After making an online donation to their favorite charity during North Texas Giving Day, friends Paula Sylvester and Phil Barrick leashed up their pups, grabbed their lawn chairs and headed to Levitt Pavilion Thursday night to catch the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation’s free community concert.Sylvester said she chose to support to the Friends of the Levitt Pavilion Arlington because of how much she enjoys attending the free outdoor concerts in downtown Arlington with her dog, Casper. Some of the recent acts she’s caught at the Levitt include The Roosevelts, Ambrosia and Bob Schneider.“We plan our year around it,” Sylvester said. “It’s a great place with great music.”The Friends of the Levitt Pavilion was just one of many Arlington-based nonprofits who received an outpouring of support Thursday during North Texas Giving Day. The annual 18-hour online giving event, coordinated by the Communities Foundation of Texas, is designed to encourage residents to make a contribution to the nonprofit organization of their choice. All contributions made between 6 a.m. and midnight on Thursday were matched in part by the Communities Foundation.“North Texas Giving Day is the chance for our region to shine a hot spotlight on the power and promise of philanthropy. For more than nine years, North Texas Giving Day has proven what is possible when we focus our collective efforts – and our financial resources – on the causes we believe make a difference in our lives and benefit those around us,” Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said.As part of North Texas Giving Day, the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation hosted its fourth annual Arlington Gives! event, which is designed to help North Texas Giving Day contributors’ dollars go even further. Besides organizing the free Josh Weathers Band concert, the foundation awarded $50,000 in grants throughout the day to Arlington-based nonprofits. Dozens of nonprofit organizations also set up booths along Abram Street between City Hall and the Levitt Pavilion to provide residents with more information about their missions and volunteer opportunities.“For the last four years, the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation has used this day to put a spotlight on our Arlington-based charities and the work they do for the community, and help them raise some additional funds to meet their organizational goals,” Williams said.Before the Josh Weathers Band concert, Arlington Tomorrow Foundation leaders took the stage and sang happy birthday with the audience in celebration of the charitable endowment’s 10th anniversary. Since its creation in 2007, the foundation has awarded nearly $19 million to Arlington nonprofit organizations, City of Arlington departments and neighborhood groups for projects that help the public.
The Ulster Project Arlington received the first $5,000 bonus grant from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation for the highest number of donations received between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.Grace Preparatory Academy received the second $5,000 bonus grant from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation for the highest number of donations received between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.Friends of the Levitt Pavilion received the third $5,000 bonus grant from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation for the highest number of donations received between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.Mission Arlington received the $5,000 bonus grant from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation for the highest number of donations received between 7 p.m. and midnight.Grace Preparatory Academy was also the winner of the People’s Choice Award, which is a $10,000 donation from the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Arlington Youth Foundation based on votes from Arlington Gives event attendees.During the concert, Dance Theatre Arlington and Arlington Charities were each randomly selected to receive a $5,000 bonus grant from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation. The organizations selected had to be in attendance during the Arlington Gives event.Shelter2Rescue Coalition was randomly selected to receive 20 percent of the sales from the Kendra Scott pop up jewelry store at the Arlington Gives! Concert.