The Myerstown Vitality Partnership (MVP), the public-private partnership focused on economic revitalization and new business development in the borough, is now officially a nonprofit organization.

MVP’s official 501(c)(3) designation, which went into effect on Dec. 2, 2019, was announced during the organization’s first board meeting of 2020.

With its new non-profit status, MVP is exempt from federal, sales and property taxes. This is a major benefit to becoming a 501(c)(3) and will ultimately save much-needed money over time.

The 501(c)(3) designation will also provide MVP greater credibility.

“When we print public documents, apply for grants, or simply present our organization to the public, having that designation shows that we have taken the proper steps with the federal government to become an official public charity,” said Michael McKenna, Myerstown Borough Manager and treasurer of the Myerstown Vitality Partnership.

“It confirms that those who benefit from the organization are the community, and not the private stakeholders of the organization. Donors, volunteers, and other supporters of the organization can rest assured that all money and efforts given to the organization ultimately go toward the goal of revitalizing the community.”

MVP is made up of government and business leaders who kicked off their partnership on the heels of the borough’s 250th anniversary celebration in 2018. Founding partners were so moved by the outpouring of community spirit during the celebration that they decided to do something to keep the momentum going. 

Read more: Myerstown looks to stimulate downtown growth with public-private partnership

Charles Blankenship, a nonprofit consultant with SCORE, has worked closely with MVP and CEO Steffan Bomberger since the beginning. 

“MVP should be congratulated on its accomplishment of receiving IRS approval in a relatively short period of time,” Blankenship said in a press release. “With IRS recognition, MVP can now move forward with soliciting contributions to implement its plans for revitalization of Myerstown.”

The newly-minted nonprofit also has a new addition to its board of directors: Board chair Steven Goodhue announced the appointment of Beverly Martel during the same meeting in January.

Goodhue said Martel “brings a great deal of business experience” to the organization, and is an active member of the Myerstown-Elco Rotary Club.

The Board of Directors now stands at nine members, all recruited in just a few months. The organization was founded in March of 2019 following approval from Myerstown’s borough council.

Read more: The future of Myerstown is in the hands of the Myerstown Vitality Partnership

“We have a common goal of seeing Myerstown leverage its great heritage and history and become a community that continues to make us all proud,” Goodhue said. “We have some exciting plans in the works that we hope to announce in the very near future.”

Those plans include a handful of projects with the Myerstown Community Center (MCC), such as launching a resource hub for startups and nonprofits. The organization applied for the PA Keystone Communities Program last year in hopes of financing a makeover for MCC. MVP stakeholders told LebTown in late 2019 that the new nonprofit designation will go a long way in helping to secure that funding.

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