Fort Wayne, Ind. (WANE) – It’s the month of bracketology with March Madness basketball. But some local nonprofits are participating in a statewide bracket tournament that has nothing to do with betting on the sport. It’s called Indiana Brackets For Good. Fort Wayne Trails is one of the competing organizations. “Brackets For Good is a bracket style tournament that looks a lot like the March Madness tournament,” said Fort Wayne Trails Executive Director Kent Castleman. “But it’s a way for us to raise money at Fort Wayne Trails.
The project is not just for Fort Wayne Trails. Castleman said statewide there are 64 non-profits participating. “In Northeast Indiana there are 16 competing down to the final four across the state.” Until the Philanthropic Four round, nonprofits compete alongside similarly-sized organizations within one of four tournament divisions.
In the first round Fort Wayne Trails is paired up against Fort Wayne’s Questa Education Foundation. “We have a forgivable loan program that is our core program,” said Executive Director Marc Levy. He explained the tournament’s donation and elimination process. “Every dollar that a person donates through this program is a point and our points are put against another organization’s points and if you win the first round you to to the second round and if you win the second round you go to a third round.”
The fundraising continues until a grand champion is crowned. To count as points, all donations must be made on the Indiana Brackets for Good website. “By giving $5, $10, $25 dollars, they’re endorsing us and they’re helping us fund more individuals to get their education,” said Levy.
Castleman said, “These donations will help us close up to $100,000 raised for trails.”Fort Wayne Trails, The Questa Education Foundation and all the competing charities are vying for a grand prize that will be donated by corporate sponsors.
“The winner will receive $10,000 on top of the donations that are received through their charity’s work,” said Castleman.
All the charities will keep donations raised through the project. Local participants are glad it’s designed to help so many people. “They’re showing their support,” said Levy. “It’s an opportunity to give a small gift and be part of being able to be supportive of local programs right here in Fort Wayne, Allen County and Northeast Indiana.”