Wishes were granted upon the stars at the fifth annual Festive Night of Light, Luck and Delight for the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.
There were no fortune cookies this year, so if the more than 100 attendees wanted a chance to give a multi-thousand dollar grant to the nonprofit of their choice, they had to write their names on a star if they could answer the following riddle:
"At night they come without being fetched. By day they are lost without being stolen. What are they?"
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
People attending the First Community Foundation of Pennsylvania’s yearly fundraising event “Festive Night of Light, Luck and Delight,” held at the Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Madigan Library Tuesday night, mingle prior to the start of the program.
The answer was stars, which Jennifer Wilson, president and CEO, said was fitting since 2012 was declared the year of the superhero at the foundation and so many superheroes are adorned with stars.
The donors themselves could be considered superheroes for the way they change, perhaps even save, their communities, Wilson said.
The stars, collected at the registry table, were picked "to select winners, or wishes, this year," she said.
Mark Maddy, of Loyalsock Township, will donate the $2,000 he won when his name was drawn to South Williamsport Endowment Fund. He and Maria Maddy, who works as borough treasurer for South Williamsport, decided that was what they would give the money to on their way to the event, on the off-chance one of them should win.
"You have to have some idea (who you're going to donate to)," Maria said.
Instead, they both won, and Maria also donated her $3,000 to the borough endowment fund.
This was their first year attending, and as Mark said, they never win anything.
The big winner of the night was Fred Gilmour, of Williamsport, who was given the opportunity to donate his $5,000 money to the nonprofit he wanted. He chose the Uptown Music Collective.
"They do a very good job with helping kids," Gilmour said.
As a former educator, he sees the need for the lessons.
With budget cuts in education, the organization serves as a way to support children who might not be able to participate in music lessons. Instruments are not inexpensive, he said.
"I believe in the whole process of Uptown Music Collective," he said.
The $10,000 in grants came from the Williamsport Lycoming Community Fund.
Community funds allow for flexibility for the First Community Foundation to meet the changing needs in the community through a grant process that meets current needs.
Altogether, the foundation is projected to award more than $2.7 million in grants and scholarships in over 14 counties. It has 341 funds and assets of about $62 million.
Tuesday night's event was held at The Gallery at Penn College in the Roger and Peggy Madigan Library.