The 100 Youth Who Care event on February 10th gave the youth who attended a voice in local philanthropy. 90 youths ages 10-19 attended this event at the Otsego County Library, organized by the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) of the Otsego Community Foundation.

“100 Youth Who Care is a great way to educate the younger members of our community about the importance and effects of philanthropy. I was thrilled with this year’s turnout, and I look forward to next year’s event.” Stated YAC President Hannah Johnston.

During the hour-long event, three nonprofits were presented by members of YAC. Eliza Handley told those in attendance about the Gaylord Area Council for the Arts and the impact the organization has on the youth of our county through art classes for school-age children. Hailey Zack presented on the Otsego County Food Pantry and the outreach the organization has on the youth through the backpack program. The last nonprofit presented was RISE (Otsego Substance Free Youth), by Gracie Blust. The organization’s mission is to empower Otsego county youth to live substance-free lives through education and advocacy. After the presentations, the youth were able to cast their vote for one of the organizations to receive a grant.

While the votes were being counted, Maureen Derenzy of the Otsego County Library reported back on how last year’s 100 Youth Who Care grant was used to benefit the community.

After the votes were tallied, the Otsego County Food Pantry was the nonprofit chosen to receive $900.00 that afternoon, with the Youth Fund receiving the other $900.00 to grow the field of interest fund for the needs of tomorrow. “One of the questions asked by the youth during the question and answer portion of the presentation was how we partner with local businesses. The youth were impressed with our partnership with Meijer and their Simply Give program where a person’s donation to the pantry made at Meijer can be tripled. After the $900 grant was presented, the youth were all in favor of the pantry taking their donation and turning it into $2,700 in Meijer gift cards, which will be used to purchase food for distribution.” Notes Bob Wright, representative of the Food Pantry.

This was an amazing ‘for the youth, by the youth’ event. “I was so happy to see how many kids showed up to support our community and Alpine Chocolat Haus was yummy, too!” Stated Emery Blust, St. Mary 5th grader. Danyel Di Liberto, who is in Gaylord as part of the Cultural Academic Student Exchange and is from Sicily, Italy, said “Coming to America has been a dream of mine for a long time and being able to help the community I am staying in is good!”

Anyone who would like to know more or become a YAC member may contact Karin Beyer at (989) 731-0597 or click here.

YAC would like to recognize the event sponsors, Otsego Community Foundation, Alpine Chocolat Haus and Otsego County Library.