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Capps brings community together for charity challenge
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Capps brings community together for charity challenge

Capps and Community Charity Challenge

Participating in the Capps and Community Charity Challenge are Ryan Cappellari (from left), Capps’ chief operating officer; Lisa Lietz, SML Good Neighbors executive director; Sue Lipscomb, Agape Center executive director; Jane Winters, Lake Christian Ministries executive director and Bruce Shelton, president of Capps.

Capps Home Building Center is bringing the community together for a $100,000 fundraising challenge next month. The goal is to help those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by donating to local nonprofits that support them.

The Capps and Community Charity Challenge is set for Oct. 12 through 17 with Capps and other area businesses agreeing to match any donations from the community up to $100,000. The nonprofits receiving donations are Lake Christian Ministries, Agape Center and SML Good Neighbors.

Capps President Bruce Shelton said the nonprofits were chosen because they have the greatest impact on helping those in the community. Agape Center and Lake Christian Ministries provide food and financial assistance, while SML Good Neighbors supports local students with summer and after-school education, as well as food assistance.

“This community has been very supportive of Capps,” said Ryan Cappellari, Capps’ chief operating officer, on the reason for creating the fundraiser. The goal of the fundraiser is to give back to the community that has helped their business for more than 40 years, he said.

Shelton said he is optimistic the community will come together to support the fundraiser.

If the community matches the $100,000 donation from Capps and other businesses, the nonprofits would be splitting $200,000 in donations during a time when financial support is drying up.

Jane Winters, executive director of Lake Christian Ministries, said there has been a substantial increase in demands with people facing unemployment in the community due to the pandemic. She said the number people in need of help coming to LCM in recent months has increased by 40%.

The increased need comes when many of LCM’s fundraisers, such as the annual Walk to End Poverty, usually held each September, have been canceled. The walk usually raises around $50,000 annually, Winter said.

Agape Center also has lost in donations in recent months. The Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour, scheduled for October, a major source of donations for the nonprofit, was canceled earlier this year. Sue Lipscomb, executive director of the center, said the Capps community challenge is coming at the perfect time.

While Lipscomb said Agape Center has not experienced a major increase in demand in recent months, she expects the number of people coming to the nonprofit for financial help and food assistance to increase. She expressed her gratitude for the community and its willingness to help during these difficult times.

SML Good Neighbors Executive Director Lisa Lietz also expressed her gratitude for the fundraiser. The nonprofit has also experienced a shortfall in fundraising due to the pandemic.

“We are just overwhelmed by the support of the community,” Lietz said.

Lietz said she is also thankful for the support of local businesses who helped in supporting the challenge. While Capps donated a significant portion of the $100,000 in matching funds, the nonprofits went to area businesses to ask for support to make up the remainder.

“In 10 days we had what we needed to get to $100,000,” Winters said of the support from the business community.

The fundraiser is set to begin Oct. 12 with a large thermometer outside Capps on Virginia 122 near Westlake Corner showing the progress of the community. The thermometer will be updated daily with the community’s donation progress toward the $100,000 goal that will be matched.

Anyone interested in donating to the campaign can go to smlcharitychallenge.org. The website will go live on Oct. 2. Any donation amount will be matched by Capps and other businesses.

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