25 Butler County Non-Profit Organizations Receive $30,000 from Friends of the Bantam Jeep Association

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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.

Friends of the Bantam Jeep Association to Award Up to $30,000 to Butler County 501C3 Non-Profit Organizations

Application Deadline is October 13

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Last year, the Friends of the Bantam Jeep Association (FBJA) gave away $20,000 in financial gifts to local non-profit organizations. Now, after successfully executing the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival for the second year, FBJA will give up to $30,000 to 501c3 non-profit organizations based in Butler County. 

“The members of our Association want to give back to our community and support other organizations who are working hard to make a difference in Butler County. When we see all of the great things that last year’s gift recipients were able to accomplish with our support, it is very rewarding for our entire organization,” said Todd Wagner, FBJA president. “Our group volunteers thousands of hours all year long to plan and hold the Festival, and we’re happy that our success is enabling us to help our community even more than last year.”

How To Apply:
Butler County 501c3 non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply online to receive a financial gift from the Friends of the Bantam Jeep Association.  Organizations must submit a letter, not to exceed 500 words, that clearly explains how their organization benefits the community and how any potential funds received will be used.  Applicants must also provide proof of non-profit 501c3 status. After gifts are awarded in late October, the organizations will be expected to provide an update on their projects’ progress and/or completion and provide photos to demonstrate the gifts’ impact on their organization. The online application, available at www.bantamjeepfestival.com/financial-gift-application, must be received no later than Friday, October 13 at 5 p.m.  

“The quantity and financial value of gifts awarded will be determined by our board of directors based on how many organizations request support and the need demonstrated for the gift,” explained Wagner. In 2016, gifts ranged from $500 - $3,000.  About 10 percent of the total amount that will be distributed was donated to FBJA by Omix-ADA, a premier Festival sponsor.  Those funds were provided by Festival attendees who purchased select items from Omix-ADA during the Festival.

Festival Already Helping Local Groups

In addition, 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.

“The Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival enjoyed a 12 percent increase in registered Jeeps this year,” said Wagner.  “Much of its success is due to the more than 500 volunteers who give their time and talents to make the event possible and attract Jeep owners from more than 25 states to our area. Their efforts are not only creating a successful event, they are making a big difference to many other organizations who are just as passionate about their group’s efforts as we are about Jeeps.”

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.