Modern Woodmen will award $5,000 to a volunteer and his or her cause
Vote to reward a local resident and group who gathered to give back.
A story submission from Bettendorf was named one of five national finalists in Modern Woodmen of America's Gatherings with Purpose giveaway. The Gathering with Purpose entrant earning the most votes in the online contest at GatheringswithPurpose.com will win the grand prize - $2,500 in cash, plus a $2,500 donation for the worthy cause described in his or her submitted story.
Visitors can vote daily through Dec. 6.
Sarah Herr of Bettendorf shared the story of a wonderful, and perhaps unlikely, partnership between a high school cheerleading squad and Hand-in-Hand, a non-profit organization providing critical services for families with special needs. The Pleasant Valley High School cheerleaders decided to create a high school-based cheerleading squad specifically designed to include students with special needs. To find potential participants, the squad volunteered to gather and cheer at Hand-in-Hand's annual Family Fun Walk fundraiser. The group dressed in uniform and spent the morning managing the games and painting designs on eager little faces. During the walk, the girls cheered on the participants with "Hand in Hand, yes we can!"
Through this gathering, the cheerleaders met several young girls and their families who enthusiastically supported the idea of starting a new cheer squad to include students with disabilities. Within two weeks, 10 girls with disabilities - from Down Syndrome to autism - signed on to be the first Spartan Sparkles! Since this time, the Sparkles have cheered through two football seasons and one basketball season in front of packed crowds and standing ovations. To express gratitude to Hand-in-Hand and more tangibly support its programs, the cheerleaders again gathered on a Saturday afternoon over the summer collecting donations for Hand-in-Hand. The group raised both awareness and $2,000 in donations for Hand-in-Hand. Two weeks later when they attended the next Family Fun Walk, the Sparkles had much to cheer about!
Nearly 100 stories were entered in the online contest. The stories spotlighted families and friends who volunteered together to meet a community need, raise money for a local cause or add a volunteer activity to a social gathering.
Visit GatheringswithPurpose.com for complete rules and details.
Modern Woodmen members nationwide gather for good through local camps (chapters) and youth service clubs. The giveaway was launched to complement national efforts to bring people together to help others and meet needs in their local communities. Modern Woodmen sells financial products not to benefit stockholders, but to support our stakeholders - members, their families and their communities. How? Through social, charitable and volunteer events where our members gather.
Founded in 1883, Modern Woodmen of America touches lives and secures futures. The fraternal benefit society offers financial services and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States.
For additional information, contact:
Kim Woodward, Corporate Communications