100 People Who Care Ada County helps local nonprofits

The Jayden Deluca Foundation is $17,300 richer after Thursday night, thanks to an event that proves when a lot of people get together and give a little, it can pay off in a big way.

The premise behind the idea is simple. At least 100 people, with $100 a piece, gather for dinner; they hear presentations from several local charities; and then vote to see which one will win the total pool of money.

The event is called "100 People Who Care Ada County."

At the first ever 100 People Who Care Ada County, last September, Treasure Valley Youth Theater walked away with more than $11,000. They said it was more money than they had ever been gifted, and it could not have come at a better time.

Five years ago, using money from her savings account, Autumn Kersey began Treasure Valley Youth Theater.

Half a decade and hundreds of performances later, it now serves thousands of kids, many just like Hailey Hutchison.

"I just love coming here because it's just such a great place. You can meet people, and they teach you things about commitment and responsibility, teach you how to be a better person and change the world," said Hailey.

Last year, they received news they were not expecting. The building they have called home for the past 3 years is being demolished.

Without excess money in the budget, they were not sure what they were going to do. Then, they were nominated for 100 People Who Care Ada County.

"What makes it so special in Ada County is that they are looking for nonprofits that are very small, that don't have a lot of support from maybe a national structure of a government funding structure, and that is Treasure Valley Children's Theater," explained founder Autumn Kersey.

The majority of those who attended the event chose Treasure Valley Theater as the most deserving non-profit, and so they walked away with $11,000.

"We were thrilled," said Kersey. "The funding that was awarded that night sort of blew away the gray clouds, if I can speak in metaphor. It was that ray of sunshine that we needed to know the community is behind us."

Fast forward a year and a half, they have used some of the funds for their future building planning, some funds for fundraising efforts, but most of the funds went toward education.

The group has produced 40 programs since the event, and 25 percent of the kids involved were on scholarship.

"If I had to do sort of a ballpark number, we are probably close to 600 to 700 kids since September 2016 that have benefited from that 100 Ada grant," said Kersey.

While they said they still do not know exactly where their permanent home will be, with the help they received from 100 Ada, they do know they are going to get there someway, somehow.

"I am excited for them, that other people can come and experience this great place too, and it's not just going to come to an end," said Hailey.

If you would like more information about the Treasure Valley Youth Theater, click here.

If you would like more information about 100 People Who Care Ada County click here

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