(Left to right) Todd Billeter, Vice President, Manager, First Interstate Bank, Dawn Cofer, VP, Retail Bank Manager, First Interstate Bank; Sonja Donohue, Executive Director, The Center Foundation; Aaron Switzer, Producer, Lay It Out Events; Bill Kuhn, Bend Market President, First Interstate Bank.

The Center Foundation receives $25,000 from Bend Fall Festival with support from anonymous donor

Bend, Oregon —A sizable anonymous donation received last week by The Center Foundation will make an incredible difference in the nonprofit’s efforts to create awareness, offer education and provide support around concussions and sports injuries in Central Oregon. The $25,000 donation comes from a combination of funds from Lay It Out Events and one anonymous donor—a longtime Bend Fall Festival patron.

Every year, Lay It Out Events donates a portion of proceeds from Fall Fest to a local nonprofit. The Center Foundation was honored to be chosen for this year’s Fall Fest donation of $3,000 when, unexpectedly, a second donor stepped in. The anonymous giver added $22,000 to bring the total donation to more than eight times its original amount.

“The donor first reached out to me to express his gratitude for our company continuing to provide free festivals for the community,” said Aaron Switzer, producer at Lay It Out Events. “He told me how, early in their marriage, he and his wife relied on the community’s free activities as one of their primary sources of entertainment, and now he wanted to give back.”

The donation comes as awareness is growing of the danger of concussions and their impacts on young athletes. The Center Foundation’s mission is to promote the safety of kids through access to sports medicine services and education. The $25,000 donation will go toward the nonprofit’s work across its three main areas:

• Sports medicine: The foundation places a certified athletic trainer at the region’s high schools.

• Train Your Brain: This elementary-focused program educates students and promotes helmet use.

• Education: Offering education and training on preventing and managing sports injuries.

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our community with this donation,” said Sonja Donohue, executive director for The Center Foundation. “Knowing that this substantial contribution is in recognition of how supported the donor felt by community in the first place just brings this full circle. It demonstrates how invested we all are in nurturing a resilient Central Oregon.”

About The Center Foundation
The Center Foundation was formed in 2001 by physicians at The Center Orthopedic & Neurosurgical Care & Research in Bend, Oregon. We believe that keeping kids active and involved in sports is important to their overall physical, social and educational development. The Center Foundation is Central Oregon’s only nonprofit solely dedicated to providing sports medicine as a means to ensure youth are safe, healthy and protected in an active lifestyle. To learn more visit www.centerfoundation.org

About First Interstate Bank
First Interstate Bank is a community bank with over 120 banking offices, along with online and mobile banking services, throughout Idaho, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. Driven by strong corporate values, First Interstate is committed to providing clients exemplary service and supporting the communities they serve with leadership and resources. www.firstinterstatebank.com

About Lay It Out Events
Lay It Out Events, Central Oregon’s premier event company, produces more than 20 festivals, races, and contract events each year, including Oregon WinterFest, Cascades Wedding Show, Balloons Over Bend Children’s Festival, the Happy Girls Run series, The Little Woody and more. Lay It Out Events donates a portion of each event’s proceeds to charity, raising well over $277,000 for local charities over the past 10 years. For more information, visit www.layitoutevents.com