‘We’re All Fighting the Same Fight’
Chamber Hosts Annual Nonprofit Showcase Event
By IAN MUNRO
Daily News-Record 1/24/20
MASSANETTA SPRINGS — Nearly three dozen nonprofits and 85 guests mingled at Massanetta Springs Conference Center on Thursday for the annual Harrisonburg- Rockingham Chamber of Commerce nonprofit showcase.
“It’s good to network and get ideas from other people,” said Jeff Wilhelm, the new director of Hope Distributed, a nonprofit that gives out 700,000 pounds of food a year and helps roughly 2,000 people a month, according to its website.
“We’re all nonprofits,” he said. “We’re all fighting the same fight, for the most part. It’s just good to see how other people are doing things.”
Wilhelm said that evening he had heard about using events at arenas and universities to raise money from another nonprofit presenter.
“It was encouraging to hear that other nonprofits — I don’t want to say struggle — but they have to find creative ways to raise funds as well,” he said.
The event was a success as more nonprofits exhibited compared to last year, according to Sheena Armentrout, the chamber’s director of membership development and investment.
“We really put it together so local business leaders can collaborate with our nonprofits and help them grow in our community,” she said.
Last year, 28 local groups had tables at the event, which was hosted at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Harrisonburg.
Another one nonprofit at the event was the Explore More Discovery Museum. “I think we’ve got an amazing community with many very worthy nonprofits who are doing lots of great work, so any opportunity to showcase what we’re all doing and how businesses can help I think is a really important thing,” said Kelly Snow, the development director with the museum.
Snow said the museum is always looking for financial contributions and sponsorships, along with volunteers.
“The business community and the chamber has a lot of different types of expertise that could be helpful to lots of nonprofits depending on what they need, whether it’s serving on the board or providing financial services,” she said. “It’s events like these that allow those conversations to happen.”
Brenda McGloon, corporate executive associate at Endless Horizons, left, speaks with Pam Miller, the development director of Pleasant View, during the annual Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce nonprofit showcase at Massanetta Springs Conference Center on Thursday.