October 2015 Grants Awarded
October 30, 2015
CEDAR FALLS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES OCTOBER GRANTS
The Cedar Falls Community Foundation Board of Directors approved grants totaling over $110,000 at its October 29, 2015 meeting.
The Cedar Falls Community Foundation serves as the leading philanthropic organization in Cedar Falls, Iowa, using the resources entrusted to its stewardship to support projects that enhance the community’s quality of life through cultural, scholarly, recreational, literary, and artistic endeavors. The Cedar Falls Community Foundation encourages community philanthropy and collaboration.
Altrusa International Inc. of Cedar Falls developed a scholarship program in 2007 to aid adult women in financial need to continue their education in Black Hawk County. With the funds granted from the Cedar Falls Community Foundation, Altrusa will give award three $1,000 scholarships and hold their annual banquet to raise funds for scholarships for the coming year. Application for scholarship funds is open to women older than 22 who have previously completed part of their education. Consideration is given to ability, motivation and financial need. For more information visit http://www.cedarfalls.altrusa.org
The Cedar Falls Woman’s Club has entrusted the Cedar Falls Foundation to invest its Building Fund, to which its many members generously donate each year. Two grants were made from the Cedar Falls Woman’s Club Building Fund to the Woman’s Club, to replace their walk-in freezer and for exterior building renovations. The Cedar Falls Woman’s Club was built 100 years ago at the corner of 3rd and Clay Streets as a family home, and was later donated to the Cedar Falls Woman’s Club as a venue for club meetings and community events. For more information visit http://www.cedarfallswomansclub.com.
The Friends of Clay Street Park established a non-permanent fund with the Cedar Falls Community Foundation to accept tax-deductible donations on behalf of Clay Street Park. Funds raised will be used to make improvements to this neighborhood park. The Foundation granted money from the Friends of Clay Street Park Fund to be used for planting large trees in the park.
The Bunger Family Foundation was established in 2014 to honor the memory of Kathy Bunger and to raise funds for cancer awareness. As a donor-advised fund, the family is able to make recommendations for grants from funds raised annually for this cause. A family recommendation of $10,000 was approved by the Foundation Board to be granted to the Beyond Pink Team, a local organization that gives financial assistance to individuals who are going through breast cancer treatment.
Grants to the Cedar Falls Public Library were approved totaling $75,200.00. These grants, made from funds established for the benefit of the Cedar Falls Public Library, will make possible both programming and infrastructure improvements.
From the Robert & Shirley Berg Fund for the Benefit of the Cedar Falls Public Library, the Cedar Falls Community Foundation granted funds for three 2016 events, the Cedar Valley Youth Read, the second annual Children’s Literature Festival, and the Summer Youth Program.
The Cedar Valley Youth Read program brings a nationally-known children’s author to the community to present to all 5th graders. The schools bring the 5th grade classes to the library for the presentations. This program encourages reading and writing in children just before they enter junior high, a time when, research shows, many children read less and spend more time on social and sporting events. Meeting a nationally known popular author at this critical time in their education may increase the likelihood that children will continue the reading habit into their junior high school years.
The second annual Children’s Literature Festival will build on the success of the April 2015 festival, which drew over 1,600 people to the library. The festival, hosted by the youth department, encourages lifelong learning, reading, and provides recreational activities and events for families. Grant funds will be used to pay for performances and presentations by authors, a children’s musician, children’s theater, face painters, a story time yoga instructor, for book character costumes for photo opportunities, and for supplies for crafts and other activities.
The Summer Youth Program provides summer reading and learning opportunities for children through 6th grade. It helps prevent the “summer slide” or loss of reading levels in school-age children that occurs during summer vacations if children do not spend time reading. The program encourages lifelong learning, reading, and provides recreational activities and events for families. In 2015, over 1,500 children participated in this program.
The Cedar Falls Community Foundation made two grants from the Kathryn Ray Fund for the benefit of the Cedar Falls Public Library. One grant will allow the library to provide a March 2016 murder mystery event based on the book Murder Ahoy! “a boisterous buccaneer mystery” with actors from the UNI Student Theatre Association. This program provides an opportunity for lovers of mystery, crime, thrillers, and suspense stories to socialize, share food and drink, and participate in solving the mystery. This theatrical social event is a popular annual activity, drawing nearly 150 people to the event.
The second grant will allow the Library to purchase ten color Nooks with approximately ten children’s titles installed on each device. The four Nooks currently in circulation at the Library have proven popular with long waiting lists.
The Foundation granted funds from the Library Building Fund to be used for shelving and storage. Having the correct shelving and the correct height enables patrons to find the materials easily and safely.
Finally, the Foundation granted funds from the Friends of the Public Library Reserve Account to support the purchase of “Efflorescence” by sculptor John Rogers. This sculpture, for the library’s atrium, is intended for the enjoyment and enrichment of the community.
Cynthia Sweet, executive director of the Cedar Falls Community Foundation said, “The Cedar Falls Community Foundation plays an important role in our community, both as a trusted partner for estate planning and other philanthropic gifts to benefit the community, and as a steward of the funds entrusted to its management. Grant requests are carefully vetted to be sure that grants made from the funds entrusted to the Foundation support the donor’s intent for those funds. Because the Foundation is focused on a limited geographic area, donor’s funds have a big impact on our community and will for generations. The Cedar Falls Community Foundation appreciates the opportunity to serve the Cedar Falls community.”
The Cedar Falls Community Foundation assists many Cedar Falls non-profit organizations by investing and managing their funds. In addition, the Foundation accepts and manages estate gifts and donations to fulfill its mission to use the resources entrusted to its stewardship to support projects that enhance the community’s quality of life through cultural, scholarly, recreational, literary and artistic endeavors.