The contest winners were: Riverside Elementary School third grade – Hayden; fourth grade – Dixie; and fifth grade – Karla; Chase County Elementary fourth grade – Karlie; fifth grade – Clark; and sixth grade – Jadyn; North Lyon County Elementary third grade – Bentlee; and fourth grade - Addisen. Each of the winners will receive a gift certificate and a book about giving.

“The mission of the Emporia Community Foundation is to connect caring people with causes that build strong communities in the greater Emporia area," ECF Program Officer Loni Heinen said. "Match Day is a wonderful opportunity to help organizations engage current donors and interact with potential donors while fulfilling our mission.”

The Match Day totals including match money and additional prizes awarded to participating organizations are:

Arvonia Historic Preservation Society – $19,608.29

Camp Alexander - $9,671.50

Chase Children’s Fund – $9,230.85

Chase County Historical Society and Museum – $24,072.76

Emporia Area Habitat for Humanity – $13,126.02

Emporia Celebrates the Flint Hills – $4,588.21

Emporia Eastside Community Group – $3,640.30

Emporia Municipal Band – $5,092.58

Eskridge Park Foundation – $11,165.88

Food for Students – $17,682.32

Friends of the Emporia Animal Shelter – $20,179.51

Friends of the Emporia Public Library - $6,680.71

Hispanics of Today and Tomorrow – $3,065.29

Keep It A Safe Summer Taskforce – $4,578.25

Lyon County Crime Stoppers – $6,194.14

Lyon County ECKAN – $1,282.24

Main Street Mommas - $15,804.85

Military Care Packages – $3,624.80

NLC Youth Association – $18,278.44

North Lyon County Veterans Memorial Project – $8,991.61

Pioneer Bluffs – $26,670.46

Sertoma Club of Emporia – $5,734.09

Team Schnak – $33,114.28

Wade Barrett Memorial Fund - $8,301.84

William Allen White Community Partnership – $5,921.20

“The greater Emporia area is amazing in the generosity shown by those who live here or have connections to the area,” Nurnberg said. “The number of donors has not only increased every year, but the amount of the individual donations continues to rise. Social media has played a large role in the success of Match Day, which is evident in the online giving, but meeting with your friends and neighbors is still the preferred form of contributing to your favorite cause. The ECF leadership and staff are grateful for those who care deeply not only with their hearts, but also with their wallets for the important work of our local charities. We wish to thank the combined efforts of donors, funders, sponsors, volunteers, media and the 25 charitable organizations that contributed to the success of the 2019 Emporia Area Match Day.”

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For groups receiving Match Day funds, be aware the Masons of Emporia Lodge No. 12 have allocated funds to contribute to future Match Day participants. To request a contribution, simply send an email to the Emporia Lodge No. 12 at least a month in advance of Match Day 2020 ( and indicate you are a Match Day participant.

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