Agency awards $10K-plus in grants

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MADISON COUNTY — From supporting a program through which children can learn to talk about abuse, to helping designate parking for people with disabilities in a park, the South Madison Community Foundation has announced its latest round of grants for a variety of causes.

The foundation notified the winning Community Enhancement Grant applicants for first quarter 2018 in March.

Some of the winners were challenge grants, meaning their funds will be awarded after their match conditions are met.

The following projects received grants:

• Aspire Indiana — $2,325 to expand KidsTalk child abuse prevention programming to schools in Lapel.

• Pendleton Community Public Library — $7,000 to install a community kitchen and implement nutrition-related programming in the library’s community room.

• Town of Ingalls — $2,800 to install ADA-compliant parking spaces at Interurban Park.

• Falls Park and the Pendleton Heights High School Beta Club — $500, a challenge grant to support the creation of a dog park in Falls Park (to be called Falls Bark) as a high school capstone project.

• Pendleton First United Methodist Church’s Friendly Flock Preschool — $5,000, a challenge grant to support safe, age-appropriate playground updates.

• In collaboration with Charlie’s Fund for Children, the non-profit Outfitters received a $10,000 grant for the purchase of new athletic shoes.

• In collaboration with Youth Leadership Academy of Madison County, Youth Commission grants were made to: More Than Conquerors, $750, Camp Victorious 2018; Team Roboto No. 447, $500, 2018 Competition.

• Pendleton Community Public Library, $250, Community Kitchen and nutrition programming.

In some cases, recipients may have to wait on a public meeting or other internal timeline that might delay their acceptance of funds, but all recipients should have their funding this spring, foundation leaders said.

Since 1993, the foundation has invested $3.5 million in grants to benefit South Madison County, according to the foundation’s website.

The impact of the grants can be seen throughout South Madison County communities, Executive Director Tammy Bowman said.

The foundation works with donors who have hopes and dreams of helping others in their community.

“Awarding grants is the way we see donors’ wishes for their community come true, so it is very satisfying,” Bowman said.

Denise Valdez of Aspire Indiana applied for a grant to help expand KidsTalk at Lapel Elementary and Intermediate schools.

Her organization was honored and excited to be selected as a grant recipient, she said.

Aspire sees firsthand the impact of abuse and neglect on children, Valdez said; it sees arming children with knowledge of appropriate and inappropriate touches and empowering children to report issues as key to reducing child sexual abuse.

Valdez is proud to be part of a county-wide team of professionals dedicated to tackling the tough issue of child abuse.

“We are especially pleased to partner with South Madison Community Foundation to provide this crucial information to our youth,” Valdez said.

Leaders of Pendleton First United Methodist Church’s Friendly Flock Preschool plan to use the grant money to purchase age-appropriate playground equipment and create more green space for play and outdoor learning opportunities at the church.

“We are very excited and thankful for the support from the South Madison Community Foundation,” Kelsey Maddox said.

Community Enhancement Grants and Student Enhancement Grants are made from the Foundation’s Bright Future Fund.

Donors to the Bright Future Fund give without restriction, meaning they allow the foundation’s board of directors and grant committee to make grants on their behalf, Bowman said.

“Being trusted to make those choices for someone else is a serious responsibility and privilege,” Bowman said. “When a project comes to life, you feel like you’ve done something to pay back your predecessors and to build the kind of legacy they wanted for their community.”

For more details about the foundation, call 765-778-8444 or visit southmadisonfoundation.org.