TYLER (KYTX) - The East Texas Communities foundation is celebrating 25 years of service to local charities and philanthropists.
$5.8 million. East Texas Communities Foundation President and CEO Kyle Penney says that's how much money was given to more than 300 charities just last year.
"So, you'd think there's a lot of meetings going on here about how to do that." he says. "But really, it's the donors who come to us and set up these charitable funds. And, they determine where those dollars are going to go."
Donors like Whit Riter, whose father helped start this foundation 25 years ago.
"I always love to see the money, but the greatest joy i really get is seeing the money going out because that means people really understand it and they see that that money is there to help other people in our community."
The Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County is just one of many organizations that benefit from the foundation.
We can't do anything that we do without our donors and the people who care enough to give to our organization. And, we just appreciate East Texas Communities Foundation because they encourage that."
Executive Director Jana Humphrey says the foundation makes it easier for people to donate, and that creates a win-win situation for everyone involved.
"It's beneficial to donors and also to those of us who receive the gifts. It's wonderful."
"This is just the first 25 years." says Penney. "We're looking forward to the next and the next."