GCI Makes Annual Charitable Giving Commitment at Virtual Event
A common murre at the Alaska SeaLife Center, to which GCI donated a $50,000 membership match after operations were threatened by the pandemic.
GCI Gives has committed $2 million in 2021 in direct donations, in-kind services, and products to Alaska organizations, including an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The challenges faced by so many Alaskans over the past year helped GCI realize the power of its giving more than ever. Each year, GCI donates to more than 150 Alaska nonprofits. Donations have totaled more than $12 million over the last six years.
To highlight GCI Gives Alaska nonprofit partners and their achievements, GCI held its annual Unlimited Alaska Love event virtually this year.
During the event, the company called out the success of two specific partners it supported through changes in 2020, helping Special Olympics Alaska take its annual Polar Plunge event virtual to raise $205,000 for Alaska athletes, and a $50,000 membership match for the Alaska SeaLife Center, after operations were threatened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s virtual event also featured keynote speaker Dr. Nika White, who addressed the importance of corporate philanthropy intersecting with diversity, equity and inclusion to support needs of vulnerable communities.
“This event is so special to be a part of, and we were able to show off the fabulous work our nonprofit partners made happen despite the struggles this past year,” says GCI Chief Marketing Officer Kate Slyker, a co-executive sponsor of GCI’s corporate giving program.
“As we head into 2021, GCI Gives is also committed to giving to nonprofits in Alaska that support a new area of giving—diversity, equity and inclusion. We’ve been working for the past eight months to seek out partners that could use a lift in Alaska, so people from all walks of life in our state receive the support they deserve. GCI Gives is eager to develop these relationships even further in 2021.”
At the virtual event, GCI also gave two awards to individuals who demonstrated their ability to go above and beyond for their communities.
Jack Little, Good Neighbor of the Year recipient and Anchorage GCI employee, participated in the “Venmo challenge” to tip servers at local restaurants large amounts, thanking them for their work during the pandemic.
Beverly Hoffman of Bethel was awarded Trailblazer of the Year Award for her work with the YK Delta Lifesavers group, who make moves to lower the percentage of deaths by drowning in Bethel and surrounding areas.
Two of GCI Gives’ flagship programs were also highlighted at the virtual event for the work accomplished over the past year.
GCI Gives and the GCI Suicide Prevention Fund supported 15 Alaska nonprofits with $170,000 to fund suicide prevention programs across the state. In the past 20 years, GCI has donated more than $6 million to Alaska students through the GCI Scholarship Program. In addition to the GCI Scholarship Fund, this year the company donated $20,000 to Alaska Pacific University for the Donovan Walsh Scholarship, which honors the late Donovan Walsh of Anchorage with funds that will be allocated to 10 students to attend APU.
More information about GCI Gives and its commitment to nonprofit partners in the Alaska community can be found here.