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ADA Selects Nonprofit Partners for Downtown After 5

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The Asheville Downtown Association (ADA) today announced the recipients of its 2014 Downtown After 5 wristband grants. Chosen organizations sell wristbands at one of the five concerts and receive a grant of up to $2,000. 2014 marks the 26th Anniversary season of Downtown After 5, presented by Harmony Motors.

The season’s lineup will be announced at our Downtown After 5 Kickoff on Wednesday, March 26 at The Orange Peel. This kickoff event will be open to the public and feature a concert with a previous act from Downtown After 5. More details to be released soon.

Selected non-profits are MANNA FoodBank, LEAF Community Arts, Asheville City Schools Foundation, Homeward Bound and United Way 2-1-1.

MANNA FoodBank, founded in 1982, links the food industry with over 200 partner agencies in 16 counties of WNC. MANNA supplies food and resources to many downtown food pantries, meal programs and shelters. For every $1 raised, MANNA can provide three meals to residents facing hunger.

LEAF Community Arts uses music and the arts to empower children and adults from varying socio-economic backgrounds in order to build communities. LEAF is visibly seen throughout the downtown community through the Easel Rider, a mobile art lab that provides creative space for children and adults alike.

With a database of over 18,000 resources, United Way 2-1-1 is a free, confidential health and human service referral line available 24/7 in any language. Last year, the service handled 53,000 calls, with 41,000 in Buncombe County. The line directs those in need to services that address homelessness, food insecurity, financial literacy, emergency financial assistance, substance abuse issues, health concerns and more.

“This opportunity is two-fold for United Way’s 2-1-1. We’ll build awareness of the services 2-1-1 provides, while raising money in a fun environment. We’re thrilled to be among the other great organizations selected,” noted Marla Browne, director United Way 2-1-1.

Homeward Bound works to end chronic homelessness in the Asheville area. The organization has placed 863 people into permanent housing with 89 percent of those placed remaining in stable housing. Through demonstrated commitment to collaborating with other community agencies and partners, Homeward Bound makes a sustainable impact on homelessness in Asheville every day.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Asheville City Schools Foundation supports the students of the nine Asheville City Schools through volunteer academic coaching, after school programs, scholarships, emergency assistance to families in crisis, and grants for teachers.

“This is an amazing opportunity to not only raise awareness of the Asheville City Schools Foundation, but also raise funds for our IRL program which offers high-quality, unique afterschool activities for our youth,” said Erica Bell, the foundation’s development director.

The Asheville Downtown Association has awarded more than $75,000 in wristband grant funds to local charitable organizations since the grant program’s start in 2006. Previous recipients include: ABYSA, Arts 2 People, Asheville on Bikes, Asheville Grown, Asheville Sister Cities, Blue Ridge Pride, Downtown Asheville Residential Neighbors (DARN), Katy’s Kids/MANNA FoodBank, LEAF in Schools and Streets, Moog Foundation, Our VOICE, WildSouth, YMCA of Western North Carolina, YMI Cultural Center, YWCA of Asheville and Youth OUTright.

Sponsorship opportunities for the Downtown After 5 concert series are still available. Please contact Meghan Rogers for more information at 828-251-9973 or meghan@ashevilledowntown.org. Volunteer opportunities are also available. More information at www.ashevilledowntown.org/volunteer.

Downtown After 5 is a production of the Asheville Downtown Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the preservation and improvement of the central business district.

More information about Downtown After 5 and the Asheville Downtown Association can be found online at www.ashevilledowntown.org or by following through social media including Facebook (www.facebook.com/DowntownAfter5AVL) and Twitter (@AVLDowntown).