The Wells County Foundation Announces Grants from first 2023 Cycle
The Wells County Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors recently approved grants totaling $89,507 for the first of three grant cycles in 2023. A total of 9 grants were awarded as follows:
Bluffton High School - $1,400 – This grant will provide funding for the purchase of a streaming rig. The streaming rig will be utilized for the E-Sports league sponsored through Bluffton High School. The league is currently the only school-based league in Wells County. E-Sports is a form of competitive, team-based video gaming. It requires a tremendous amount of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Students recently brought home a State Championship win. Several players participating in the state competition were scouted by colleges and universities, and offered tuition scholarships. Currently, 44 students participate in the program. Grant made from the Edwina Patton Unrestricted Endowment Fund.
Bluffton Parks & Recreation Department - $10,000 – This grant will provide funding support for the 2023 Kehoe Park Free Concert Series. The 2023 series will include seven free concerts, performed at the Rotary Stage at Kehoe Park. This year’s series will include four Friday evening concerts. Performers scheduled for this year’s series are Simply Queen (Queen tribute) – June 9; Eliminator (ZZ Top tribute) – June 23; The Dave Matthews Band tribute – July 7; and Crush (Bon Jovi tribute – July 14. The series will also include the following Sunday evening concerts: Dan Heath & The Paradise Band – June 11; Community Worship Celebration – June 25; and Cornfield Mafia (country) – July 16. Grant made from the Community Enhancement Endowment Fund.
Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana – $5,000 - This grant will provide funding support for client advocate and client services programming for residents of Wells County. In 2022, Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana assisted 123 (an increase of 13% from 2021) Wells County families who were touched by cancer. Financial assistance, durable medical equipment and health care supply items, nutritional drinks, wigs, hats and scarves were among the types of assistance received by Wells County residents through Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana. Grant made from the Margaret Powers Unrestricted Endowment Fund.
Creative Arts Council of Wells County - $3,095 - This grant will provide funding for the rights and royalties for the (Bluffton High School’s) production of Little Shop of Horrors – Broadway Version performed April 7-8, 2023 at Life Community Church. Bluffton High School students will work as the director, cast and crew of this production. Through productions such as these, the Wells Community Theatre provides a constructive outlet for community members to exercise their creativity and a supportive group for people young and old with which to identify. In addition, it provides a great source of entertainment for Wells County residents to enjoy. Grant made from the Edwina Patton Unrestricted Endowment Fund.
Kate’s Kart - $2,000 - This grant will provide funding for the purchase of books utilized in the Kate’s Kart program at Bluffton Regional Medical Center. This program provides a free book to children who enter the Bluffton Regional Medical Center through the emergency room or admission to the hospital. Books distributed through this program provide a temporary diversion to children and their families during their visit to the emergency room or hospital stay. An average of 40 books are distributed on a monthly basis through this program at Bluffton Regional Medical Center, totaling a distribution of approximately 500 books through the program in 2022. Grant made from the Community Enhancement Endowment Fund.
Poneto Volunteer Fire Department - $15,592 – This grant will provide full funding for the purchase of new firefighting protective clothing. Commonly, firefighting gear has an average life span of 10 years. Much of the gear currently being used by the firefighters is well beyond that life span. This grant will provide for the purchase of four new sets of gear. The department will purchase the remaining sets of gear needed through fundraisers, etc. Grant made from the Unrestricted Fund.
The Literacy Alliance, Inc. – $10,000 - This grant will provide funding for the “Project Graduate Program” in Wells County. Project Graduate Program aims to assist individuals in completing a high school equivalency program. The Literacy Alliance works with individual students to determine his or her best timeline for goal completion. The average time to complete the program is 17 weeks. The 2021 program year ended having served 15 students in Wells County. Grant made from the Elizabeth Patton Unrestricted Endowment Fund.
Wells County Public Library – $2,420 - This grant will provide partial funding for the Flood of 2003 – 20 Year Retrospective Exhibition. 2023 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Flood of 2003. This anniversary will be commemorated with a computer generated slide show which will include nearly 200 aerial photographs of the flooding in addition to multiple free-standing displays. A townhouse style meeting will be held at the Library where an introduction and overall summary of the flood will be presented and participants will be encouraged to share memories, experiences, insights, etc. Grant made from the Edwina Patton Unrestricted Endowment Fund.
Wells Country Trails - $40,000 – This grant will provide major funding for the Vera Cruz-Wabash River Paddlesports Launch project. The site at Vera Cruz has been used by paddlers; however it is steep, muddy and has experienced considerable deterioration. The project will reroute the drive to use the existing ATV trail which hill assist in preventing future erosion issues. Geotextile fabric will be used in the driveway area to keep the stone better maintained. A ramp will be installed which will allow for easy access to the river with a slip-resistant concrete construction. The addition of this launch will cut the trip from Linn Grove to the White Bridge in half and will open up segments of the river that are often unused, including the stretch through Ouabache State Park. Grant made from the Unrestricted Endowment Fund.
The Foundation considers grant proposals three times annually for those agencies seeking funding through the competitive grant process. Funding for these grants comes from the unrestricted funds which are administered by the Foundation. Donors with broad philanthropic interests find that an unrestricted fund in the community foundation is a simple and flexible way to accomplish their charitable objectives. Contributing to an established unrestricted fund, or creating a new unrestricted fund is an excellent way to provide resources for grantmaking and help make a positive difference for the ever-changing needs in Wells County.
The Wells County Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit public charity established in 1957 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Wells County forever.
Grant proposals to be considered for the next cycle are due to the Foundation office by June 15.