With a Jungle Carpet Python named Boomerang wrapped around his neck, it wasn’t difficult for Eric Brittingham to attract attention at Levitt Pavilion Arlington for his animal education nonprofit’s fundraising needs.The snake was among a handful of animal ambassadors that Brittingham, the president of Wildlife on the Move, brought to Downtown as part of the Arlington Gives fundraising event on Thursday to help raise awareness and money for his organization’s mission. Wildlife on the Move and dozens of other Arlington nonprofits lined the park around Levitt Pavilion, hoping for a chance to meet new supporters and volunteers who could help them continue to make a difference in the community.“We are raising money for our Animal Care Fund. Donations increase our ability to do more. I want to reach as many schools and kids as I can,” said Brittingham, who also brought an African Spurred Tortoise named Hatari and an opossum named Rufus. “That’s what enables me to do my passion, educating people about wildlife.”Arlington Gives is an annual event hosted by the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation
on the same day as North Texas Giving Day. Besides organizing a free community concert featuring blues rock guitarist Jimmie Vaughan, the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation also awarded $50,000 in grants throughout the day to Arlington-based nonprofits.Thousands of people braved the rain on Thursday to participate in the foundation’s 5th annual Arlington Gives event. Dawn and Bill Freeman brought lawn chairs and umbrellas to the Levitt Pavilion not only to enjoy the free concert but to show support for the Arlington Classics Academy, which their children attend.“It’s a great school and it produces great students,” said Bill Freeman.The Arlington Classics Academy was just one of many Arlington nonprofits who received an outpouring of support during the 10th annual North Texas Giving Day
. The 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.
Click here to see even more photos from Arlington Gives.
In all, more than $1.43 million in gifts from nearly 6,350 donors went to Arlington-based charities during this year’s North Texas Giving Day. That exceeds the record-setting $1.34 million gifts in Arlington during last year’s event.“Arlington is a giving city, an active city, a city of people coming together. This community has a heart of gold,” said Councilwoman Sheri Capehart, who has served on the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation Board of Directors.
The Arlington Master Chorale 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.The Oakridge School
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.The 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.The Arlington Classics Academy
received the fourth $5,000 bonus grant from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation for the highest number of donations received between 7 p.m. and midnight.During the concert, the Arlington High School Alumni Association
and the Friends and Foundation of the Arlington Public Library
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.Grace Prep Academy
was 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.Additionally, 40 small Arlington-based charities with operating budgets less than $250,000 will split a $20,000 pool of grants. That equals $500 to each group for participating in the Arlington Gives Charity Showcase.