Family-friendly events, entertainment, and food bringing a community together to raise money for local nonprofits. If this sounds appealing to you, clear your schedule for Saturday, September 28.

The first-ever Great Give Community Day will be held at Memorial Park of Palmyra (formerly Fireman’s Park) from 10am to dusk September 28. Street parking will be available in addition to parking at North Side Elementary School.

Palmyra’s Great Give is an extension of Gravel Hill United Methodist Church’s Community Day, an annual event that ran for around eight years.

A balloon artist from Trist’n Shout Balloons works at the 2015 Community Day event.
State Troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police Mounted Patrol Unit visit with 2016 Community Day visitors.

Once Memorial Park was available as a location, the church saw it as an opportunity to expand the event, which didn’t occur last year due to space issues, and allow it to reach more individuals and nonprofits.

“We kind of decided, let’s expand this so it wasn’t just a Gravel Hill event, so that it’s a community event, and it kind of took off from there on its own,” said Gravel Hill outreach coordinator Tony Rose.

The event, with the theme ‘Brace for Impact’, is held to foster community between local organizations and raise money for local nonprofits.

Coordinators partnered with the Encounter Church’s Impact Palmyra program in planning the event and its themes.

“Brace for Impact kind of played off of the Impact Palmyra idea,” said Rose. “We want to send a message that as a community, we need to be making a more positive impact, and it’s not just for a day, it’s not just for a week, it’s something that should be sustainable.”

Representatives from most participating nonprofits will be at Palmyra’s Great Give, available to answer questions about their organizations.

Opening remarks begin at 10:15am, followed by a 3-on-3 basketball tourney, preview of Amelie at Palmyra Area Middle School, and a plethora of happenings starting at noon. (See the full schedule here.)

“We have inflatables by Tents and Events, music, food trucks; it is really a festival-type atmosphere,” said Rose.

Following the morning’s events, the Community Day will feature live entertainment. The Palmyra Community band will perform from 3:15pm to 4:15pm and local Christian artists GFM and Riley Clemmons will perform starting at 4:30pm and 6:00 respectively.

GFM, or Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh, is a young, high-energy Christian rock and metal band.
Riley Clemmons is a Christian pop artist whose songs like “Broken Prayers” and “Better For It” have been Christian radio hits.

Make sure to bring money – food trucks will be at the event from 10am to 6pm catering to a wide assortment of tastes.

Closing remarks will begin at 7pm.

On the day of the event, Lebanon Valley College E-Sports will hold a 24-hour live feed to raise awareness (and additional donations) for the event.

Outside of the physical event, the Palmyra’s Great Give will raise money for over 40 local preregistered nonprofits (full list here) on its website. Coordinators initially hoped to raise between $35,000 and $60,000.

“We had set a bar at 30 participating organizations and we’re up to 50, so we’re hoping to actually exceed the $60,000,” said Rose.

There are various rewards available for nonprofits based on donations September 28 – various local organizations have sponsored cash prizes for the nonprofit that receives the first donation of the day, the one that receives one from furthest away, and more.

However, Palmyra’s Great Give officially opened up its website to receive donations with donation platform GiveGab September 14. This means that individuals can — and have — already sent in money.

Interested in helping out but don’t have the funds to donate? Palmyra’s Great Give is also looking for volunteers at the event. As of September 19, coordinators were still in need of around 115 volunteers.

To learn more about volunteering or be updated on Palmyra’s Great Give as September 28 draws closer, follow its Facebook page, where it posts daily about its nonprofits, sponsors, and other developments.