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Vernon L. Odom Fund Grant History

Since its founding, the Vernon L. Odom Fund has invested nearly $160,000 into local causes that promote diversity and enrich the quality of life within local minority communities.

Nonprofits interested in applying for a grant from the Vernon L. Odom Fund can find deadlines and other important information on our Issue-Specific Grants page.

2016 Grants

In 2016, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $16,000 to 16 local nonprofit organizations:

Family moving into new house
A grant to Fair Housing Contact Service purchased materials for home buyer education classes to help prevent foreclosures in local neighborhoods.
  • Akron Inner City Soccer Club, for a year-round, after-school soccer program for inner-city youth, $1,000
  • Biostatistics and Research Awareness Initiatives Network Inc., to introduce minority students at Buchtel Community Learning Center to STEM-related careers during a trip to Harvard University, where students will shadow financial analysts, biostatisticians and other health science professionals, $1,000
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, for an after-school program at the Odom Boulevard Branch Library that equips at-risk youth to succeed in the classroom and make healthy life choices, $1,000
  • Buchtel Community Learning Center PTA, for the annual Black History Program and Taste of Culture event, which showcases African-American culture through food, music and student performances, $1,000
  • Child Guidance & Family Solutions, to provide educational materials on bullying, depression and substance abuse to Spanish-speaking families in their native language, $1,000
  • Crown Point Ecology Center, to introduce low-income, minority youth to organic farming and gardening through the 2016 Summer Farm & Science Camp, $1,000
  • Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio, for a ballroom dance residency program that fosters respect, tolerance and self-esteem among Akron Public Schools students, $1,000
  • Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, to encourage discussions about race relations in the classroom through film showings of “American Denial” in Akron-area middle and high schools, $1,000
  • Fair Housing Contact Service, to purchase materials for home buyer education classes that teach money management skills to potential homeowners in order to reduce the rate of foreclosure in Summit County neighborhoods, $1,000
  • Fathers and Sons of Northeast Ohio, for the “Developing into Dad Show,” a video series that tells the stories of minority fathers in Summit County who have overcome challenges to build meaningful relationships with their children, $1,000
  • Global Ties Akron, to teach fifth- and sixth-grade students in Summit County about religious diversity through the Know Your Community – Know Your World program, $1,000
  • Let’s Grow Akron Inc., to support community gardens and beautification sites in neighborhoods with limited access to fresh food and green space, $1,000
  • Rape Crisis Center, to translate sexual violence educational materials into languages most commonly spoken by Summit County minorities, including Spanish and Burmese, $1,000
  • St. Hilary Church, for an after-school tutoring program for students at Helen Arnold Community Learning Center, $1,000
  • University of Akron Foundation, to support a workshop that will introduce African-American middle school students in Akron Public Schools to STEM-related careers, $1,000 
  • Williams Challenge, for a fatherhood education and mentoring program that gives at-risk and absent fathers the support they need to develop positive relationships with their children, including help applying for employment and gaining visitation rights, $1,000

2015 Grants

In 2015, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $13,000 to 13 local nonprofit organizations:

Children holding basket of veggies
A grant to Crown Point Ecology Center helped minority youth attend the 2015 Summer Farm & Science Camp.
    • Akron Inner City Soccer Club, for a year-round, after-school soccer program for inner-city youth, $1,000
    • Akron International Friendship, for the Know Your Community – Know Your World program, in which diverse speakers teach students about the importance of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, $1,000
    • Battered Women’s Shelter, for diversity training seminars that will help staff at the Battered Women’s Shelter and Rape Crisis Center better serve clients of all ethnic backgrounds, $1,000
    • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, for after-school and summer programming for at-risk youth at the Odom Boulevard Branch Library in Akron, $1,000
    • Child Guidance & Family Solutions, for a parenting education program for Spanish-speaking parents of children with serious behavioral issues, $1,000
    • Crown Point Ecology Center, to introduce low-income, minority youth to organic farming and gardening through the 2015 Summer Farm & Science Camp, $1,000
    • Fathers and Sons of Northeast Ohio, for the Developing into Dad Show, a live video series that focuses on challenges faced by African-American fathers, including child support, custody and visitation, $1,000
    • Greater Akron Musical Association, to help low-income, minority students attend the Gospel Meets Symphony concert, $1,000
    • Law and Leadership Institute, for a college preparatory program in Akron and Barberton that helps at-risk and minority youth graduate from high school, get accepted into college, and choose a professional career path, $1,000
    • Rape Crisis Center, to promote ethnic and racial harmony within the agency by recruiting additional minority volunteers, $1,000
    • St. Hilary Church, for an after-school tutoring program for students at Helen Arnold Community Learning Center, $1,000
    • Urban Vision, for an incentive program that allows youth participants to purchase school supplies and holiday gifts with the “dollars” they’ve earned through good behavior, attendance and grades, $1,000
    • Williams Challenge, for a fatherhood education and mentoring program that gives at-risk and absent fathers the support they need to develop positive relationships with their children, including help applying for employment and gaining visitation rights, $1,000

2014 Grants

In 2014, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $7,800 to 10 local nonprofit organizations:

Father with two sons.
Fathers and Sons of Northeast Ohio and Williams Challenge each received $900 to help at-risk fathers develop healthy relationships with their children.
  • 100 Black Men of Greater Akron Inc., for the 100 Leadership Academy, a mentoring program for minority youth that teaches financial literacy, self-respect and positive decision-making skills, $1,000 
  • Akron Inner City Soccer Club, for a year-round, after-school soccer program for inner-city youth, $1,000
  • Akron International Friendship, for the Know Your Community – Know Your World program, in which diverse speakers teach students about the importance of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, $500
  • Fathers and Sons of Northeast Ohio, for fatherhood education classes that help non-custodial fathers be an active parent in their children’s lives, $900
  • Girls on the Run of Greater SummitJewish Community Center of Akron, to mentor at-risk girls at Glover Community Learning Center by combining fitness training with discussions about personal values, respect and self-worth, $500
  • Law and Leadership Institute, for a college preparatory program for students in Akron and Barberton that helps at-risk and minority youth graduate from high school, get accepted into college, and choose a professional career path, $1,000
  • Opportunity Parish Ecumenical Neighborhood Ministry, for a mentoring program that helps young men from inner-city neighborhoods succeed in school, find employment and make healthy choices, $500
  • Summit County Youth Employment for Success, for a money management workshop that equips at-risk teens to build a solid financial future through budgeting, saving and avoiding debt, $500
  • Urban Vision, for an incentive program that allows youth participants to purchase school supplies and holiday gifts with the “dollars” they’ve earned through good behavior, attendance and grades, $1,000
  • Williams Challenge, for a fatherhood education and mentoring program that gives at-risk and absent fathers the support they need to develop positive relationships with their children, including help applying for employment and gaining visitation rights, $900

2013 Grants

In 2013, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $7,500 to nine local nonprofit organizations:

Group of girls smiling
A grant to Girls on the Run helped girls at Glover CLC build their self-esteem and become physically fit.
  • Blessings in a Backpack (Akron), to provide backpacks of food for the weekend to students in need at Helen Arnold Community Learning Center and the Akron Digital Academy, $500
  • Child Guidance & Family Solutions, to increase the independence of Spanish-speaking clients by translating therapy materials and health care forms into their native language, $1,000
  • Fathers and Sons of Northeast Ohio, for fatherhood education classes that help non-custodial fathers be an active parent in their children’s lives, $1,000
  • Girls on the Run of Greater Summit, Jewish Community Center of Akron, to mentor at-risk girls at Glover Community Learning Center by combining fitness training with discussions about personal values, respect and self-worth, $1,000
  • One Love Unity, Charisma Community Connections, for Teen Talk, a 12-week open forum that provides a safe space for at-risk adolescents to discuss issues ranging from peer pressure to family dysfunction, $1,000
  • Opportunity Parish Ecumenical Neighborhood Ministry, for a mentoring program that helps young men from inner-city neighborhoods succeed in school, find employment and make healthy choices, $500
  • Summit County Youth Employment for Success, to send at-risk teens to the University of Akron’s 2013 Black Male Summit, which addresses critical issues facing young African-American males, $500
  • Urban Vision, for an incentive program that allows youth participants to purchase school supplies with the “dollars” they’ve earned through good behavior, attendance and grades, $1,000
  • Williams Challenge, for a fatherhood education and mentoring program that gives at-risk and absent fathers the support they need to develop positive relationships with their children, including help applying for employment and transitioning from incarceration, $1,000

2012 Grants

In 2012, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $7,500 to eight local nonprofit organizations:

Boy tossing soccer ball in the air
A grant to Akron Inner City Soccer Club supported a soccer program for local youth.

2011 Grants

In 2011, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $9,000 to 10 local nonprofit organizations:

Senior citizens dancing
A grant to the Akron Urban League supported an elegant evening of dinner and dancing for senior citizens.

2010 Grants

In 2010, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $5,220 to six local nonprofit organizations:

Actors with their hands in the air
A grant to the Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture supported performances about the civil rights movement.
Photo by Andrew McAllister

2009 Grants

In 2009, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $8,500 to nine local nonprofit organizations:

Older woman helping a teenage girl paint symbols
A grant to ASIA supported the Lucky Seniors socialization program.

2008 Grants

In 2008, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $7,550 to nine local nonprofit organizations:

Man playing saxophone on stage
A grant to Buchtel Neighborhood Group supported its annual Community Day.

2007 Grants

In 2007, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $7,330 to 10 local nonprofit organizations:

Group of boys in football jerseys
A grant to the Ricky Powers Foundation supported the annual youth football camp.

2006 Grants

In 2006, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $5,930 to seven local nonprofit organizations:

Girl in track uniform holding a blue ribbon
A grant to the Butch Reynolds Care for Kids Foundation supported a recreation day for local youth.

2005 Grants

In 2005, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $7,452 to eight local nonprofit organizations:

Boy in puffy yellow costume
A grant to the Greater Akron Laos Association supported cultural programs for Laotian children.
  • Asian Services in Action Inc., for scholarships for high-risk youth to attend International Community Empowerment Project's summer camp, $500
  • The Butch Reynolds Care for Kids Foundation, for the Butch Reynolds Recreation Relay Day, $1,000 
  • Good Shepherd Athletic Club, for an exercise bike and a group outing to an Akron Aeros game, $952 
  • The Greater Akron Laos Association For Kids, for the Laos Cultural Heritage Program, $1,000 
  • Making Education Reform Imperative Today Inc., for the Super S.T.A.R.S. program at Crouse Elementary School to improve fourth-grade proficiency test scores, $1,000 
  • Project All Reading Children Inc., for Summertime Focus, which provides math and reading opportunities for Twinsburg Heights children during the summer, $1,000 
  • Summit Lake Neighborhood Association, for a summer basketball clinic for middle school youth, $1,000 
  • Urban Vision, for the after-school program that serves Elizabeth Park children, $1,000 

2004 Grants

In 2004, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $5,295 to six local nonprofit organizations:

Group of kids wearing hats and gloves
A grant to the Black Law Enforcement Officers Association provided hats and gloves to children in need.
  • Black Law Enforcement Officers Association, for the 4th annual "Hugs and Gloves" project, providing hats and gloves to needy children, $500 
  • Good Shepherd Athletic Club, for uniforms, $795 
  • Making Education Reform Imperative Today Inc., for the Super S.T.A.R.S. program at Portage Path Elementary School to improve proficiency test scores, $1,000 
  • PIECE of the Rock Instruction, for the Children of Promise Parents' School/Home Resource Pac for unwed parents, $1,000 
  • The Greater Akron Laos Association For Kids, for cultural heritage activities and classes for children, $1,000 
  • Urban Vision, for the after-school care program, providing homework assistance and activities to youth in Elizabeth Park, $1,000 

2003 Grants

In 2003, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $6,610 to 11 local nonprofit organizations:

Group of young girls hugging their tutor
A grant to Saint Hilary Church supported the Seeds of Change after-school tutoring program.
  • Asian Services in Action Inc., for scholarships to International Community Empowerment's summer camp at Riedinger Miller School, $500 
  • Buchtel Youth Wrestling Team, for headgear for the 2003-2004 wrestling season, $800 
  • Essex Elementary School, Akron Public Schools, to provide students participating in the city-wide track meet with T-shirts, $250 
  • Good Shepherd Athletic Club, for the annual boxing tournament, "Friday Night at the Fights," $500 
  • Inner-City Soccer Club, for a weeklong soccer and physical fitness camp, $855 
  • International Institute of Akron Inc., for the Akron Mon Organization's dance and music cultural project for refugees, $500 
  • The Plisken Family Relations and Health Intervention Center, for health equipment to be used in screenings and/or workshops, $500 
  • Project All Reading Children Inc., for summer enrichment and wildlife study programs for African-American students in Twinsburg Heights, $825 
  • Saint Hilary Church, for the Seeds of Change after-school tutoring program at Margaret Park Elementary School, $880 
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Hilary Church, for the Aim High program, which provides needy children with computers, $500 
  • Victory Gallop Inc., for at-risk students from McEbright and Leggett elementary schools to participate in Project Walk/Trot, $500

2002 Grants

In 2002, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $7,200 to 11 local nonprofit organizations:

Students jumproping
A grant to Essex Elementary School supported the Heartbeats Jump Rope Assembly.

2001 Grants

In 2001, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $8,200 to 10 local nonprofit organizations:

Group of walk participants holding American flags
A grant to the Coming Together Project supported a Unity Walk across the Y-Bridge.

2000 Grants

In 2000, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $6,490 to seven local nonprofit organizations:

Young boy wearing boxing gloves
A grant to Good Shepherd Athletic Club helped purchase uniforms and other equipment for the young boxers.
  • The Akron African-American Cultural Association, for the annual African-American Festival and Parade, $1,000
  • American Red Cross of Summit & Portage Counties, for the African-American HIV/AIDS Fundamentals Instructor course, $500
  • Coming Together Project, to support the newsletter, $1,000 
  • Good Shepherd Athletic Club, to purchase uniforms, $990
  • Inner-City Soccer Club, to purchase soccer apparel and equipment, $1,000
  • NWA Hawks Pee Wee Football Booster Club, to support the football and cheerleading programs, $1,000
  • Priscilla's Lost and Found, for the women's mentoring program weekend conference, $1,000

1999 Grants

In 1999, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $7,683 to eight local nonprofit organizations:

Boy in football uniform carrying football
A grant to the NWA Hawks Pee Wee Football Booster Club helped support its football and cheerleading programs.
  • Delta Research & Educational Foundation, for field trips for girls in the Delta Academy, $1,000
  • Gavrilo Princep Sports Society, to support the soccer program for refugee children, $850
  • Good Samaritan Hunger Center Inc., to purchase soup bowls, $1,153 
  • Gus Johnson Community Center, to purchase a computer, $1,000
  • Karate for Kids, to support the karate program for refugee children, $1,000
  • NWA Hawks Pee Wee Football Booster Club, to purchase football equipment and cheerleading uniforms, $1,000
  • South Rangers Athletic Association Inc., for football and cheerleading activities for low-income youth, $480
  • Tierra Y Esperanza Para La Comunidad Humana Organizada, to support the Akron-area Hispanic Service Directory, $1,200

1998 Grants

In 1998, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded grants totaling $5,939 to nine local nonprofit organizations:

Instructor watches as students prepare to golf
A grant to the Alpha Phi Alpha Foundation of Akron supported a golf program for low-income youth.

1996 Grants

In 1996, the Vernon L. Odom Fund awarded its first grant of $1,000 to one local nonprofit organization:

Drummers on stage as man speaks into microphone
A grant to the Akron African-American Cultural Association supported its annual festival and parade.
  • The Akron African-American Cultural Association, for the 17th annual African-American Festival and Parade, $1,000