Main Street grabs $10,000 grand prize

Facebook likes earned a $10,000 prize for Main Street Amherst in the Community Foundation of Lorain County’s 35th anniversary contest.

The Amherst downtown business agency took first place among non-profits competing for endowment fund cash.

Oberlin Community Services placed second and will receive $5,000 and Blessing House placed third for a $2,500 prize.

“We were up until 1 a.m. asking people to vote,” said Main Street director Teresa Gilles, who flooded the Web in May with pleas for support.

The win came down to just 98 votes, she said.

Main Street board members each pledged $100 in personal contributions to start an endowment, which generates interest year after year. The organization gave another $9,000 and with the Community Foundation prize the total is up to $20,000.

The fund will be used to establish Main Street scholarships for Amherst Steele High School graduates.

Schools also competed for Community Foundation cash.

In that category, Clearview took first place and the $10,000 prize with the Lorain County JVS ranking second in Facebook likes for a $5,000 award.

Avon Lake City Schools rang in the $2,500 third place prize.

In all, 23 school districts and 80 non-profit groups got involved in the endowment contest.

Founded in 1980, the Community Foundation of Lorain County is made up of more than 570 endowed funds valued at roughly $128 million.

Earnings provide $4.4 million each year in grant support to local non-profits.