David Gardner's Jewelers wanted to do something different to mark its 25th Anniversary. Instead of allowing itself to be the center of attention, the local business put its home community on a pedestal.
Owners David and Julia Gardner came up with the "25/25 Big Give" project to benefit community organizations that make a difference in the lives of Brazos Valley residents. But the idea wasn't the only contribution from the Gardners: they also pitched in $25,000 of their own money to give the plan its momentum.
More than 20 groups applied for funding. A panel of 17 judges had the difficult job of coming up with 15 recipients.
The following are the organizations selected to receive "seed money" from the Big Give:
Pi Beta Phi Sorority, benefiting Barbara Bush Parent Center
Aggie Guide Dogs- Service Dogs
Reach Out and Read
A&M Consolidated Middle School PTO
Delta Kappa Gamma Society
Alpha Psi Omega, benefiting Somerville Theatre Arts
Armadillo Dash, benefiting Scotty's House and Still Creek Ranch
Early Childhood Intervention - First Steps Forward
Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History
Sexual Assault Resource Center
Voices for Children
St. Michael's Episcopal School
One Army, benefiting Still Creek Ranch
B/CS Salvation Army
Brazos Valley Community Action Agency
Several of the organizations are using the money to find matching grants, while others are hosting fundraisers. Total monies raised will be announced in December.
"We were amazed by the number of applications we received," says Julia Gardner. "The generosity of our community is inspiring, and we can't wait to share the results."