More than $2 million awarded to community organizations from GAR Foundation

Dina Younis \
August 18, 2015
Akron, Ohio (August 18, 2015) – The Distribution Committee of GAR Foundation announced $2,087,000 in funding to 38 community organizations at its August meeting in the areas of education, basic needs and independence, arts and culture, and civic enhancement.
GAR made a grant of $500,000 to the Development Fund of the Western Reserve (“DFWR”), an affiliate of the Development Finance Authority of Summit County, in support of their newly created Targeted Loan Fund. The Targeted Loan Fund will help to catalyze real estate development projects in distressed census tracts and urban areas, such as downtown Akron.  The Fund will include capital from community funders like GAR Foundation, as well as capital received from the sale of New Markets Tax Credits which DFWR was recently awarded by the US Treasury. DFWR, in partnership with Village Capital Corporation, will apply its development finance expertise to select and vet promising urban real estate projects.
“The fact that DFWR secured a $45 million allocation of New Markets Tax Credits through a highly competitive process is a major victory for our community,” said Christine Amer Mayer, president of GAR Foundation. “DFWR has effectively imported dollars that will help to drive vibrancy in Akron. GAR is proud to be one of the local civic investors whose funding will be leveraged by the New Markets Tax Credits to catalyze tangible, visible improvement in our core geographic footprint.”
DFWR president, Chris Burnham, said that DFWR will dedicate $6.75 million of its overall allocation of New Market Tax credits to the Targeted Loan Fund.
“We are very grateful to GAR for this support of our Targeted Loan Fund,” said Burnham. “Along with a $1 million commitment previously made to the Fund by the Akron Development Fund, these GAR dollars demonstrate that our community can come together around investments that will improve our core vibrancy.”  DFWR must raise additional funding for the Targeted Loan fund in order to access the leverage of the tax credits. It is actively reaching out to potential supporters.
In other awards, this quarter’s $2 million of grants also includes $300,000 in awards for mission-critical capital requests. GAR invites capital requests one time per year. Fifteen organizations received funding this round including $20,000 to the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens for the 2nd Century Restoration and Sustainability Campaign.

The organizations receiving support include:

  • ACCESS, Inc., $20,000**, for renovation and update of emergency center.
  • Actors’ Summit, $20,000, for support of the 2015-16 season.
  • Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, $25,000**, for roof replacement.
  • Alchemy, Inc., $45,000, for capacity-building and general operations
  • Asian Services in Action, Inc., $50,000, for the International Community Empowerment Project.
  • Battered Women’s Shelter, $25,000**, for one of three Renew and Restore Community Rooms.
  • Building for Tomorrow, $75,000, for the Early Childhood Initiative.
  • BVU: The Center for Nonprofit Excellence, $100,000, for general operations
  • CASA Board Volunteer Association, Inc., $20,000, for general operations.
  • Child Guidance & Family Solutions, $80,000, for the Toddlers and Preschoolers Succeeding Program (TAPS).
  • Children’s Concert Society, $17,500, for the concert hall series and after-school outreach programs.
  • City of Akron, $15,000, for the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival
  • Community Support Services, $20,000**, for Central Intake Services of homeless.
  • Core Furniture Bank, $8,000, for general operations.
  • Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, $20,000** , to repair and restore an executive car and for cosmetic upgrades to aging fleet.
  • Development Fund of the Western Reserve, Inc., $500,000, for the Targeted Loan Fund.
  • Downtown Akron Partnership, $35,000, for general operations
  • Family Promise of Summit County, Inc., $15,000, for general operations.
  • Friends of 91.3 The Summit, $15,000*, for the 2015 membership challenge.
  • Great Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America, $55,000, for the exploring/venturing program.
  • ideastream, $45,000, for the STEM project in Twinsburg City Schools.
  • Info line, Inc., $30,000, for the Summit County Basic Needs Access Service System.
  • Jewish Family Service, $35,000, for general operations.
  • Military Aviation Preservation Society, $20,000**, for the main hangar heating system.
  • Mobile Meals, Inc., $13,000** , to purchase a commercial refrigerator.
  • Our Lady of the Elms, $15,000**, for renovation of science labs.
  • Salvation Army, Summit County Area Services, $20,000**, for a new gym floor.
  • South Street Ministries, Inc., $20,000**, for the Front Porch project.
  • Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, $30,000*, for the 2015 annual fund.
  • Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, $20,000**, for the 2nd Century Restoration and Sustainability Campaign.
  • The House of the Lord, $30,000**, for renovations of the youth center.
  • The Nightlight, $15,000**, for a second exhibition space.
  • The University of Akron Foundation , $20,000, for literacy coaching in Summit County
  • Tri-County Jobs for Ohio Graduates, $50,000, for dropout prevention and dropout recovery services in 2015-16.
  • Tri-County Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates, $12,000**, for parking lot replacement.
  • Tuesday Musical Association , $30,000, for the 2015-16 concert season.
  • United Way of Summit County, $450,000*, for the annual campaign.
  • Weathervane Community Playhouse, $40,000, for the 2015-16 season.
  • Western Reserve Historical Society, Inc., $25,000**, for historic preservation of Crafts & Trades buildings at Hale Farm & Village.
  • Women’s Network, $6,500, for leadership training and professional development programs.

*The award consists of a challenge grant.
** The award is a capital grant.

For more information contact Dina Younis, communications manager at dyounis@garfdn.org or 330.572.2809.

GAR Foundation
GAR Foundation is a private foundation established in 1967 by Galen and Ruth Roush.  Mr. Roush was the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Roadway Express.  GAR Foundation invests in Greater Akron to promote quality of life, education, and economic opportunities for its people, in a culturally vibrant community. Since its inception, GAR has distributed more than $225 million to nonprofit organizations working in the Foundation’s areas of interest.  Funding priorities include: Education, Basic Needs and Independence, Arts and Culture, and Civic Enhancement. The Foundation’s offices are housed within the historic Andrew Jackson House at 277 E Mill Street in Akron, Ohio.