Cycle I Grants Announced

5/26/2009

Ball Brothers Foundation Announces Cycle I Grants

Over $1 million granted to local, regional, and state organizations

Muncie, Indiana – Ball Brothers Foundation has announced the approval of grants resulting from its first of two grant cycles of the year to several organizations throughout Indiana. The majority of the grants will be distributed to organizations for local efforts while a select few grants were directed to groups with efforts outside the East Central Indiana region.

The recipient nonprofits are: Indiana Council for Economic Education ($10,000), Eastbrook Community Schools ($25,000), Indiana University Foundation ($100,000), Prevent Blindness Indiana ($15,000), Open Door/BMH Health ($50,000), Kidz Korner Child Care Center ($15,000), Youth Opportunity Center ($120,000), Special Olympics Indiana ($7,500), Cardinal Greenway, Inc. ($100,000), Muncie Boys and Girls Club ($15,000), Cornerstone Center for the Arts ($75,000), College Mentors for Kids ($20,000), Muncie Children's Museum ($15,000), Huffer Memorial Children's Center ($45,000), A Better Way ($50,000), United Way of Delaware County ($100,000), United Day Care Center ($25,000), Ivy Tech Community College ($50,000), Delaware County Soil & Water District ($75,000), Apple Tree Child Development Center YMCA ($45,000)

Other organizations approved for grants outside the Foundation's first cycle through separate grant programs include: A Better Way ($5,000), Ball State University ($5,000), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County ($12,500), Cardinal Greenway, Inc. ($5,000), Cornerstone Center for the Arts ($3,800), Minnetrista Cultural Foundation ($2,500), Muncie Civic Theatre ($5,000), Muncie Community Schools ($7,900), Selma Middle School ($5,000), Specialized Alternatives for Family & Youth ($5,000), Motivate Our Minds ($7,500).

"We continue our strategy of supporting a diverse mix of quality organizations and initiatives that hold our community together and provide opportunities for the future," said Jud Fisher, executive director and chief operating officer. Fisher cited two examples: The Ivy Tech Community College grant that funds "The Muncie Comprehensive Plan" and a Ball Brothers Foundation internal initiative to support childcare.

"The Muncie Comprehensive Plan" consists of the City of Muncie and the Community College working as partners to develop a plan for the city. The final product will specifically study how Housing and Urban Development funds are being utilized on one front while also laying out a strong workforce development plan on another.

The first part of the plan will allow the city to provide information to HUD on how Muncie's use of HUD funds fit in with the city's overall strategic plans. The second part targeting workforce development will research needs for job creation, retraining of existing workers, new training programs needed for workers, and enterprise and economic development opportunities in the area.

"There were two key selling points on this proposal for Ball Brothers Foundation. One was that the city officials and Ivy Tech showed they want to partner with Ball State and other groups to fully leverage our community assets," Fisher said. "The other point, and probably the most important point, was the element of planning to improve quality of place issues to attract and retain workers. People are influenced by amenities and nice neighborhoods as much as by the type of job they are seeking when choosing a place to live. When this plan is completed and put into action, the city will have a clear course to improve where we live so workers stay within the county and build wealth here instead Fishers, Carmel and other distant cities."

The Ball Brothers Foundation Childcare Initiative was developed to strengthen an overlooked area of need. "The Foundation did research after reading The Star Press articles several years ago regarding childcare needs. We then engaged several local childcare experts and gained better insight into the obstacles that many organizations in Delaware County face," Fisher said. "These organizations provide a safe environment, early childhood education, and the ability to allow parents to contribute to the workforce without worrying about their children. Childcare facilities represent vital underpinnings of our society."

Fisher went on to state that the Foundation will continue its initiative for at least another year. "We know we cannot do this alone, but if we can assist in some small way, the childcare organizations in our county can build capacity, awareness, and possibly receive funding from other sources."

Ball Brothers Foundation was founded in 1926 to promote and carry out philanthropic efforts in the state of Indiana. The Foundation concentrates on East Central Indiana, with particular focus on Delaware County. The Foundation offices are located in downtown Muncie, Indiana. For further information, including guidelines and deadlines, please go to http://www.ballfdn.org/

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