Leaders Give: Time, Talents and Treasures

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Leaders Give: Time, Talents and Treasures
By: Chris Berleth, Executive Director of LSV
Each month I have the incredible privilege to serve as your eyes and ears in Leadership Susquehanna Valley – to give you the bird’s eye-view of the program’s content and to wax philosophic about its applications.  Given the incredible engagement of our community with the non-profits over the past few weeks however, I find myself in the inglorious position of exhorting you, my peers in the Valley, to do exactly what you’ve already been doing, and to remind you of a truth that you already know: a leader’s legacy is reflected in the impact of their gifts of time, talent and treasure.
In March, Leadership Susquehanna Valley partnered with the Community Giving Foundation to offer class members a new perspective on nonprofits and their work.  Seeing through the eyes of one of the region’s top philanthropic organizations, its nonprofit beneficiaries, and the volunteers who represent a dynamic vision for local philanthropy, class members considered the role of philanthropy in the Valley, attempting to answer such questions as, “What impact would you leave if you had $1 million dollars to give away?” and “How would you begin to do that?”
They heard from non-profit power-couple Stacey Piecuch (Class of 2020, Director of Community Impact at the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way) and Mike Piecuch (Snyder County District Attorney, active on such boards of directors as Snyder County Coalition for Kids and the United in Recovery Opioid Coalitions), who together have built a reputation as coalition builders, problem solvers and key resources in our community.  They connected with Linda Brown (Class of 1997), Julie Eriksson (Class of 2006), Kara Seesholtz (Class of 2018), Christine Orlando (Class of 2017), Youth in Philanthropy student Maddie Rowan, and Corey Fasold (Sunbury Motors) all of whom spoke about the power and significance of community engagement through philanthropy.
If the class wasn’t certain about the needs that exist in our region, they were certainly compelled to consider them when they heard from panelists Chris Hayes of the Nurse-Family Partnership and Catalina Payson of the Susquehanna Valley Dental Health Clinic.  They were reminded of the urgency and reality of rural poverty when Stacie Snyder discussed the programs offered by Central Susquehanna Opportunities in Northumberland County. 
If the day held an epiphany, it was this: – leaders who are philanthropic experience incredible reward and leave a lasting impact and that an unspoken requirement of our community is that leaders find ways to care for our people by giving back. 
You might be inclined to challenge me to prove it, and I’ll say, “Gladly!”  Look no further than the 30-hour giving campaign “Raise the Region”, hosted by First Community Foundation Partnership, where our community rallied to give over $2 million to area nonprofits.
I’m proud to say that LSV is a part of that legacy – as a participating nonprofit, we’ve gladly given opportunities to charitable people to support LSV scholarships, and we’ve rallied a 100% participation in our own Board Campaign as part of that effort.  LSV alumni banded together to give to multiple non-profits, and in some cases, led the charge to do so, while still supporting the program that has left an impact on their professional development.  Thanks to the gifts of “The Most Resilient Class Ever”, (the Class of 2021), the Board of Directors, and more, LSV will receive over $7,000 this year – no small feat. 
We’ve maintained that the Class with the highest participation in Raise the Region holds the title “Best Class Ever”, and I’ll happily admit that the Class of 2020 remains firmly in possession of that title.  Congratulations once again to the “Class of 2020, Best Class Ever”, but remember that we expect increasingly great things from you and all of our alumni – a legacy of leadership and charitable hearts which lead in humility.  Thanks to all in our community who have furthered the causes of leadership and philanthropy in the region.  
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