A teddy bear wears a white shirt with a "Q" on it, as well as a tag that reads, "Sponsored by RKL"
Image: Students in Lions Quest programs receive Q-Bear as a parting gift to remind then of what they’ve learned. Made possible by RKL LLP.

The number of Lancaster and Lebanon County residents impacted by Compass Mark’s programs has grown exponentially each year. From 2016-2017 through 2018-2019 alone, the number grew from 96,520 to 220,342 and Compass Mark’s donors are largely to thank for this exciting growth.

Driven by generous donor contributions, Compass Mark has been able to launch new initiatives like the Leaders of Future Generations program and continue to grow and improve long-standing programs such as Lions Quest®.

“Donor support certainly helps to fund the programs and make them successful, but it’s also an affirmation of the community’s support for their mission,” said Mark Zettlemoyer, who wears two hats as both a Compass Mark board member and a partner at RKL LLP, an accounting and business consulting firm and generous corporate supporter of Compass Mark.

Most recntly, RKL LLP donated $1,500 toward the purchase of Q-Bears for the elementary school students involved in the Lions Quest® prevention program. With donations toward the cuddly stuffed bears also received from Chubb North America and BrickStreet Insurance, Compass Mark is able to present one of the Q-Bears to each student who completes a semester of Lions Quest.

Donors Support Skill Building for Kids

Throughout the program, topics including conflict resolution, dealing with peer pressure, and managing emotions are addressed, and vital skills like communication, responsible decision-making, and positive coping strategies are taught. Students then each take home the Q-Bear to serve as a reminder of all that they have learned. For Zettlemoyer – a grandfather to two young grandkids – and the team at RKL LLP, it is an initiative well worth supporting.

“My interest in Compass Mark really came from the drug and alcohol prevention aspect,” explained Zettlemoyer who first got involved with Compass Mark in July of 2013 after his grandson was born. “Having grandkids, I didn’t want to see them have to deal with that without any sort of resource. My grandkids are young now, but that was really my driving factor to get involved. Preventing somebody from getting involved with drugs or alcohol certainly prevents a whole host of other potential community problems. If you can stop it before it starts, that’s a great benefit to the whole community.

“With RKL, the company really supports a lot of the community,” continued Zettlemoyer. “As part of being an employee and a partner at RKL, our job descriptions and requirements involve community service and community organizations. That’s as big a part and component of what we do as our actual accounting work. It’s about giving back and serving the community. Being on the board at Compass Mark provided me and RKL with the opportunity to get to know the organization and the programs that it offers. Seeing that it’s such a valuable organization to the community made RKL want to support it.”

EITC Donors Address Addiction

Seeing the value that Compass Mark brings to the community is also what has led other area businesses, including Mid Penn Bank, to stand up and take notice and begin to get involved.

“Right now, addiction is a major issue that’s negatively impacting our community, and we were impressed with Compass Mark’s mission and that it focused on prevention,” said Janet DiCecco, the assistant vice president of Mid Penn Bank.

Four adults hold a giant check for $4,000 outside of the Lancaster County Community Services Center. They are grinning.For the last two years, Mid Penn Bank has been one of Compass Mark’s generous  donors, contributing $4,000 each year to the Leaders of Future Generations Program.

“We’re looking to support organizations that empower young people; that’s always on our radar,” continued DiCecco. “The Leaders of Future Generations program is focused on reducing student risk factors by developing leadership skills and strengthening personal reliance. We felt that it was a great fit with our EITC dollars to support Compass Mark because of the mission and knowing that they are focusing on future generations.”

In addition to benefiting Compass Mark, the EITC Program allows businesses like Mid Penn Bank to receive a tax credit for up to 90 percent of their contributions to registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.

Through EITC and other donations, Compass Mark has most recently been able to start production of an educational video series for use online and on social media, purchase iPads for the Leaders of Future Generations program, and create new display materials for community events and health fairs.

“Giving back is part of being a good corporate citizen,” said Zettlemoyer. “When you give back to your community, it’s really to improve everybody’s lives as a whole. We live here too, and we want everybody to prosper and be successful and have the best opportunities that they can.”

Companies interested in learning more about making an EITC donation to Compass Mark can contact Eric Kennel at ekennel@compassmark.org or 717-299-2831.