BBF Announces Cycle II Grant Awards

Contact: Jud Fisher


For Release November 16, 2012

Ball Brothers Foundation grants support Ross Community Center and Appletree YMCA Child Development Center’s “Forest Kindergarten”, among others

Ross funding fits Muncie Action Plan neighborhood efforts; unique outdoor program at Appletree a paradigm shift in early childhood development

Muncie, Ind. – Ball Brothers Foundation awarded over 40 grants to organizations as part of its Cycle II grant period and other grant programs. The grants were approved at the foundation’s October board meeting.

Highlighting the grants were two very different but important endeavors.

“We were approached by Ross’ board over a year ago and have since witnessed huge strides in programming and staff development. Their board envisions delivering educational, sports, and general assistance options to people of all ages in their area. The stage is set for the Center to operate as a life-long learning and recreation facility for years to come,” said Jud Fisher, president and chief operating officer of Ball Brothers Foundation.

Fisher stated that Ross is a “front porch” to the neighborhood, and a vibrant center is important for community pride and meaningful programs. “While reviewing their latest proposal, we found an organization that will affect the greater neighborhood in both the short-term and long-term,” Fisher said. “The Center has made key hires and is now striving to improve facilities and partner with other organizations. Ross Center has a rich history and such wonderful potential. This is an organization that is getting stronger and we are excited to support their efforts.”

“The Appletree program is an outdoor classroom concept that attempts to correct the disconnection from nature that has been happening to our children,” said Fisher. “It not only provides a unique developmental setting, but incorporates nature into the learning process. We need to support something that creates a lasting positive impression of our environment that also assists in character and social skills building. Imagine young children playing and learning in the woods—it is so simple yet so important.”

The “learning without walls” concept will be designed on property adjacent to Appletree. Behavioral and learning improvements were observed in a pilot program conducted by Appletree YMCA and Ball State University. Forest Kindergarten aims to improve kindergarten readiness with the participating children.

“The connection to nature has been shown in similar programs to help improve test scores across diverse learning styles,” Fisher stated. “Ball Brothers sees this as setting the stage for new generations to get back to the outdoors while building the skills necessary to be good learners.”

Ball Brothers Foundation’s announcement includes the most recent grants payout by the foundation.

The local, regional, and state nonprofit organizations that will benefit from BBF’s Cycle II grant awards are as follows: Appletree YMCA, Forest Kindergarten, $100,000; Ball State University, Former Car Doctors Site Redevelopment, $21,000; Ball State University, Indiana Certified Public Manager Program, $40,000; Ball State University, BSU Planetarium, $100,000; Camp Crosley, Staff Housing, $70,000; Center for Rural Outreach & Public Service, Growing Rural Program, $10,000; Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County, Birth Through Age 5 Early Childhood Initiative, $75,000; Energize-ECI, Inc., Regional Economic Development, $125,000; Franklin College, State House Bureau, $15,000; Gateway Association, Inc., $21,300; Greater Muncie, IN Habitat for Humanity, $100,000; Huffer Memorial Children’s Center, Inc., Paths to Quality in ECI, $60,000; Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc., Ball Venture Fund, $75,000; Indiana Historical Society, Destination Indiana, $10,000; Indiana State Museum Foundation, Lincoln in Indiana, $15,000; Ivy Tech Community College, Step Up College Preparation Program, $60,000; McMillen Center for Health Education, $20,000; Motivate Our Minds, Inc., $30,000; Muncie Symphony Orchestra, MSO Goes to Town, $50,000; Ross Community Center, Inc., $45,000; Second Harvest Food Bank of ECI, $50,000.

Also, A Better Way Services, Inc., $4,992; Appletree YMCA, Forest Kindergarten Planning, $5,000; Boys & Girls Club of Muncie, $4,700; Bridges Community Services, Inc., $5,000; Cancer Services of ECI, $1,541; Cornerstone Center for the Arts, $4,930; Delaware Advancement Corporation, 2013 FAFSA Workshop, $5,000; Delaware County Soil & Water District, Strategic Planning, $5,000; Delaware County Soil & Water District, ECI Conservation Land Data Project, $5,000; Greater Muncie, IN Habitat for Humanity, Ball Brothers Foundation Fellows Program, $7,500; Historic Farmland USA, $5,000; Indiana Natural Resources Foundation, Hoosier Outdoor Experience, $2,500; Inside Out, CDC, Ball Brothers Foundation Fellows Program, $7,500; Inspire Academy, Community Awareness Effort, $5,000; Lead ECI, Converge 2012, $5,000; Living Lightly Fair 2012, $1,000; Muncie Action Plan, Organizing Neighborhoods, $5,000; Muncie Central High School, Students Teaching Adults in Technology, $4,990; Muncie Downtown Development Partnership, Muncie Three Trails Music Series, $5,000; Muncie Police Department, Tactical Equipment Initiative, $4,760; Youth Opportunity Center, Fisher Governance Award Recipient, $10,000.

Ball Brothers Foundation concentrates its philanthropic efforts on East Central Indiana with a particular focus on Delaware County. BBF offices are located in downtown Muncie. The foundation’s Web address is