Willow Grove Charities raises about $20,000 each year to benefit eastern Montgomery County residents in need.
But, that’s not enough.
“We want to help more people,” President John DiMarzio said. “We want to step this up.”
The group, which is holding its annual fundraising Greater Willow Grove Golf Outing on Sept. 23, is also seeking status as a 501c3 nonprofit, according to DiMarzio.
As a nonprofit, DiMarzio said the 43-year-old organization hopes to bolster fundraising by improving the tournament and obtaining bigger sponsors.
Since its founding, Willow Grove Charities’ mission has centered around providing supplemental funding to Second Alarmers Rescue Squad, which provides emergency medical and rescue services to residents of Upper Moreland, Hatboro, Abington, Upper Dublin, Whitpain, Jenkintown and Rockledge.
Second Alarmers Assistant Chief Ken Davidson said Willow Grove Charities fundraise to purchase items that would be “an enhancement to the system” and allow EMTs to provide a “better or a higher level of care.”
Five or six years ago, the organization funded the purchase of EZ-IO tools, which, according to Davidson, allows EMTs to inject a needle into the patient’s bone when IV access is not possible.
“Now it’s very commonplace,” Davidson said of EZ-IO. “Five or six years ago this application of it was cutting edge and was relatively cost prohibitive.”
Needles used cost $110 per patient, Davidson said, adding that insurance reimburses Second Alarmers $3 regardless if a typical needle is used or one more state-of-the-art.
Willow Grove Charities helps cover the ongoing cost of those supplies, Davidson said. Most recently, the organization spent more than $6,500 on the purchase of supplies for violent trauma events.
“Part of this year’s funding will go to the trauma supplies,” Davidson said. “It was important enough that they didn’t want to wait. They took it out of their funds so we could get it in a timely manner.”
Lending a helping hand in a timely manner has been Willow Grove Charities’ protocol, according to DiMarzio. Besides assisting Second Alarmers, the organization is the go-to resource for Upper Moreland, Hatboro, Horsham, Abington and Lower Moreland residents in need, or folks in those areas who may be down on their luck.
“We’re there,” DiMarzio said. “If it’s $500 or less, it’s in their hands within 48 hours.”
All of the money raised from the golf outing is redistributed back to the community 100 percent in the form of grants, scholarships, or assistance buying groceries, or a tank of oil in the wintertime.
“There are a lot of people that really need help,” DiMarzio said, adding that Willow Grove Charities does not fund, or help other charities or nonprofit groups. “We want to give it to the families.”
The organization receives “dozens” of leads each year, mainly from elected officials seeking help for their constituents.
“So far we’ve been able to fulfill every single one,” DiMarzio said.
Still, with nonprofit status and deeper fundraising coffers, the hope is for Willow Grove Charities to do even more.
If you go
So far, 90 golfers are registered for the Greater Willow Grove Golf Outing on Sept. 23 at Sandy Run Country Club, 200 E. Valley Green Road in Oreland. A few more spots are available. Cost is $160 for golfing and dinner; or $50 for dinner only. For more information on the outing, or to register, click here.