OverFlo campaign raises more than $120K for area charities

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As part of “Giving Tuesday” local business owners and supporters gathered to announce that the OverFlo campaign has collected over $121,182 in hurricane recovery donations, with a few more pledges expected to boost the total even higher.

The funds are being split between six charities including Nourish NC, Salvation Army, Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC at Wilmington, the Good Shepherd Center, Cape Fearless Challenge and the Harrelson Center.

The OverFlo campaign was developed to provide a unified approach for small business owners to collaborate on Hurricane Florence recovery efforts. In addition to raising money for charities, the campaign also showed that downtown was functioning and highlighted area merchants and special events in the aftermath of the storm.

The campaign formed many partnerships to raise money.  Over three dozen businesses donated a portion of the proceeds from the sale of certain items to the cause.  Sponsorships were secured from O2 Fitness, Front Street Brewery, Coastal Select Properties and Gig Salad to help fund special events. The campaign organized a special benefit concert in Downtown that featured local musicians. It also partnered with 98.3 The Penguin & Live Nation for the benefit concert at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater that featured Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real. In addition, the campaign included a silent auction and even a golf tournament.

The OverFlo campaign was led by a group of Downtown business owners and civic leaders.  They included Beth Crookham of Musco Lighting; Steve Gaconnier with Anne Bonny’s; music promoter/musician Jason Jackson; Billy Mellon with manna; Justin Smith with The Husk, Dram + Morsel and Yosake and Bobby Reville of Tavern Law.  The Treasurer/bookkeeper was Tracy Meadows.  Haven Holsinger and Ed Wolverton with Wilmington Downtown Incorporated (WDI) were also part of the leadership team and the organization served as the fiduciary agent for the campaign.

“We created OverFlo as a way to bring the local business community together for a collaboration that could make a substantial impact,” said Billy Mellon, owner of manna restaurant. “The campaign exceeded this goal,” he said.

According to Beth Crookham, “A major key to the campaign was involving people and groups from across the entire community. In addition to businesses, arts groups such as the Wilson Center at CFCC, the Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County and several local galleries also rallied to support the cause,” she said.

“As the owner of a small business with limited space and seating, I was unsure about the impact I could make,” said Steve Gaconnier. “In joining together with a larger group, the results are astounding,” he added.

“To reach this amount is fantastic,” said Jason Jackson. Bobby Reville echoed the comment by noting that he was “happy to see a six digit number from this effort.”

Justin Smith, co-owner of The Husk, Yosake and Dram + Morsel, noted that “This project took a lot of work by everyone. While difficult at times, the results are heartwarming and demonstrate what a great and caring community we have,” he said.

While this phase of the OverFlo campaign is finished, the hurricane recovery work will go on for many more months. For that reason, the organizers specifically left the campaign open-ended for future use. The leadership team is already collaborating with other groups considering additional OverFlo fundraising programs in the future.

“WDI appreciates the involvement and support of so many people from across the entire community,” said WDI President Ed Wolverton. “While more work is ahead, WDI is poised to continue collaborating with our partners to address even more challenges,” he added.

The campaign is still raising money. While quantities are limited, a few OverFlo tee-shirts and stickers remain for sale for the holiday season. Purchases can be made on-line by visiting www.overflowilimington.org or calling (910) 763-7349 for more information.

Categories: Community, Local, New Hanover

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