North Texas Giving Day reached $50 million in donations last week, surpassing the previous year's total for the 10th straight time. This year, it had a little help from Dirk Nowitzki.
The 18-hour event, which wrapped up at midnight Thursday, supported nearly 3,000 organizations, from animal shelters to food banks. Those organizations solicited donations and competed for prizes online.
Nowitzki and his wife, Jessica, were the honorary co-chairs of the event and made multiple appearances to mingle with fans.
“Wow. We did it,” he tweeted early Friday after the final donations rolled in. He seemed to be enjoying the moment.
The North Texas Food Bank was one of the event’s biggest beneficiaries. It raised nearly a million dollars, including $150,000 in matching funds from corporations and anonymous donors.
"It’ll go to children, seniors and families in the North Texas area,” said the food bank’s campaign manager, Lexi Kay.
The food bank also won the "Lucky Eleven Golden Ticket," one of dozens of bonus prizes given out throughout the day.
Local public radio station KERA raised nearly $400,000. The fact that this was $50,000 short of its goal didn't worry Andy Canales, who led the station's fundraising effort.
"It was a big milestone for us; we were very excited to get that point," he said.
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Many smaller organizations benefited too, including a Denton County animal shelter that raised nearly $100,000.
This is the event’s 11th year and biggest yet. In total, it’s raised nearly $300 million for North Texas nonprofits. It's put on by The Communities Foundation of Texas, which has distributed nearly $2 billion across North Texas since its founding in the 1950s.
There's one more prize that as of Friday afternoon had yet to be announced. One lucky donor will meet the Nowitzkis in person. For all those who donated over $41: cross your fingers.