MANSFIELD -- The Visual Bucket List Foundation has an opportunity to win $2,000 in the Safeco Insurance's 'Change Agent' contest.
The locally-owned and operated Hamilton Insurance Group recently nominated the Mansfield nonprofit for the competition, which this summer features nonprofits making a difference in the community health and awareness sector.
"I think it fits well because we bring quite a bit of awareness to children who are losing their sight," said Chrstine Myers, the vice president CFO of Hamilton Insurance and co-founder of The Visual Bucket List Foundation.
"Though we can't fix their condition, we can help (children across the United States) by giving them something to visually remember."
The Visual Bucket List Foundation was named one of the contest's 10 finalists, and if The Visual Bucket List Foundation receives enough social media engagement, it'll receive the prize money.
According to Myers, Safeco Insurance made a post about the finalists on its Facebook page earlier this week, and the two with the most likes and comments on the original post by 3 p.m. Friday will win $2,000 apiece. The one with the most engagement also earns a promotion package from Safeco Insurance.
"We have some tough competition but are the only Ohio non-profit in the running," Myers said. "I think we have a chance at winning this."
Last year, she recalls, Hamilton Insurance Company submitted the Little Buckeye Children's Museum to compete in Safeco's contest, which then was featuring nonprofits that work with children.
"And we won the $2,000 for Little Buckeye," Myers said. "I believe we placed second."
Myers hopes for the same success this year for The Visual Bucket List Foundation, which provides trips or “wish list experiences” for children with declining vision. So far, the organization has sent a Shelby family to Disney World, offered free plane rides around Mansfield and given away several pairs of e-sight glasses.
Most recently, the organization sent a Florida boy with Usher’s Syndrome to South Dakota for a dinosaur dig. The boy, Tyson Nekomoto, who loves dinosaurs and dreams of being a paleontologist one day, has a rare genetic condition that will likely cause him to lose his vision and hearing as he matures. It's the same affliction that affects the founders of the Visual Bucket List’s daughter, who inspired the foundation.
Myers and her husband, Steve, dreamed up the concept of The Visual Bucket List Foundation after a Turkish Airline offered their family a free round-trip visit to Rome so that their oldest of two daughters, Lizzy, could see a new portion of the world.
"We want to be able to help children across the United States, but so far most of our gifts have been local," Myers said. "I know $2000 would go a long way in helping a child see something on their bucket list, and for us, the (promotional) package would be huge. It'd help us get our name out there and help children outside this area here even more."
To help the local organization win the $2,000 like, comment and share the post at Safeco Insurance's Facebook page.