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Air show, United Way to distribute $26,880 to nonprofits

On average, organizations will receive $600 for volunteer efforts

September 28, 2010

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Inc. and United Way of the Eastern Panhandle officials will distribute more than $26,880 to 30 nonprofit organizations in the Tri-County area on Friday.

Volunteers from the nonprofit agencies staffed various booths at the 2010 Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Air Show and Open House.

The distribution of money does not include about $100,000 in donations at the entrance gate that the United Way received from people attending the event, Jan Callen, executive director of United Way of the Eastern Panhandle, said Tuesday. Callen said he could not release the net proceeds from the gate donations because the United Way has not received all of the bills for air show expenses. Those attending the air show, to which admission was free, were asked to make donations to the United Way.

More than 80,000 people attended the Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Air Show and Open House Sept. 4 and 5 at the West Virginia Air National Guard's 167th Airlift Wing. Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Inc. organized the show with the air base in Martinsburg, which held its annual open house to coincide with the event.

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The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team were among the acts that took to the skies.

United Way of the Eastern Panhandle acted as the fiscal agent for the event and enlisted the volunteers needed to staff booths, Callen said in a news release.

Callen said volunteers with various nonprofit organizations from around the area were given the opportunity to operate food, beverage and souvenir booths at the air show.

"All of these organizations were eligible for an incentive based on the amount of gross sales at their booth," he said in the release.

On average, nonprofits will receive a $600 donation, with the top grossing organization receiving $1,799, he said.

Callen noted that 10 nonprofit agencies received more than $1,000 for their volunteer efforts in support of the air show.

"This was a great opportunity for small nonprofit organizations to participate in a fundraising activity that they did not have to organize themselves, but were able to reap the benefit from," he said. "We are hopeful that more organizations will participate in future air shows."

The following nonprofit agencies will receive donations for their efforts: American Red Cross, C-CAP/Loaves and Fishes, Community Alternatives to Violence, Charles Town Health Right/Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic, FRN, Norborne Preschool, St. Agnes Catholic Church, Telamon, Tripped Up Youth Ministries, Washington High School soccer team, Art Berkeley, Martinsburg High School boys soccer, Berkeley Branch NAACP, Victory Tabernacle Church, Emmanuel United Methodist Church, Hedgesville High School baseball, Hedgesville High School student government, EPIC Storm Boosters, Musselman girls basketball, West Virginia Shockers softball, Musselman softball, Hedgesville volleyball, Martinsburg Baseball Boosters, Hedgesville High School soccer, 167th Family Readiness Group, Sub-Total NCC, Good News Mountaineer Garage and the Hedgesville High School cheerleaders.

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