About The Elpis Foundation

Our Story

"We founded Elpis as a way to give back to those who are less fortunate in their lives and who have had their families, friends or own lives affected by tragedy. We wanted to provide our strengths to help in the greater good and make a positive impact in our communities"

- Patrick McNichol

Patrick McNichol, the Founder of Elpis, created The War on the Shore ("WOTS") in 2005 to benefit the Penn State Dance Marathon. The event started as a small gathering of family and friends, and by 2005 had approximately 200 people and raised close to $15,000.  Based on the success of WOTS and a desire to grow not only the WOTS event, but to also reach a wider audience, Patrick decided to expand his fundraising goals.  In the summer of 2008 Patrick, along with 10 other friends, mostly Penn State Alumni, formed The Elpis Foundation.

The Elpis Foundation focuses on raising money for existing non-profit charities. Dedicated to supporting many causes, we seek to work with other organizations to find a common benefit, and address issues close to our hearts’ and others. Providing events to understand our purpose, and to serve it’s end, we will host social events, athletic events and tournaments, toy drives, banquet dinners, concerts and much more in order to financially support our causes. We are only as strong as our ties that bind us together, and growing our philanthropic network will help us, our community, and the causes we support to achieve our greatest respective potential. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us throughout the years and hope that our steadfastness and passion are an inspiration to those we support.

Where We're From

The Elpis Foundation is an organization that grows very deeply out of the Penn State University in State College, PA.  With the success of WOTS and the ties to Penn State, Elpis's initial fundraising location was the Philadelphia, PA area. 

Currently Elpis hosts events in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC and Avalon, NJ and Elpis' board members reside in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Dallas, TX. 

The Name 'Elpis'

In Hesiod’s “Works and Days”, Zeus gave his wife Pandora a special box. She was instructed to keep it closed, but she had also been given the gift of Curiosity, and ultimately opened the box.  When it was opened, all of the evils, ills, diseases, and burdensome labor that humankind had never known escaped, leaving Pandora only quick enough to close it and keep one value inside: Hope.

Without Hope to accompany all their troubles, humanity was filled with despair. It was a great relief when Pandora revisited her box and let out Hope, giving the Greeks the opportunity to live in prosperity once again.

In Greek mythology, Elpis stood for the personification of Hope. Throughout history, Elpis has been depicted as a young woman, usually carrying flowers or a cornucopia in her hands, a symbol of the brighter side of things, an expression of comfort in moments of weakness.