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Legacy Foundation sponsors unique night of youth empowerment May 31

Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s leading philanthropic partner, invites youth from throughout Northwest Indiana to participate in a night of poetry, spoken word and youth empowerment with nationally recognized author and speaker Basheer Jones, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 31, at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster.

The evening will feature readings by Jones, a poet, youth activist and philanthropist who previously visited Northwest Indiana in January to keynote the annual Mentor Summit. Five local high school students also will be selected to read their own poetry.

Attendees are asked to dress in business attire, and will have the opportunity to view professional artwork on display in the Center’s atrium as well as experience the poetry readings and motivational comments by Jones.

“This truly is a one-of-a-kind event for young people in Northwest Indiana to experience a professional evening of arts and culture, while hearing an inspiring message from a young leader,” said Barry Tyler, Jr., Community Initiatives Officer for Legacy Foundation. “Youth services organizations would benefit from bringing groups of participants.”

The event, hosted by Legacy Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Council, is offered free of charge. Participants can purchase a copy of Jones’ new book, “Speak for Change,” for $15 and have it signed by the author during a reception following the poetry reading.

For more information, visit Legacy Foundation’s website at http://www.legacyfdn.org/youthphilanthropycouncil.php. Youth or groups who wish to attend are asked to RSVP to Tyler at btyler@legacyfdn.org or (219) 736-1880.

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Lake County’s philanthropic partner awards nearly $143,000 in recent grants

Local students who may never before have had the opportunity to prepare for college entrance exams will have a better chance to go to college and prepare for careers through a grant from Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s philanthropic partner.

Legacy Foundation recently awarded The First Tee of Hammond $6,500 to help fund its ACT/SAT Prep and Golf Career Awareness program. Tiffani English, interim executive director of The First Tee of Hammond, said the program helps First Tee participants become more prepared for college entrance exams, as well as to consider golf-related careers.

“We’re trying to help our high-school participants be more prepared to go to college and to stay in college,” English said. “This program also helps them complete and submit a college application, learn about financial aid, and gives the opportunity for career and job shadowing.”

The grant, from Legacy Foundation’s College Readiness Fund, is among nearly $143,000 awarded recently to area nonprofit organizations. With the latest grant cycle, Legacy Foundation distributed nearly $555,700 to Lake County organizations during its 2010-11 fiscal year. The total includes $193,600 awarded to the City of Hobart, from the Maria Reiner Senior Citizens Fund managed by Legacy Foundation, to construct and furnish the city’s first-ever dedicated senior center.

“The power of philanthropy is that Legacy Foundation has brought a half-million dollars of donors’ funds into the community to benefit preschoolers through senior citizens,” said Harry J. Vande Velde III, president and chief executive officer of Legacy Foundation. “These worthy projects will enhance educational attainment, broaden civic and cultural opportunities in the region and support people in need.”

Other recent awards made by Legacy Foundation include:

From the Lake County Community Fund:

 

Chorus Angelorum – $9,550 to support the 26th Annual Concert of Music.

Indiana University Northwest – $4,500 to support the publication of “Dreams of Duneland,” a coffee-table book with several hundred color photographs and approximately 100 historic photographs. This funding will help cover the cost of printing, making the book more affordable for members of the community.

White’s Residential & Family Services, Inc. – $8,703 to support two 15-week sessions of the Nurturing Families Program and one 13-week session of the Nurturing Fathers Program to alleviate child abuse in at-risk Lake County homes.

Our Family Center – $15,000 to support an after-school tutoring and mentoring program for at-risk children, and the expansion of a youth leadership program during summer day camp.

From the College Readiness Fund:

 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana – $25,000 to support college preparatory activities, college tours, participation in the African American Student Achievement Conference and other college readiness efforts.

Communities in Schools of East Chicago – $8,700 to implement a program to assist all enrolled students and graduates and successfully access post-secondary educational opportunities.

Educating to Excel – $15,000 for continuation of mentoring and college and career readiness activities for low-income, potential first generation college students in grades 6-12.

Gary Life Education Initiative – $15,000 for continuation of college readiness opportunities for students in need at Lew Wallace STEM Academy.

G.E.M.S. – $5,000 for implementation of college readiness workshops and higher educational institute tours for early exposure to a post-secondary educational setting.

International Institute of LACASA – $5,000 for implementation of a student assistance program that will provide information and options to aid in the decision to attend post-secondary education through developing college preparation plans, college visits, and distribution of information.

Our Family Center – $11,400 to implement a college preparatory program that will discuss and provide scholarship opportunities, incentives, part-time guidance counselors, tutoring, mentoring, PSAT/SAT prep, financial aid counseling, and college tours.

Purdue University Calumet’s TRIO Program – $1,000 for the expansion and continuation of community-based seminars and workshops that address college access issues such as admissions standards and financing.

Salvation Army Gary/Merrillville – $11,500 for continuation of after-school and summer programs that focus on the remediation of children in math and language arts while promoting college preparedness and access initiatives.

From the Maria Reiner Senior Citizens Fund

 

Hobart Education Foundation – $1,000 to support a social outing at the County Line Orchard for grandparents and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

To apply for funding

The next deadline for submitting grant applications is Sept. 1, 2011. Download a grant application and guidelines at www.legacyfoundationlakeco.org. A “brown bag session” for nonprofit organizations wishing to learn more about applying for grants to Legacy Foundation will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 8 at the Munster branch of the Lake County Public Library. To register, call (219) 736-1880 or e-mail maerts@legacyfoundationlakeco.org.

Program Director Brandon White instructs participants in The First Tee of Hammond's golf and life skills program. Legacy Foundation benefits people of all ages throughout Lake County by making grants to nonprofit organizations such as The First Tee of Hammond.

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Foundation awards $100,000 grant from Maria Reiner fund

(HOBART, Indiana) – The City of Hobart and Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s leading philanthropic partner, announced today a significant funding source to make the city’s first dedicated senior center a reality.

Legacy Foundation has approved a $100,000 grant from the Maria Reiner Senior Citizens Fund to establish the center inside the former Hobart Middle School near Fourth and New streets. The 8,300-square-foot Maria Reiner Center will be open to Hobart residents and non-residents age 55 and over, and will feature a dining area, a theater room, a learning center with computers, and a health and fitness area.

“This is a proud day for the City of Hobart, specifically for the seniors in the community,” Hobart Mayor Brian K. Snedecor said. “The Maria Reiner Fund, in conjunction with Legacy Foundation, is making a significant contribution to the provision of a safe and enjoyable environment for Hobart seniors. We are proud that Maria Reiner, a member of our community, has demonstrated such leadership in philanthropy.”

Legacy Foundation manages the Maria Reiner Senior Citizens Fund along with more than 260 other funds providing grants and scholarships to benefit people throughout Lake County. Reiner was a Hobart resident who left her estate to be used for Hobart senior citizens. Past grants from her fund have been used to establish and sustain the highly successful Hobart Senior Transportation Program, which provides low-cost vouchers for participating taxi and bus services, and for cultural and civic events open to seniors.

“Legacy Foundation is proud to collaborate with the City of Hobart to enhance the quality of life for its citizens,” said Harry J. Vande Velde III, president and chief executive officer of Legacy Foundation. “Maria Reiner’s gift is a strong example of the power of philanthropy. Mrs. Reiner lived a quiet, unassuming life in Hobart, a town she clearly loved. Her generosity will have a positive impact on the citizenship of Hobart for generations to come.”

The senior center is expected to open in early summer.

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Middle-school students in the East Chicago school system who are at risk for failing or retention find help and hope in a four-year-old after school program started by Pastor Darnell L. Johnson of Mt. Hermon Missionary Baptist Church, founder of the Holistic Community Coalition NFP.

Tri-City Alternative Actions Program (T.C.A.A.P.), offered since 2005 at both West Side Junior High and Block Junior High and funded by the Holistic Community Coalition, offers a holistic approach. Its work with youth participants includes, but is not limited to: academic achievement; character education; preparation for a successful future such as college bound, money management, needs versus wants and career choices; repairing the broken family; and holistic homework help.

“This program is designed to rebuild the entire student, which encompasses the reestablishment of the family,” said Jennifer West, program director. “We cannot obtain sustainable success in the lives of these youth without the inclusion of the family. We have been able to reach this milestone by reinvigorating the relationships between parents, educators and the service provider.”

The program currently serves 50 to 60 students at the junior high schools and plans to expand to an academy for fifth- and sixth-graders. Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s Community Foundation, aims to help with that need. Legacy recently awarded a $15,000 grant to the Holistic Community Coalition NFP to support the expansion of T.C.A.A.P.

The grant exemplifies Legacy Foundation’s recently announced strategic focus on educational attainment, noted Nancy Johnson, president of the foundation. Project 100% focuses resources on increasing the number of Lake County students who graduate with a quality high-school degree and are college- or career-bound.

The grant to the Holistic Community Coalition is among nearly $71,000 awarded by Legacy Foundation during the fourth quarter of 2009 to Lake County nonprofit groups providing a wide range of services. Since 1992, Legacy Foundation has awarded more than $20 million in grants and scholarships.

Other awards made in December included:

From the Lake County Community Fund

Arc BRIDGES – $20,000 to support the purchase of a lift van to replace a fleet vehicle that has mileage of more than 300,000 miles.

South Shore Arts Association – $15,000 to expand the highly successful “Polar Express” art-based first grade literacy program into the second grade curriculum in the Hammond, East Chicago, Gary, Lake Station and Merrillville communities using the book, “The Skin You Live In.”

Ivy Tech Community College Northwest – $4,744 to promote interest in science and health career programs through a three-tier youth outreach program.

Purdue University Calumet – $1,000 to help provide emergency preparedness and first aid training to 200 Lake County high school students and 150 volunteers participating in the Discover Nursing Camp. The goal is to expose campers to nursing and other health care practices as career options.

From the College Readiness Fund

Geminus Corporation – $15,000
to sponsor Northwest Indiana’s first Mentoring Summit, scheduled for Jan. 22 at Indiana University Northwest. The conference aims to teach businesses and non-profit organizations to support mentoring opportunities for youth. For more information, contact Tiffany White at (219) 757-1835 or Tiffany.White@geminus.org.

To apply for funding
The next deadline date for submitting grant applications is March 1, 2010.  Download a grant application and guidelines at www.legacyfoundationlakeco.org.

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