Summit Foundation giving passes $6 million mark
Jim Pokrandt 6/21/04 has a sidebar with who won grantsThe Summit Foundation’s spring grant awards night doles out $344,005 to nonprofits, studentsBy JULIE SUTORsummit daily newsKEYSTONE – A passerby in the Keystone Conference Center Monday night might have thought he or she had stumbled upon a convention of rave enthusiasts.About 200 people sat in a dark conference room cheering, whooping, shaking noisemakers and waving green, purple, red and yellow glow sticks far above their heads.But the crowd wasn’t there to hone its DJ skills. The group of nonprofit leaders, local government officials, recent Summit High School graduates, parents and human services providers were gathered for the Summit Foundation’s spring grant awards, where they celebrated the Summit Foundation’s breaking the $6 million mark in its total giving.The $344,005 presented to local nonprofits Monday night brought the foundation’s total giving to $6,320,000 over the course of its 20 years.”I’m so proud of everything we fund,” said Summit Foundation executive director Deb Edwards. “There is something significant and important about each grant we give.”At the semiannual ceremony, the foundation awarded funding to 26 Summit County nonprofit agencies supporting the advancement of the arts, health and human services, education, the environment and athletics.Summit School District received a grant that will allow financially strapped families to send their children to preschool, extended-day kindergarten, summer school, before- and after-school day camps and other supplementary programs.”We’re seeing increasing numbers of children who would greatly benefit from these programs, and these are not always the children who can afford them,” said Dillon Valley Elementary principal Gayle Jones. “(This grant) really helps us raise the bar on early intervention and makes the difference in readiness for school.”The Summit County Arts Exhibit Committee received a grant to support a new public art project in front of the Summit County Courthouse.”This will be our 15th piece of public art for Summit County. This is so cool,” said committee chairwoman Sandy Greenhut. “Without this grant, we couldn’t do it. This provided the majority of the funding for the project.” Six organizations from neighboring counties received grants, as well.”These friends and neighbors from outlying areas really are part of our community,” said foundation board member Bob Craig.Included among the recipients was Park County Vision 2020, which provides an array of human services programs, including a car seat safety campaign and a summer recreation scholarship program.”It’s a great program,” said Vision 2020’s Jane Broida. “Not only will the kids get recreation, but they’ll also work on reading and computer skills. It gives them the opportunity for socialization in a safe, guided environment, which they might not otherwise have.”In addition to the 32 nonprofits, the Summit Foundation recognized 34 recent graduates from Summit High School and Lake County High School, who received college scholarships totaling $92,500.Since 1986, the foundation has given scholarships to 355 high school students.Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 203 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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