A pair of Long Island nonprofits are hoping Facebook users “like” them enough to help them win $500,000.
The National Marfan Foundation in Port Washington and Great Neck’s Sonia and Max Silverstein Hebrew Academy are competing in the 2011 Chase Community Giving contest. The annual competition awards the grand prize to the organization with the most votes for its “Big Idea” on the competition’s Facebook page. Both organizations have already earned $25,000 for being among the 100 finalists.
Marfan syndrome is a disorder in the body’s development of connective tissue, which results in longer fingers and toes, as well as optical and cardiovascular problems. The disease can be fatal because the aorta is surrounded by connective tissue. For a Marfan sufferer, that tissue could put pressure on the artery, causing it to burst or tear.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for us,” said Carolyn Levering, NMF president and chief executive. “We are responsible for the entire Marfan community. We are the only organization that works to protect this community from dying early from an aortic dissection.”
The Marfan Foundation wants to use its winnings to build a tri-fold program that will fund research to help develop early diagnosis of Marfan syndrome; provide support to families; and build awareness to the foundation’s new mobile website, MarfanDX.org, which is designed to help doctors and others accurately diagnose Marfan syndrome.
The Hebrew Academy will put its winnings toward building a gymnasium for its students and the overall community to use. The gym would feature a trained staff, psychological and social services, nutrition and health services and physical activities.
“Having children involved in PE programming has been shown to enhance learning readiness, improve academic performance, enrich self-esteem, deter antisocial behavior, restrain drug and alcohol abuse and reduce absenteeism,” the school said in its “Big Idea” statement on the competition’s Facebook page.
Organizations can win additional money by finishing in the top 25. As of 6 a.m. Saturday, each organization was in the top 20. You can vote or find out more information about the contest here.