Big Giving Typical in Gage County

Big Giving Typical in Gage County Main Photo

11 Aug 2023


Yarn is woven to create clothing like jeans that offer protection and strength greater than its singular ability alone. The fabric of a community can be thought of similarly, with the actions of individuals, businesses and organizations intertwined to strengthen economic vitality, raise the quality of life and impart a shared sense of belonging.

In Gage County, NE, the educational, cultural, recreational, historical, health and other meaningful needs of its citizens are tended to by many organizations. This August 17 is National Nonprofit Day and an excellent time to recognize the nonprofit organizations of Gage County. Coincidentally, August 17 is the Gage County Foundation’s Kick-Off Event for the 2023 Big Give Gage, an event aligned with its goal to raise and provide funds for the benefit of Gage County non-profit organizations engaged in the pursuit of serving the community.

“As a lifelong member of this community, I am very proud of this county,” said Don Vetrovsky, Gage County Foundation President. “The past has shown me that when the need is there, residents step up to the plate and make it happen.”

Philanthropy promotion

The overall goal of Big Give Gage is to promote philanthropy throughout the entire community and highlight the crucial causes that area nonprofits address daily. Co-sponsored by the Gage County Foundation and the Beatrice Community Hospital Foundation, 2023 is the fifth year of the event, raising over one million dollars in the first four years for those non-profits involved. There were 42 non-profits in the first year, with 71 nonprofits currently for 2023 with a vast array of local projects to improve community life. Each nonprofit sets its individual fundraising goals for the day and Big Give Gage acts as a portal for donors to help them reach those financial goals. All money raised during the Big Give event goes to nonprofits, as the Foundation budgets for event expenses.

“This community-wide giving event provides an opportunity for Gage County area supporters to share their passions and generosity with local nonprofit organizations already doing great       work,” said Shelby Watson, Beatrice Community Hospital Foundation Director, Gage County Foundation board member and co-coordinator of Big Give Gage. “Through the combined participation of all people who love and care about the Gage County area, we can significantly impact the future of our beloved community.”

While September 14 is the date for Big Give Gage, August 17 is the date for the Big Give Kickoff Party, an excellent opportunity open to the public to learn more about getting involved with Big Give Gage.

Big Give Kickoff Party
August 17th, 2023
5:00 - 7:00 pm
Vintage Venue
Guest Speaker - University of Nebraska Athletic Director Trev Alberts

A community that cares

The Gage County Foundation was formed in 1985 to improve the quality of life for the residents of Gage County. With years of contributions from donors and endowments from estates, the Foundation consistently provides grants to organizations working to improve the county. In the past two years, in addition to its typical grant allocations, the Foundation has contributed to two projects, donating $50,000 to develop a rest area for the hike/bike route with restrooms and parking and $25,000 to a local food pantry to help with construction for their new relocation facility. 

Community support throughout Gage County for Big Give Gage and philanthropy, in general, is readily apparent. The county and city governments recognize the event with a proclamation to help raise awareness. The local radio station hosts nonprofits to promote their projects. Many county businesses advertise the event on their marquees and contribute by being a “Sponsor of the Big Give.”

Gage County Giving

Most residents are unaware of the number of nonprofit organizations in the county, with a record number partaking with Big Give Gage, which is one more reason why this event is so impactful, said Watson. 

“These organizations are providing essential services that work together to create a healthier and more thriving community,” said Watson. “Big Give Gage not only supports these nonprofits financially, but it also allows the community to learn about these nonprofit organizations providing essential services in Gage County.” 

Those wishing to donate online can do so at Big Give Gage on September 14 from 12:00 am to 11:49 pm. Checks can be brought to the in-person collection site on September 14 or mailed to Big Give Gage, PO Box 493, Beatrice NE 68310, with receipt must be before September 14. All checks must be made to Big Give Gage or the Gage County Foundation, with a selected nonprofit noted in the "memo" line.