Old Bill’s pick-up

Laurie Andrews waves goodbye after handing off an Old Bill’s grant check Tuesday afternoon outside the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole’s office on East Simpson Avenue. The foundation organized a drive-by check pick-up this year in lieu of its annual awards party.

In the season of giving, the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole announced Monday that it received over $15 million from the 2020 Old Bill’s Reimagined Fun Run.

The record-breaking amount of $15,314,287 increased by 7% from donations in 2019. According to Community Foundation President Laurie Andrews the unprecedented times yielded unprecedented giving, with nearly 4,350 people donating over 24,000 gifts for local nonprofits.

“Old Bill’s Fun Run is more than a day of exercise or a season of giving,” Andrews said. “It is about reaching beyond ourselves to help others, knowing that we might not sit in the shade of that success.”

In addition to all the individual donations, Andrews said, this year’s participating organizations received a 45% matching grant. And nonprofits raising more than $30,000 in designated gifts collected a matching grant of $13,500 from the Community Foundation.

Sharel Lund, executive director of the nonprofit One22, said the donations are crucial to community members most in need. One22 has kicked into high gear assisting families hurt by the economic downturn following the pandemic. Lund said many people and families are having difficulty getting back on their feet, so the donations received fill their future with hope.

“We’re going to need these funds to mobilize the work that we’re doing over the next six to nine months until we’re into the next, you know, high season of summertime,” she said.

One22 almost doubled its number of individual donors with 200 more donations than 2019. For Lund it came as a huge shock and confidence booster to her team. Lund said a lot of people donated during the early stages of the pandemic, and nonprofit officials didn’t know if people could continue to give. Now, knowing how much they’ve raised, she said the generosity and faith from the community encourage her and her team to continue their efforts toward a better future in Jackson.

Julie Giacobassi, a retired musician, and Zach Hall, a retired neurobiologist, won the Spirit of Old Bill’s Award for their efforts to help others through a scholarship program they created. Sharing feelings of gratitude and appreciation, Giacobassi and Hall said they never imagined their scholarship becoming what it is today. According to Hall, the “First in Family Jackson Hole Scholarship” started as a breakfast discussion about the lack of resources available for students who wanted to attend college for the first time in family history.

“We realized that many of the workers here locally very much want their children to go to college, but they didn’t know much about it,” Hall said.

For Giacobassi and Hall, the impact of the scholarship goes beyond four years of $2,500 in annual financial assistance. Instead of granting the scholarship to high school seniors, they award it to juniors. Over the course of students’ senior year, they mentor and prepare them for their college years ahead. With the Spirit of Old Bill’s Award, Giacobassi and Hall will designate a $2,500 grant to a nonprofit of their choice.

While Giacobassi and Hall feel honored as the award recipients, they said none of it would be possible without their team of mentors, advisors and students.

Watch the award announcements at OldBills.org.

Contact Lauren Teruya via lteruya@jhnewsandguide.com

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