Go Big Give day unites Grand Island area community, shines light on nonprofits
UPDATE: Go Big Give raised $1,653,234 from 5,013 donation. The money will benefit 158 nonprofits.
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- May 4 is the biggest day of giving in Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick counties.
Throughout the day, the 157 nonprofits participating in Go Big Give held different events to raise funds and awareness for their cause.
The Multicultural Coalition held a special event in the morning. Grand Island Mayor Roger Steele and Chief of Police Kevin Denney each answered questions from an immigration exam, with the worst performer getting a pie in the face.
Multicultural Coalition Executive Director Raul Arcos-Hawkins said the event was meant to bring awareness about the process immigrants go through in order to become citizens.
“I think a lot of it was building those relationships in the community," Arcos-Hawkins said. "Specifically with the mayor, the chief of police, former Senator Quick, and then Jaime Parr, and then Linda Lee Donaldson is part of our board, and so is Dr. Solache. So, it was just building those relationships, and building that trust for them to say a ’hey why not? Let’s get pied in the face!’"
Steele said it wasn’t hard to be convinced to participate.
“It was easy," Steele said. "It’s a great cause. The Multicultural Coalition does great work in Grand Island. So, I'm just very pleased to appear here with our very distinguished Chief of Police Kevin Deney, and I think we’re pretty enthusiastic about supporting this cause,” Steele said.
At the courthouse, Hall County Commissioner Gary Quandt stood at the top of the historic building from early morning to noon to bring awareness to the Hall County Vietnam Hero Flight.
“Veterans, they're what make our county great," Quandt said. "My grandfather had a motto ‘Take care of your elderly, and veterans because they’ve already taken care of us’."
At the library, Friends of the Library let people spin a wheel to win a prize ranging from a plant, to certificates for books and more. They want to promote reading within the community, and donations from Go Big Give go to all the programs the library has to offer.
Library Foundation Executive Director Leigh Lillibridge said Go Big Give is special.
“It’s a fantastic day for the whole community to be able to unite, to lift up the charities that do so much work," Lillibridge said.