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by Rebecca Hoeffner

Courtesy: Tyler Morning Telegraph

Mayor Barbara Bass knew when she gave the Shine Your Light campaign its goal, it wouldn't be easy.

"Our $200,000 goal for this year was a stretch goal," Mayor Barbara Bass said. "We've had a donor say that if we reach $190,000 they would write a $10,000 check to complete the goal. We believe anything can happen in a community so full of generosity and request that the community join us in reaching this ambitious goal."

Shine Your Light is an annual giving campaign where East Texas residents can donate to selected nonprofits through the East Texas Communities Foundation. The campaign ends on Saturday. Contributions to Shine Your Light are tax deductible.

Donors have contributed $35,083 since the campaign was announced on Dec. 18 to the $72,500 in matching funds, making the matching goal only $37,417 away. Funds are only $82,417 from the $190,000 needed for the last $10,000 contribution.

Last year, donors sent in more than $150,000 to the East Texas Communities Foundation to support the agencies.

The agencies this year focus on five key issues: feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, helping the unemployed, protecting children and protecting seniors. The nonprofits selected this year are the Children's Advocacy Center, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Christian Women's Job Corps, Christian Men's Job Corps, as well as the East Texas Food Bank, The Salvation Army, People Attempting To Help and Meals On Wheels.

"Mayor Bass was the original catalyst to encourage us to start Shine Your Light," said Nelson Clyde, publisher of the Tyler Morning Telegraph. "It has annually demonstrated the tradition of generosity in this community. We are pleased to share this partnership with her and Billy (Bass) and our other founding and sustaining partners."

This year's $72,500 matching funds is the largest amount that has ever kicked off the campaign. Matching partners are an anonymous donor, the Owen Foundation, Fourth Partner, Genecov Group, Mayor Barbara and Billy Bass, Tyler Morning Telegraph, Niblack Charitable Fund, Melvina and Herbert Buie, Citizen's 1st Bank, Rosemary and Harold Beaird, Drs. SJ Vukelja and Lawrence Anderson and the Dermatology Associates of Tyler.

To donate...visit www.tylerpaper.com

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