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Bears Have Heart Giving Day shatters records in fourth annual event
Bears Have Heart Giving Day shatters records in fourth annual event

Lenoir-Rhyne University can withstand anything, even a pandemic.

As the university puts the finishing touches on its fourth annual 24-hour Bears Have Heart Giving Day, LR thanks the 649 generous alumni, family, friends, students and community members who donated, totaling $383,995 to support scholarships, academics, athletics and student support services.

"The LR community knocked it out of the park," said Cat Niekro, vice president for institutional advancement. "In our fourth annual event, we set new records for the number of donors and dollars raised. We are incredibly grateful to the support from Bear Nation."

The theme of this year's giving day – "One community. One heart. One day of giving." – celebrates and brings together Bears from around the world to show their support for the university.

Anonymous donors stepped to the plate for giving day with a series of challenges that were met. After 100 donations were made a gift of $25,000 was contributed, and a $50,000 gift was given after 200 donors pledged to the day. That match gift rose to $75,000 when 300 donors pledged toward the day and it triggered a $100,000 gift around 4 p.m. when the university crossed the 400-donor mark.

Through the four annual giving days, the generosity of everyone who participated has raised nearly $862,000 to support LR.

"The generosity and giving spirit of our Bear family and the Hickory community are wonderful," said LR President Dr. Fred Whitt. "The last year has been incredibly challenging, but due to everyone's unyielding support, we are coming out of it stronger than ever."

The amount fundraised has grown each year throughout the duration of the campaign and has gained such traction in the community that in 2019, Hickory Mayor Hank Guess signed a proclamation declaring every fourth Tuesday in March as Bears Have Heart Giving Day.

The official giving day may be over, but contributions can still be made to the university at lr.edu/IGive2LRU through the end of the fiscal year on May 31, 2021.