Along with a record-setting 29 wins, a regular season conference title and another bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Gonzaga University women’s basketball team did their part to keep the power on this winter.
For every regular season assist registered by the squad, Avista donated $10 toward Project Share, a program established to provide energy assistance to those who are not eligible for or who have exhausted all other available energy assistance sources.
“We just want to make sure people continue to be connected to essential services,” said Ana Matthews, Avista’s Consumer Affairs program manager. “With Avista Assists, these dollars really add up.”
Avista Assists is now in its fourth year and has raised a total of $18,000 in Project Share funds, including $4,500 this season. Each year, Avista customers and employees contribute to Project Share to help their neighbors in need. Corporate donations are also a regular source of support for the program.
“This has been one of many great partnerships we’ve had with Avista,” said SNAP CEO Julie Honekamp of Avista Assists. “They have been so supportive of our efforts in this community. To be able to tie this campaign in with Gonzaga and the outstanding women’s basketball program has been a wonderful experience.”
Honekamp was on hand at the final Gonzaga home game of the season March 2 with SNAP Board Chair Ken Isserlis to receive the latest donation from Avista. The two were joined by Avista President and CEO Scott Morris and Gonzaga Athletic Director Mike Roth at center court for the check presentation.
SNAP administers Avista Project Share funds in Eastern Washington and part of Oregon. Inland Power & Light Co. and Modern Electric Water Co. are also Project Share partners.
In a recent issue of Avista Connect, Gonzaga women’s basketball head coach Lisa Fortier described how it is important for her players to have an impact beyond the court. The team supports the local nonprofit Blessings Under the Bridge at the organization’s annual Winter Event, handing out food, clothing and other items to those in need.
“Wherever we go, we want to be very present in our community,” Fortier said. “We connect ourselves to projects that matter to us.”
Fortier is part of a frequently played radio ad that promotes Avista Assists during the season. She said the campaign serves as “a motivator to know what we’re doing on a daily basis really makes a difference.”