Grants Making a Difference
Each year, the Springfield Foundation awards grants from both unrestricted and restricted funds to help meet current community needs and to support a variety of programs in Clark County, Ohio. (See Grants Awarded for current and past awards.) These grants fall primarily within six major areas:
Arts & Culture
Funding is provided to performing and/or visual arts and programs that support the arts. Grant awards may include performances, exhibits, programs, projects, supplies, operations, etc.
Gary Geis Dance Company was created to reach out to the community to increase appreciation of performing arts – especially dance – and to offer young people an opportunity to participate in dance regardless of their age, gender, race or income. Two exciting hip hop dance troupes have been formed to achieve this mission: Jericho Jazz for performers age 8-12, and Exodus, for more experienced dancers, age 13 and older.
Westcott House Foundation exists to preserve the creative genius of Frank Lloyd Wright and the entrepreneurial spirit of Burton J. Westcott that resulted in the "house museum" that stands at 1340 East High Street in Springfield, Ohio. The summer camps "Design Detectives and "Design Studio" give young people hands-on experience with photography, theatre, art, music and play that teach about the rich architectural history of our area.
Funding provides assistance in the areas of economic development, public safety, civic improvement, and historic preservation.
City of Springfield CultureFest. One weekend each summer, the City Hall Plaza in Springfield, Ohio becomes a multi-cultural festival. This community has been – and continues to be – influenced by the many different ethnic groups that call Springfield and Clark County home.
Wittenberg University’s Summer Intern Program through the Center for Civic and Urban Engagement connects Wittenberg University students with the local community in six different projects that bring real value to all participants. “Renewing the Core and the Creek” is just one example of the interns “getting their feet wet” in the community. Students who are engaged with local programs begin to think of Springfield as a permanent home, where they can be successful. And, local organizations benefit from the students’ service and from their potential as future employees.
Funding in this interest area addresses the educational needs of people from birth through adulthood. Grant awards typically are made to enhance the educational experience of students, or to provide additional resources to teachers and educational programs.
Springfield Promise Neighborhood exists to build Springfield and Clark County as a community that does everything possible to ensure that all of its children are school-ready by kindergarten, and college- or career-ready by the time they graduate from high school. This is being accomplished in a pilot program at Lincoln Elementary. The goal is to make it a “thriving school,” and the area surrounding the school a “thriving neighborhood.”
Wright STEPP is a program of Wright State University that engages young people entering 8th grade to help prepare them for careers in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine) fields. Students who successfully complete the Wright STEPP program earn a full, four-year scholarship to attend Wright State University to study in a STEM discipline.
Environment, Conservation & Animal Welfare
This area of support focuses on programs and projects that preserve natural features of the area, or enhance or re-develop features that have been neglected over time. Grant awards typically include funding for animals, parks, natural resources, historic preservation.
Springfield in Full Bloom is the local name given to our community’s participation in the annual America in Bloom competition. Each July, judges visit various communities to evaluate floral displays, landscaped areas, environmental awareness, heritage preservation, and community involvement. Local residents work together to make a good impression on the visiting judges, and reinforce the image of Springfield and Clark County as a great place to live, work and play.
Glen Helen is a 1,000-acre, nonprofit natue preserve located in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Each year, the Glen is inhabited by 4th, 5th and 6th graders from schools including Springfield City elementary schools. This is an experience that should not be denied any child who lacks financial resources. Grant funding helps provide scholarships to students who could not otherwise take part in the three-day camp.
This funding interest area provides support for medical programs and facilities.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) of Central Ohio has been offering programs to Clark County residents since 2008. In January 2009, Shawnee High School teacher Beth Hearlihy was diagnosed with Stage IV Burkitt’s Lymphoma. Beth’s survival was made possible by research funded by LLS and from LLS’s patient support services in Clark County. The Foundation’s funding of this program in Clark County has resulted in service to more than 250 local cancer survivors including LLS’s 2011 Woman of the Year Beth Hearlihy.
TAC Farms is helping to provide healthy, locally grown food to area restaurants and schools. With a new hydroponic greenhouse, seven individuals with disabilities will be employed to provide more than 400 pounds of romaine lettuce to Springfield City Schools. This produce is in addition to the lettuce and fresh basil that is already in production for local restaurants.
Grants provided in this support area address basic human needs of food, shelter, clothing, and, as well as, to seek solutions to systemic social problems.
Ronald McDonald House in Dayton, Ohio is a temporary “home away from home” for families of critically ill or injured hospitalized children. Families from Clark County make up the greatest number of overnight guest stays. Serenity Kelly’s family stayed at Ronald McDonald House when Serenity was delivered prematurely, weighing only 3 pounds, 4 ounces. Serenity’s mother, LaTosha Kelly, was comforted by the other guests of Ronald McDonald House and was thankful that she could be close by her miracle baby as she gained weight and grew healthy enough to go home.
Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) is dedicated to helping individuals and families overcome homelessness. IHN serves families, single women and single men in two shelters – Norm’s Place and Hartley House. With support from this nonprofit oganization, people can transition into permanent housing and get connected with other community support agencies.