Despite a tight economy and housing market still searching for a bottom, fundraising ventures for three mortgage-based companies resulted in significant contributions to charities still in need. Potestivo & Associates, a law firm serving the mortgage banking and default servicing industries, raised more than $10,000 for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life held at Hart Middle School in Michigan on June 20. Teams participating in the relay at a local track, trail or park, needed to keep at least one member jogging or walking on the course for 24 hours, as part of the challenge. Local businesses sponsored the teams with fundraiser campaigns. The firm set off in April to raise $5,000 for the cancer research fund. Employees organized evening bowling events and participated in euchre card game tournaments. Ice cream socials, bake sales, pizza parties and potlucks added to the fundraising portfolio. The firm also cashed in raffle tickets and sold used books for the cause. The results are positive as companies tethered to mortgage industry ups and downs are becoming more selective with their charitable efforts, says Amber Hoffman, director of marketing for Potestivo & Associates. By June 20, the firm's fundraiser team generated $10,552, doubling their goal and total for last year’s Relay for Life. “We have to choose organizations and causes that our employees can connect with," Hoffman adds. "The Relay for Life was something brought to us a few years ago, and our employees really get behind it." The race originated in 1985, when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma, Washington circled a track at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma for 24 hours, traveling more than 83 miles in an attempt to raise money for his American Cancer Society’s office, according to their Web site. The economy's downward trajectory has not hindered the charity of the law firm, Martin, Leigh, Laws & Fritzlen or its complimentary title insurance company, Mokan Title Services.  Both businesses, employees and clients arranged to present Harvesters with a check for $5,000. The law firm, based in Kansas City, specializes in creditor's rights, foreclosures, title insurance and banking.  In 1999, the firm founded Mokan Title Services to couple with the law practice but has since grown to cover all real estate transactions. Since 1979, Harvesters has been delivering food and household products to bare emergency food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and the homes of children.  This year, Harvesters celebrated its 30th anniversary as Kansas City's only food bank and a provider for more than 60,000 people a week in the greater Kansas City area. Write to Jon Prior.