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Daytona Beach, FL – In response to the $100,000 match challenge issued by Glenn & Connie Ritchey on October 1, COA proudly announced today that the Hurricane Recovery Community Challenge has exceeded its goal! The tally as of noon on October 31, 2017 exceeded $250,000, which qualifies COA to collect the full $100,000 match from the Ritcheys. Through the generosity of this wonderful community and the hard work of COA’s Board of Directors, staff and volunteers, this amazing match will support the expense of getting COA back on its feet.

The Ritchey Challenge inspired contributions ranging from $10 to $50,000 from a wide variety of donors, including local and regional corporations, small businesses, civic organizations, local city governments, and numerous private donors – many of whom sent written well wishes with their donations.  One supporter wrote, “Please thank the Ritcheys for their generous donation. What a wonderful thing to do! It gave me faith that there are still GREAT people in this world.”

While most donations came from the local community, one contribution arrived from as far away as Covington, Louisiana.  After a mutual friend shared the news of our local damage following Hurricane Irma with Council on Aging St. Tammany Parish, they immediately offered to help. Their offices had suffered similar damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. They held a “jumble sale” on Saturday, October 28, 2017 with COA as the beneficiary.

Still in temporary locations following the damage caused by water intrusion at the main office on Beach Street in Daytona, COA has continued to provide services to Volusia County seniors. “All of us at the Council on Aging are committed to the health and well-being of our most at risk elders,” said Sarah Gurtis, President and CEO. “Our community is responding warmly to our fundraising efforts and we are grateful. We also hope that we are not forgotten once we recover from Irma. Our seniors will need us next week, next month, next year — and we plan to be here to serve them.”

Photo is of Sarah Gurtis, President & CEO of COA accepting check from Connie and Glenn Ritchey.

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