Gulfport Merchants Give Big

Gulfport Merchants Association (GMA) volunteer Sherry Lynn (left) and Board Member Suzanne King present gifts for children collected for Operation Santa during GMA's "Holiday Hoopla" event. Throughout 2014, the GMA was able to donate over $27,000 to charitable causes through proceeds from its events.

Gulfport Merchants Association (GMA) volunteer Sherry Lynn (left) and Board Member Suzanne King present gifts for children collected for Operation Santa during GMA’s “Holiday Hoopla” event. Throughout 2014, the GMA was able to donate over $27,000 to charitable causes through proceeds from its events.

The Gulfport Merchants Association (GMA) has announced a call for applicants for its 2015/2016 community support program. Local non-profit organizations that target or include Gulfport in their activities are invited to apply. This includes certified tax-exempt, non-profit organizations, government entities requesting funds for public purposes, schools and colleges at any level, or organizations with a proposed project that benefits the community at large.

For more details and to apply, see the application available at GulfportMA.com.The deadline to apply for a community support grant is February 28. Applications received after the deadline cannot be considered.

Special consideration will be given to organizations that are able to help promote and provide volunteers for the GMA events that raise the funds making these grants possible. Events with funds earmarked each year for community giving include “Gecko Pub Crawl,” “Gecko Ball,” and the “GeckoFest” street festival. Each event grows in size and popularity every year and each requires a large promotional effort and a large number of volunteers.

In 2014/2015, the GMA set aside a portion of funds from its events to provide community grants awarded to the Gulfport Historical Society, the Gulfport Neighbors, the Community Law Program and Gulf Coast Giving. The GMA gives back to the community in other ways each year, including sponsoring “Gulfport’s Get Rescued,” the annual animal rescue event each February; a monthly Clothing Swap benefitting CASA held during the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market; and “Holiday Hoopla” which helps collect donations for Operation Santa in December. For more information, contact Daniel Hodge at 727-366-4086 or dan@igc.org.

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