It was a rewarding afternoon at McCarthey Athletic Center on Feb. 27.
To begin with, the Gonzaga women’s basketball team defeated BYU on Senior Day in front of a sell-out crowd of 6,000 cheering fans.
The other big winner that day was a program called Project Share which provides energy assistance to local residents who may have difficulty covering their power bill. At halftime of the game, Avista Corp. donated $4,500 to Project Share through the campaign they called “Avista Assists.” For every assist a player on the Gonzaga Women’s Basketball team registered at a home game this the season, Avista donated $10.
Avista President and CEO Scott Morris presented SNAP CEO Julie Honekamp with the check at center court as the crowd at McCarthey Athletic Center applauded the community-wide assist. SNAP administers Project Share for the greater Spokane region.
“What a great way to partner with Avista and Gonzaga basketball to raise awareness for a vital cause like Project Share,” said Honekamp. “We’re grateful to both Avista and Gonzaga for stepping up to support our neighbors who need a little help bridging gaps.”
A customer, community and company-funded program, Project Share relies on the generosity of residents who, each year, do their part to support neighbors in need. The program provides supplemental support without regard for the power source or utility provider.
“It’s wonderful,” said Denice Delaney a SNAP client who has utilized Project Share. “If we didn’t have it, I can tell you a lot of people would be without heat.”
At the end of 2015, Avista Energy Solutions Director Pat Lynch dropped by the SNAP Mission Support Center with a $225,000 donation from Avista Corp. toward Project Share.
“This was another remarkably generous gift from Avista, an exceptional community partner,” said Honekamp. “When you think about the impact of $225,000, it’s pretty amazing.”
Lynch said the contribution was about Avista’s ongoing awareness and responsiveness to community needs.
“Avista has been an active partner, ally and advocate for our customers and our communities for more than 125 years,” said Lynch. “The spirit of community has always fueled us – through partnerships and collaboration. We believe that bringing value to our customers and attaining our business goals go hand-in-hand – and when we can provide assistance to people and organizations like SNAP that are making a huge difference in the lives of our most vulnerable customers – so much the better.”