More than $1.5 million awarded to community organizations from GAR Foundation

Dina Younis \
May 20, 2015
Akron, Ohio (May 21, 2015) – The Distribution Committee of GAR Foundation announced $1,542,575 in funding to 35 community organizations at its May meeting in the areas of education, basic needs and independence, arts and culture, and civic enhancement.
Many of this quarter’s awards focused on early childhood education programs that support children and families across the Cradle to Career continuum, with grants of $160,000 and $134,000 awarded to Greenleaf Family Center’s SPARK program and The Learning Zone at The Salvation Army of Summit County, respectively.
Among the fifteen education grants awarded, the Great Lakes Biomimicry Collaboration received $45,000 for the Lift Off capacity building campaign and for support of the University of Akron Ph.D. fellow program at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Middle School. The program engages students and teachers and provides valuable practices aligned with the STEM priorities.
“Northeast Ohio is a leader in the promising field of biomimicry, particularly given that the University of Akron offers the only biomimicry Ph.D. program in the world,” said Christine Amer Mayer, president of GAR Foundation. “We believe that continued investment in this capacity will have a catalytic effect.”
Furthering its efforts to support projects that contribute to Akron’s downtown and neighborhood vibrancy, GAR invested $60,000 in funding to the East Akron Revitalization Plan, a multi-faceted, community-endorsed plan led by the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation and designed to improve the physical spaces of the East Akron neighborhood. This grant includes in part a $1-for $1 challenge grant to inspire other donations, as well as funding for an idea competition to energize neighborhood block clubs and community groups to bring their best ideas forward for implementation.
GAR awarded Summit Cycling Center $10,000 in new funding for the How We Roll Bicycle Safety and Touring program.  The tours provide participants with an experience of safe cycling in downtown Akron and teaches bike assembly and maintenance throughout the riding season. “We believe the How We Roll touring program is a highly visible way to get the word out about Akron’s cultural assets,” said Kirstin Toth, senior vice president of GAR Foundation. “It is a great fit for our civic enhancement priority to support Akron’s vibrancy.”
The organizations receiving support include:
  • Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, $50,000, for general operating
  • Apollo’s Fire, The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra*, $12,500, for Summit County concerts, education, and outreach in the 2015-16 season
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, $85,000, for the after-school and summer youth development program
  • College Now of Greater Cleveland, $55,000, for college access services in 2015-16
  • Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, $25,125, for summer outreach programs
  • Crown Point Ecology Center, $15,000, for general operating
  • Cultural Data Project, $10,000, for grantee services and support
  • East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation*, $60,000, for the East Akron Revitalization Plan
  • Emmanuel Christian Academy, $33,200, for an extended day math intervention and enrichment program
  • First Glance Student Center, $35,000, for general operating
  • Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, $40,000, for the Girl Scout Leadership Experience in Barberton, Kenmore, and North Hill
  • Great Lakes Biomimicry Collaborative, $45,000, for the Lift Off capacity-building program and the Ph.D. fellow program at STEM Middle School
  • Greater Akron Musical Association, $100,000, for general operating
  • Greenleaf Family Center, $160,000, for the SPARK program
  • Groundworks Dance Theater, $25,000, for Summit County performances and outreach in 2015-16
  • Hiram House Camp, $20,250, for camperships
  • Interfaith Caregivers Program, $25,000, for general operating
  • Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio, Inc., $35,000, for programs in Summit County schools
  • Mobile Meals, Inc., $60,000, for general operations
  • Musical Arts Association, $100,000, for the 2015 Blossom Music Festival
  • North Hill Community House, $20,000, for general operating
  • Oriana House, Inc., $30,000, for fiscal sponsorship of the Summit County Reentry Network
  • Philanthropy Ohio, $7,500, for general operating
  • Senior Independence of Akron / Canton, $20,000, for the Adult Day Center
  • Shelter Care, Inc., $30,000, for the Safe Landing Youth Shelters
  • St. Mary Elementary School, $25,000, for Mathematics Core Foundations and professional development
  • Summit Christian School, Inc., $20,000, for Common Core math curriculum alignment and professional development
  • Summit Cycling Center, $10,000, for the “How We Roll” Bicycle Tour
  • The Salvation Army, Summit County Area Services, $134,000, for the Learning Zone
  • The University of Akron Foundation*, $80,000, for the Rising to the Occasion scholarship program
  • United Way of Summit County, $30,000 , for the fiscal sponsorship of the Summit County Fatherhood Initiative
  • Urban Vision, $35,000, for the Set on Success afterschool program
  • Victim Assistance Program, $25,000, for general operating
  • Western Reserve Historical Society, $40,000, for educational programming at Hale Farm & Village
  • Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop*, $45,000, for the YEPAW 365 program
*The award consists of a challenge grant.
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.
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Media Contact:
Dina Younis, GAR Foundation, [email protected] or 330-572-2809