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Over $30,000 in grants awarded to area project

July 24, 2018

NORFOLK - The Norfolk Area Community Foundation Fund has awarded a record ten grants totaling over $30,000 to nonprofit organizations this year.

Advisor for the Fund Committee Kara Weander-Gaster says the organization envisions a growing, and thriving community where giving back is an ongoing priority for all citizens.

Weander-Gaster says they went through all of the grant applications, discussed the strength of each program, and voted for where the funding should go.

“Ten different projects got $33,000 back into our community just doing a variety of great things. It’s amazing every the amount of funds that go into the community and the great work that brings about” Weander-Gaster said.

She says the Norfolk Area Community Foundation Fund invests 100 percent of its endowment earnings back into the community.

To learn more go to NorfolkGivesBack.org.

This year’s grant recipients are:

— Animal Shelter of Northeast Nebraska: $2,500 for Unleash the Possibilities to take care of the physical needs for the animals taken in through the Bright Horizons Program, support the staffing needs of the Paws for Abilities program and support the planning and promotion of the programs.

— Boy Scouts of America: $1,500 for Scoutreach, an after-school program offered at Norfolk Middle School, Washington Elementary School and Grant Elementary School. Some of the activities Scouts enjoy include how to “leave no trace” while outdoors, racing pinewood derby cars and visits from local career professionals.

— Bright Horizons: $3,919 for My Body My Life and $5,950 for Project Homeless Connect. My Body My Life is a collaboration with the Nebraska State Patrol that will train two instructors who will help students better recognize unsafe situations and relationships. In its second year, Project Homeless Connect provided free services such as housing assistance, medical and dental services, haircuts, and drug, alcohol and mental health screenings.

— City of Norfolk: $5,000 to the Mayor’s Diversity Council to help fund the Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast, bring back the Ethnic Festival to Norfolk, as well as a Cinco de Mayo event, to continue its mission of enhancing diversity and inclusion in Norfolk.

— Norfolk Arts Center: $6,000 for the NAC Art Passport, which will invite fifth-graders to 12 monthly exclusive monthly events connected to the arts center’s larger programming schedule. That total also includes a matching grant from the Nebraska Community Foundation through its Youth Engagement and Development Grants.

— Norfolk Public Schools Foundation: $1,400 for career exploration at the kindergarten through fourth-grade level. A web-based program will allow students to explore various careers and start thinking about what interests them.

— Norfolk Youth Theatre: $1,000 for A Walk in the Woods, which will give 65 students the opportunity to work on three full-scale theater productions with roles both on stage and behind the scenes.

— S.M.I.L.E.: $2,500 in new and existing scholarships for recreational therapy on horseback, which helps special-needs children and adults of all ages and disabilities. S.M.I.L.E. now serves 135 students per week with 17 horses and ponies.

— Norfolk Family YMCA: $2,500 to provide equipment and training for its new Rock Steady Boxing program designed to help those with Parkinson’s disease. By the end of the YMCA’s current expansion, the YMCA hopes to expand the number of classes offered.

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