The Friends of the Bantam Jeep Association (FBJA) is continuing its tradition to support Butler County’s non-profit organizations. Twenty-two groups were selected to receive a financial gift ranging from $500 to $2,200 to help them provide services in Butler County. This is the third consecutive year that FBJA, owners of the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival, has given back to the community.
“Part of our organization’s mission is to support charitable contributions to other local non-profit organizations in the community,” said Todd Wagner, president. “Since 2016, we have given $77,200 in gifts to a wide-variety of non-profit groups. We are proud to make these donations on behalf of the hundreds of volunteers who contribute many hours of their time so the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival can be successful.”
The Association’s board of directions selected these 22 organizations from more than 60 applicants:
· Associated Artists of Butler County
· Butler Breast Cancer and Women's Cancer Support Group
· Butler County American Legion Riders
· Butler County Symphony Association
· Butler County Veterans In Need Fund
· Butler Meals on Wheels, Inc.
· Community Health Clinic of Butler County
· Evans City Library
· Evans City Lions Club
· Historic Harmony
· Life Choices, Inc.
· Lizzy's Bikes
· Moraine Preservation Fund
· NAMI Butler County PA
· Parents In Toto Autism Resource Center
· Post 474 American Legion Auxiliary
· Robin's Home
· Taz & Penny's Happy Tails Rescue
· Trail Pittsburgh
· Zelienople Area Public Library
· Zelienople Historical Society
· VA Butler Healthcare (Homeless Veterans Program)
Omix-ADA, the words largest independent Jeep parts manufacturer and a premier Festival sponsor, provided the donation for the VA Butler Healthcare’s Homeless Veterans Program by selling merchandise at its booth during the Festival. The Friends of the Bantam Jeep Association also contributed $1,700 to K9s for Warriors, a national organization that trains and provides service dogs for veterans. The funds came from the entry fee for the Festival’s Bantam Proving Grounds Jeep Pull that was introduced in 2018.
The Association has already provided more than $20,000 to other local organizations that helped execute the 2018 Festival. Over the past three years, $58,000 was paid to organizations for their assistance during the three days of the event. Those 2018 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 County Humane Society; 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; Saxonburg Fire Department, Slippery Rock Fire Department (Butler County); and Slippery Rock Fire Department (Lawrence County).
“The Festival already makes a huge impact in Butler County each June, and we are happy that we can make a difference for even more people who live in the birthplace of the Jeep,” said Wagner.
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 2019 Festival will be held June 7-9. Those who wish to get involved in the event can email Info@Bantam.org or call 724-256-4050.