COBYS Family Services held its 25th annual Bike & Hike this past week on Sunday, September 12. The popular event and the beautiful day brought out more than 325, walkers, bicyclists and motorcyclists to raise critical funding to support the organization’s ministries of foster care, adoption, counseling and family life education.
More than $160,000 was raised this year, making it the highest grossing Bike & Hike to date, topping the previous high of $148,000 in 2018.
“We are amazed at this fundraising effort by hundreds of COBYS supporters along with their friends and family in the local community and across the country,” said Anne Stokes, director of development. “While the dollar amount certainly is an achievement, what we are most pleased about is that those who donated recognize the importance of our services to the community and trust COBYS to provide quality care with compassion, dignity and hope.”
The top three fundraisers were Don Fitzkee and Lancaster Church of the Brethren with $11,050, Floy Fitzkee with $9,070 and Londa Brandt raising $8,525. Additional gratitude goes to Mari Cunningham and the Cunningham family for raising more than $20,000 for the adults, children and families served by COBYS.
COBYS is grateful to all participants and those who sponsored them, our corporate partners and individual donors. A special thanks is offered to the Lititz Church of the Brethren for again graciously hosting the event and other congregations for raising significant funds for COBYS, recognizing the value of our agency. Congregational and individual philanthropy offer foundational support to our ministries, allowing us to continue providing our essential services as we have been doing for more than 40 years.
During National Foster Care Month, COBYS Family Services (COBYS) invited the public to learn about foster care and adoption at an event on May 22, 2021 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Oregon Dairy. Fostering Hope: Families Wanted was a drop-in event designed to help educate the community about foster care and adoption. Staff was available to provide information and answer questions; foster/adoptive parents shared their experiences and insights in an informal setting. This family friendly event was held at Oregon Dairy, 2900 Oregon Pike, Lititz, PA 17543.
During the event, staff was available in front of The Market and The Restaurant to answer questions about foster care and adoption and offered a chance to win a gift card to Oregon Dairy. Those who talked with a foster/adoptive parent outside of The Milkhouse received free mini scoops of ice cream for their family to enjoy. An activity table and the fantastic playground offered kids a chance to play while grownups conversed. COBYS’ staff was also available to discuss the requirements and process to pursue becoming an approved foster/adoptive resource family with COBYS.
For more information about becoming a foster/adoptive resource family, contact Sharon Kingsley at (717) 656-6580 x108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you. We are so grateful for the interest and support we received for our first virtual banquet. The livestream event was held Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. Executive Director Mark Cunningham and Director of Development Anne Stokes hosted the event. Even virtually, we hope we strengthened the connections you have with COBYS.
We had no idea what to expect from a “banquet event” where you don’t meet in person. We weren’t sure how many people would “show up” to watch.
But you did. You certainly did. Here’s what we do know:
Although we weren’t able to meet in person, in some ways COBYS supporters were able to get a more personal look at some of the work we do every day. Short videos of COBYS staff explaining what and why they do what they do provided a glimpse of the impact COBYS has on the people we serve.
The foster care, adoption, counseling and family life education services we provide profoundly impact the lives of children, individuals and families who are in need of support. Banquet attendees learned how COBYS works to fulfill a calling to provide Christ-like care to our clients and each other. Care made possible in part because COBYS supporters share the call to help with financial donations bridging the gap from providing basic services to potential life-altering care.
We thank all who donated to COBYS through this event. For those who missed the livestream, the banquet can be viewed by clicking here.
Thank you for helping COBYS Family Services provide compassionate care to children and families at risk by contributing to us during the Lancaster County Community Foundation’s Extraordinary Give on Friday, November 20, 2020
Over $85,000 was donated to COBYS, going far beyond our goal for the day. We are humbled by the support and are so grateful for such confidence in our mission to educate, support and empower children and adults at risk in our community.
COBYS participated with more than 500 other nonprofits in Lancaster County’s largest day of giving. This year over $13.4 million was donated. Every dollar donated will be stretched with more than $500,000 from the Community Foundation, Rodgers & Associates, The S. Dale High Family Foundation, and other community partners. The stretch fund is distributed proportionally to the amount each organization raises.
We thank our friends who gave at the stroke of midnight to help us once again earn one of the $500 Early Bird prizes offered to the first 20 organizations to reach 50 “unique donors.” (A unique donor is a unique name and unique credit card number, so a couple could give two unique donations, so long as they used different credit cards.)
This year COBYS again joined our partners at Brethren Village to host giving stations in the lobby at the Wolfe Auditorium and in the Game Room at Fieldcrest.
The tradition continued – in a modified format. What wasn’t modified was the generosity of our supporters:
Despite the restrictions in place due to the pandemic, this is the second largest amount in 24 years ever raised during the Bike & Hike event. COBYS is overwhelmed and humbled by the response of our friends and supporters. With so much uncertainty in the world, we can certainly count on the people who value the services we provide to children and families at risk in the community.
Social distancing guidelines and crowd size restrictions necessitated changes, but we were able to still offer a 65-mile motorcycle ride, a 10 or 25-mile bicycle ride and a 3-mile walk. Many of our participants joined us on Sunday, September 13, 2020 at the Lititz Church of the Brethren. Some completed their trek on their own time, on their own course. Others chose to support participants who rode or walked, or Executive Director Mark Cunningham as he covered 40 miles by foot (one for every year COBYS has been serving the community) the week prior to the Bike & Hike.
And of course, we had ice cream!
If you missed the Bike & Hike this year, you can still contribute. Click here to make a donation. Thank you.
We thank our sponsors for their generous support of the mission of COBYS and our ministries. We encourage all participants to contact and patronize these businesses for products, service and solutions.
The Country Store, LLC
townlively.com – Merchandiser, Advertiser, Pennysaver
This was not your regular Family Fun Walk.
Thanks to our COBYS Family Fun Walk Walkers! Since COBYS wasn’t able to hold our annual Family Fun Walk in Harleysville, PA, we asked participants to modify the event and “Walk Where You Are”. We’re so grateful for all who did! Some participants shared a few of the photos of their walks and post-walk treats!
We’re so grateful to this dedicated group. More than $6,500 in gifts and pledges was raised for COBYS Family Services!
Thank you to all who attended, supported and celebrated the 40 year history of COBYS with us on Thursday, March 12, 2020 at Middle Creek Church of the Brethren.
At both the noon and evening seating we enjoyed wonderful food and fellowship then shared a look back at the journey and evolution of COBYS in care and service to children, families and individuals at risk in our community.
Each decade we reminisced about the work being by COBYS.
We also honored the service of Glen Fans, our first executive director and Ann and Dennis Saylor who fostered 116 children over 32 years.
We were grateful to have so many supporters join us, as well as several distinguished elected officials. Lancaster County Commissioners Ray D’Agostino and Craig Lehman presented a Letter of Commendation. State Senators Ryan Aument and Scott Martin presented a joint Senate Citation and a representative from Lloyd Smucker’s of
fice presented record of remarks that were placed in the Congressional Record honoring COBYS. We are thankful to each of these officials for supporting the work we do on behalf of children and families.
The 80s: Humble Beginnings
From the seeds of a shared desire to serve, to the formation of an agency with the focus of helping children in need and building stronger families, the first decade gained momentum on a path to make a real difference in people’s lives.
The 90s: Expanding to Meet the Needs
Activity, expansion and growth defined the 90s. Services shifted to meet the demands to best serve the children and families we were called to help.
The 2000s: Depth of Service Added
Additional services are added to continue care for adopting families, new property is purchased and existing properties improved to accommodate the expanding programs so units can operate efficiently. COBYS mission is officially defined.
The 10s: Recommitting with Room to Grow
COBYS adapts and recommits to its core values while fostering common sense growth to meet the increasing needs in the region.
We thank everyone who supported COBYS through this event with a donation. If you were unable to attend, there’s still time to give through this event.
Click here and choose “Banquet” from the Gift Designation drop-down menu.