Mayoral challenge ends with nearly $10,000 raised

After an incredible outfit display at the annual Goshen Chamber of Commerce meeting, Mayor Jeremy Stutsman and Chamber President Nick Kieffer raised close to $10,000, which will be distributed to two local nonprofit organizations this holiday season.

The Mayor and Chamber President raised nearly $5,000, and the Community Foundation of Elkhart County will be giving an additional $5,000. The donations will be split evenly between Ryan’s Place and Ben’s House, two local nonprofit organizations that work with grieving children and women in need of shelter, respectively.

“Thank you to the Community Foundation for matching the donations for the good of this community and thank you to those who donated for supporting our local organizations,” Mayor Stutsman said. “I’d also like to thank Nick Kieffer for always being willing to support our community and finding ways fun while doing it.”

About two weeks leading up to the annual meeting, Mayor Stutsman challenged Kieffer to a “Best Holiday Outfit Contest.” The goal of the contest was to raise contributions for local nonprofit organizations or community initiatives.

Donations were to be sent by the day before the annual meeting so the grand total would be counted. If a minimum of $5,000 were raised, both Mayor Stutsman and Kieffer would don their best Christmas outfits at the annual meeting. The day of the meeting, the winner of the “Best Holiday Outfit Contest” would be named, and the winner would later name the local group (or groups) to receive the donation.

Although the initial goal of $5,000 was not raised in time for the meeting, Mayor Stutsman and Kieffer still turned the stage into an impromptu runway to show off their extravagant ensembles.

The Community Foundation offered to give an additional $5,000 at the event, and the fundraiser continued until the week of December 16. A final donation that came through the door this week, bringing the total raised close to $5,000.

“I am always amazed by the generosity in this community,” Mayor Stutsman said. “I want to invite anyone who is thinking giving this time of year, to please don’t forget about our local organizations that serve our community year-round.”