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Millennium Fund grants support youth programs

Boy in pajamas
A grant to CASA is providing warm winter pajamas for children in foster care.
AKRON, Ohio (Nov. 22, 2016) – Akron Community Foundation’s Millennium Fund for Children recently awarded 32 grants totaling $41,900 to children’s programs throughout Summit, Portage and Medina counties. Akron Community Foundation’s board of directors ratified the grants at its Nov. 18 meeting, bringing the fund’s cumulative grant-making total to more than $665,000.

A partnership of the Akron Beacon Journal and the community foundation, the Millennium Fund for Children began in 1999 when local residents donated their last hour’s pay of the millennium. Since then, people have donated gifts of all kinds and sizes, enabling the fund to award more than 440 grants that provide gifts for children in foster care, live music and theater performances for area students, food and clothing for at-risk youth, and much more.

The fund continues to seek gifts both large and small from individual residents and corporations alike. “We are approaching a major milestone – $1 million in assets to support our local children – and we need all the help we can get to reach that goal,” said Akron Community Foundation President and CEO John T. Petures Jr. “Every gift helps, from dollar bills to stock transfers to IRA rollovers, and when combined with the thousands of other gifts, together they grow over time to have an even bigger impact than they ever could on their own.”

To donate to the Millennium Fund for Children, visit www.akroncf.org/give/millennium. Or, to inquire about making gifts of real estate, appreciated securities, retirement assets or life insurance, call Akron Community Foundation at 330-376-8522. 

The following grants were awarded from the fund this year:

  • Akron Children’s Museum, to provide free tickets to the museum’s new long-term site for disadvantaged children in Greater Akron, $1,500
  • Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs, to replace the camp’s water trampoline, which improves the balance and muscular strength of children with special needs, $1,000
  • Alchemy Inc., to purchase books, writing journals and backpacks for students in the agency’s storytelling workshops, which aim to enhance the personal development of urban adolescents through the telling, discussion and analysis of mythological stories and fairy tales, $1,500
  • Art Sparks, to expand the Fabulous Fitness dance program to include special needs classrooms in Akron Public Schools, $1,000
  • Battered Women’s Shelter, to provide enrichment opportunities and field trips for children living at the shelter, $1,000
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, to support art programs for at-risk youth that develop their creativity and keep them engaged in positive activities, $1,000  
  • Bridges Learning Center, to provide science- and engineering-based activities for special needs students in Akron Public Schools, $400  
  • Bright Star Books Inc., to provide books to young children who receive services from Summit County WIC clinics, $2,000
  • CASA Board Volunteer Association Inc., to provide warm winter pajamas for abused and neglected children in foster care, $1,500
  • Center for Applied Drama and Autism, to support arts-based social events for children with autism that encourage friendship and self-expression, $1,000
  • Central Summit County Choral Society, to support the Children’s Choir Program, which develops musical literacy in young singers from first through 12th grade, $1,000
  • Christ Child Society of Akron, to provide essential newborn items and child safety literature to mothers of at-risk babies, $1,000
  • City of Akron Police Department, to support the Do the Right Thing Program, which rewards students who are positive role models in their community, $1,000
  • Community Pregnancy Center, to provide formula and baby food for infants in disadvantaged families, $1,000
  • Crown Point Ecology Center, to introduce low-income children to organic farming and gardening through the 2017 Summer Farm & Science Camp, $2,000
  • Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio, to celebrate students’ achievements in the agency’s ballroom dance residency program at the annual Colors of the Rainbow Team Match event, $1,000  
  • Family Promise of Summit County Inc., to ensure the health and wellness of babies in homeless families by providing parent education programs, essential baby supplies, and financial assistance for checkups and vaccinations, $2,000
  • The Illusion Factory, to support children's theater classes at Summit Artspace in downtown Akron, $1,000
  • Kent State University Foundation Inc., to create a collaborative work space at the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center where youth at the correctional facility can learn about coding, audio recording and design while gaining critical problem-solving skills, $2,000  
  • Medina Community Police Activity League, to support after-school field trips that foster positive relationships between police officers and students in Medina County, $1,000
  • Portage-Summit Diaper Bank, to provide diapers to families in need in Summit and Portage counties, $2,000
  • Proyecto Raices, to provide transportation for students in the Proyecto Raices program, which provides a safe space for Hispanic children in Greater Akron to celebrate their culture while engaging in educational and artistic activities, $2,000
  • Rape Crisis Center, for the Heroes 4 Hope program, which helps prevent teen dating violence by educating middle and high school students about healthy relationships, $2,000
  • RePlay for Kids, to support a workshop where families in Summit County can learn how to adapt toys for their children with disabilities, $1,000
  • Residents Improving Goodyear Heights Together, to start a free community book exchange in Goodyear Heights by placing “Little Free Libraries” throughout the neighborhood, $1,500 
  • South Street Ministries, to support an after-school enrichment program for elementary school students in the Summit Lake neighborhood, $2,000 
  • Stow-Munroe Falls City School District, to create a “21st century classroom” where students can move freely and work collaboratively, allowing students with learning disabilities to excel, $1,000
  • Students With A Goal, to support a mentoring program for young adults in the Summit Lake neighborhood that focuses on learning, leadership and life skills, $2,000
  • Victim Assistance Program Inc., for the “Kids Need a Firm Foundation” picnic for children who have witnessed or been victims of violence, $1,000
  • Victory Gallop, to purchase safety helmets for children with special needs in the therapeutic horseback riding program, $500
  • Weathervane Community Playhouse Inc., to provide theater class scholarships to children from low-income families, $1,000
  • Women's Auxiliary Board, Summit County Children Services, to create safer sleeping conditions for kids in the care of children’s services by providing families with beds and cribs, $1,000
About the Millennium Fund for Children
The Millennium Fund for Children is a permanent endowment that was founded in 1999 as a partnership between Akron Community Foundation and the Akron Beacon Journal. It supports arts, civic, education, and health and human services projects for children living in the Beacon Journal’s circulation area. Its mission is to make grants where even a small amount can make a difference. Since its establishment, the Millennium Fund has grown to more than $900,000 and awarded more than $665,000 in grants. During the 2015 campaign season, contributions totaling $34,862 from more than 200 generous donors added to the fund. For more information, or to contribute to the Millennium Fund for Children, visit www.akroncf.org/millennium or call 330-376-8522. 

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 61 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. As of Sept. 30, 2016, it is a philanthropic endowment of more than $190 million with a growing family of 550 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded more than $135 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522.