Wednesday, May 18, 2022

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): This year’s 74th annual WOWO Penny Pitch was among the biggest ever.

Thanks to the generosity of donors large and small, $182,910 was raised for Gigi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers of Fort Wayne.

It’s the single largest (non-matched) total in the fundraiser’s history.

The funds will go toward expanding the organization’s Career Development Programs, including the purchase of a van to transport Gigi’s “Ambassadors” to and from work at the Genesis Health Bar and the salary of the bus’s driver.

The initial goal was $81,000. With the surplus, Fort Wayne branch founder Cindy Atkinson says they will be able to expand their reach and service goals “tenfold.”

You can still donate to Penny Pitch, or learn more about GiGi’s Playhouse, at this link.

The History of Penny Pitch: 

Since 1948, WOWO has asked people throughout Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan to contribute pennies, nickels, dimes or more to help families within the WOWO listening area.

Penny Pitch began after World War II when a simple request came to WOWO to help a young quadriplegic buy a special typewriter so he could pursue a writing career.

A request was made over the air for listeners to donate their pennies. The response was so overwhelming that more than enough was raised to help the young man.

Thus, Penny Pitch was born.

Over the next few years, momentum grew as the Tri-State area adopted Penny Pitch as their own local charitable effort. Each year, local families were chosen as the recipients of Penny Pitch.

Funds continued to grow until it became necessary to incorporate Penny Pitch into a non-profit corporation providing benefits for those who contribute large amounts.

Now, over 70 years after the first Penny Pitch began, the corporation provides grants to qualified not-for-profit organizations that serve disadvantaged people in the Fort Wayne, Allen County and Northeast Indiana region.

As the longest-running local charity benefiting area families, Penny Pitch is loved by listeners who give generously every year.

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