Pop Up Giving set for Feb. 20

ST. JOSEPH — United Way of Southwest Michigan will host its fifth “Pop Up Giving” event Thursday, Feb. 20 at Silver Harbor Brewing Company 721 Pleasant St., St. Joseph.

Three local United Way-funded nonprofits in the area of education will have three minutes to pitch a project that will impact the community. Everyone in attendance will have five minutes to fill out a ballot to determine the winning organization.

Proceeds from tickets, which are $20, are combined to create a “donation pot.” Second and third place finishers each receive consolation cash prizes of $250. This event’s sponsor will kick in $1,000 to get the pot started.

The event gives the attendees the chance to decide where United Way funds go. Thanks to a donation from Kellogg’s, the theme is Pop-Tarts, and there will be plenty of the toasty treat to go around.

“Some have compared this event to ‘Shark Tank,’” said Anna Murphy, United Way of Southwest Michigan president. “It does have a game show feel to it. It is entertaining. It’s fun. It’s fast. But most importantly, it creates immediate impact for a local organization.”

The previous four winners from the event were the LOGAN Autism Learning Center, Kinexus Group, Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Michigan and The Avenue Family Network.

The tickets include one free drink and light appetizers provided by Silver Harbor Brewing Company. Doors open at 5 p.m. Presentations begin at 5:45 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased through United Way’s website, uwsm.org/pop-up-giving.