Rising to the challenge of difficult times, Long Realty Cares Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Long Companies hosted its first-ever Zoom virtual fundraiser. The annual event—now in its thirteenth year—is usually an in-person gala, made impossible by current health protocols.
Proceeds of the fundraiser blew past its $40,000 goal, topping out at $50,355.
The highlight of the annual “Ticket to Care” event—dubbed “Virtual Grill & Chill” for this year—was a live grilling demonstration by Jonathan Landeen, chef and namesake of Jonathan’s Cork, who prepared an appetizer, a main entrée and several side dishes.
Master of ceremonies was Rosey Koberlein, CEO of Long Companies. Acting as special presenters were Laura Mance, president of Long Realty, and Anthony Schaefer, foundation board president and real estate agent.
Sales agents, brokers and company staffers bought raffle tickets to vie for prizes ranging from wine-laden gift baskets and personal photography sessions to a two-night stay at a condo in Rocky Point.
Living up to its commitment to community support, Long Realty purchased gift cards from 39 noted local restaurants as raffle prizes. Some 45 generous local businesses pitched in with in-kind contributions as well. The prize count ran well over one hundred.
And not to be forgotten: cash prizes. The $5,000 grand prize went to Steve Nissen, an agent at the Foothills office. Taking home the $2,000 bonus prize was Lisa Gaare, from the Golder Ranch office.
At the third rung were prizes worth $500 from each of three local eateries: Fiamme Food Truck (pizza for 30), Seis Kitchen Catering (dinner for 10), and You Sly Dog Food Truck (100 hot dogs).
“You’ll notice a definite food theme,” said Schaefer. “That’s on purpose. The local food scene is struggling right now, so we chose many of the prizes to support locally owned restaurants. It’s a win-win, because the foundation gets the proceeds from the ticket sales. There’s no way thank our donors enough, or all the folks who bought tickets. This is truly the community coming together to support the community.”
Since its inception, in 2002, the foundation has raised and granted more than $3.4 million, every penny of which goes to support a wide array of community groups focused on education, health, community services, the arts and the environment
Grant recipients for 2020 include:
- Primavera Foundation (emergency services and programs for homeless and working – poor community members)
- Youth On Their Own (school supplies, food, and shelter for homeless students plus programs to help participants graduate from high school)
- Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona (emergency funding for increased food needs during the pandemic)
- El Rio Health Center Foundation (funding for its childhood asthma program)
- TMC Foundation (respite area for nurses and hospital staff)