The amount of the foundation’s grant awards for this year represents an increase of 31 percent over last year’s total of $29,000.
Cleveland Rotary Foundation president Wayne Wilhelm said the increase reflects the success of the club’s community auction and the hard work of its auction committee and the generosity of local Rotarians and community supporters.
Local nonprofits and community agencies were invited to participate in the selection process during August with an application deadline of Sept. 30.
During the month of November, the foundation’s board of directors met to evaluate and rank the grant applications using a weighted average scoring system. The scoring system was designed to measure the potential effectiveness of projects when measured against a set of predetermined criteria, which included how closely the project matched Rotary International’s areas of focus.
This year, the Cleveland Rotary Foundation received a total of 23 applications for projects valued at more than $675,000. The foundation was specifically asked for $108,093 to fund the 23 projects with the remainder to come from external sources. The individual projects’ costs ranged from $1,300 to $250,000.
Ultimately, eight grant applications were selected for approval:
n Bradley County Youth Basketball — Outdoor basketball court at Arnold Elementary School
Bradley County Youth Basketball is planning to build an outdoor basketball court at Arnold Elementary School. The court will benefit 370 students at Arnold in addition to the local community. Rotarian Jonathan Cantrell of Caldwell Paving is donating labor and equipment for construction. The CRF grant amount is $4,679, and the total project value is $9,179.
n Bradley County Schools — LEADERS for Life, Voyage to Greatness Community Celebration
“LEADERS for Life” is a systemwide initiative focusing on building leaders in the Bradley County school system. The projects targets 4,500 students in grades K-5. The CRF grant amount is $5,000, and the total project value is $5,000.
n Bradley Initiative for Church and Community — BICC Transitions program
The BICC Transitions Program provides skills, support and encouragement for building strong and cohesive families as students transition from elementary to middle and high school. These transition times are known to be periods when youth are most vulnerable to negative influences. The CRF grant amount is $3,000, and the total project value is $70,417.
n Habitat for Humanity — Impact Cleveland
“Impact Cleveland” is a neighborhood revitalization initiative aimed at empowering families and giving struggling and declining neighborhoods the needed tools, assets and resources to build vibrant, healthy homes and communities. The CRF grant will fund three of the 30 home repair projects anticipated by the program which covers six city blocks. The CRF grant amount is $4,500, and the total project value is $180,000.
n People for Care and Learning — Greenway restroom project
PCL is planning a second restroom for the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway. The proposed facility will be located near the Greenway on property that the Church of God International has deeded to the city. The restroom is projected to be completed by May 15, 2014. The CRF grant amount is $10,500, and the total project value is $20,000.
n The Family Kitchen — Serving meals to the homeless
The Family Kitchen is a new organization attempting to fill the gap between other organizations in feeding our community’s homeless population. The CRF grant will allow the organization to increase their services from one to possibly three days per week. The CRF grant amount is $6,000, and the total project value is $6,000.
n Tri-State Therapeutic Riding Center — At-risk youth ropes course
The ropes course project funds will be utilized by the Cleveland High School Interact Club to construct a ropes course for at-risk teenagers. The course will focus on building character and highlighting students strengths. CHS Interact will work with Tri-State Therapeutic Riding Center leadership to design and implement obstacles. Stanford University has funded a full-time intern to dedicated to the implementation of the project as well. The CRF grant amount is $1,100, and the total project value is $2,100.
n United Way of Bradley County — Learning Trails.
“Learning Trails” provides developmental resources for caregivers and children at local parks. Four parks are slated to receive the project’s resources, including Mosby Park, Fletcher Park, the Blythe Family Support Center and the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway. The program seeks to improve academic performance by providing children with learning opportunities before they enter school and outside the classroom. The CRF grant amount is $3,180, and the total project value is $5,180.
The Cleveland Rotary Foundation is a Section 501(c)(3) corporation operated and controlled by members of the Rotary Club of Cleveland.
The foundation has funded over $110,000 in local community projects over the past four years.