The Friends of the Bantam Jeep Association (FBJA) is sharing welcome news with Butler County non-profit organizations. Twenty-five groups learned they were selected to receive a financial gift ranging from $500 to $2,500 to help them accomplish important projects for those they serve. This is the second year that FBJA, owners of the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival, has given back to the community.
“It is very important to our members and board of directors that we share the success of the Festival with local non-profit organizations,” said Todd Wagner, president. “When we reviewed the accomplishments of the 19 organizations that received funds last year, it inspired our group to give 50 percent more than we did in 2016. Our 500 volunteers are grateful that their efforts not only benefit the Festival, but they help thousands of others throughout Butler County.”
The Association’s board of directions selected these 25 organizations from more than 40 applicants:
- Auxiliary, American Legion Post 474, Zelienople
- Butler Chapter, North Country Trail Association
- Butler County Blind Association
- Butler County Family YMCA
- Butler County Symphony Association
- Butler Downtown
- Butler Meals on Wheels, Inc.
- Center for Community Resources
- Community Care Connections, Inc.
- Community Health Clinic of Butler County
- Connecting2Tomorrow, Inc.
- Critical Incident Stress Management Team of Butler County
- Don’t Stop Dreamin’
- Ellen O’Brien Gaiser Center
- Evans City Public Library Association
- Grapevine Center, Inc.
- Life Choices
- OVADA – One Voice for the Abused Domestic Animals
- Penn Theater Performance Company
- South Butler Community Library
- Specialty Outreach Services, Inc.
- The Butler Little Theater
- The Salvation Army
- Victim Outreach Intervention Center
- Washington’s Trail
About 10 percent of the total amount given to the organizations was donated by Omix-ADA. The company, sponsor of the Festival’s Jeep History Exhibit, sold items at the Festival specifically for the purpose of raising funds for FBJA to give to Butler County organizations.
The Association has already provided more than $23,000 to other organizations that helped execute the 2017 Festival, $8,000 more than 2016. Those organizations include: 377th Engineer Company/Butler Reserve Unit; Alliance for Non-Profit Resources; Butler American Legion Riders; Butler Masonic Lodge #272; Butler Outdoor Club; Butler Downtown; CB Rangers; Civil Air Patrol; Compeer Corps; East Coast Four-Wheel Drive Association; Heritage Region Jeep Alliance; Moraine, McConnells Mill and Jennings Commission; Ohio Valley Jeep Alliance; Rodfathers of Butler; Slippery Rock Fire Department (Butler County); Slippery Rock Fire Department (Lawrence County); and Slippery Rock University Foundation.
“We want to be more than just the Association that executes one of the most successful Jeep events in the nation,” said Wagner. “Our goal is for our volunteers, attendees, sponsors and vendors to realize that their support is doing much more than bringing Jeep enthusiasts to Butler County. They are helping us make a real difference to thousands right here where the Jeep was born.”
The Friends of the Bantam Jeep Association was formed in October 2015. It is comprised of more than 50 volunteers who work together to plan and execute the successful Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival which attracts more than 2,000 Jeeps to Butler County each June to celebrate Butler’s notoriety as the birthplace of the Jeep. The 2018 Festival will be held June 8-10. Those who wish to get involved in the event are encouraged to email Info@Bantam.org or call 724-256-4050.