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Bath Community Fund awards $19,800 in grants

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Young female runners pose for team photo
A grant to Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio is supporting this running-based youth development program for girls in the Bath community.

On Friday, Dec. 7, Bath Community Fund of Akron Community Foundation announced its third round of grants to support nonprofit organizations serving Bath Township. Grants totaling $19,800 were awarded to 10 local nonprofits, bringing the fund's cumulative grantmaking total to nearly $50,000 since it was established less than five years ago.

Created in 2014 by a group of committed Bath residents, Bath Community Fund is a permanent endowment that supports programs that preserve Bath's historical and environmental legacy, enhance the local arts and culture landscape, serve youth through education and recreation, and meet residents' social service needs.

Several of this year's grants will benefit youth programs in Bath, including a $1,000 grant to Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio to support a running-based youth development program for girls in the Bath community. The program, which combines physical activity with discussions about self-confidence, bullying and healthy relationships, is offered to girls in third through eighth grade at Bath Elementary School, Richfield Elementary School and Revere Middle School.

"With the generous support of Bath Community Fund, 80 girls will have the opportunity to experience a program where learning to be healthy, confident and strong is the goal. Not only do these young ladies have the opportunity to unleash their limitless potential, but they also bond as a team and have the opportunity to celebrate each other for the unique ways that they are different," said Robyn Cutler, executive director of Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio.

While there is a fee to participate in the program, Cutler said girls are never turned away based on their ability to pay. Grants, sponsorships and individual donations allow the organization to offer scholarships to low-income families, ensuring all girls have the opportunity to lace up their running shoes.

"The perception that those living in (the Revere) district are equally able to participate in a program like Girls on the Run is incorrect," Cutler added. "There are a number of girls receiving financial assistance, and funding from Bath Community Fund prevents this barrier. Girls on the Run is a program for every girl!"

Now in its third year of grantmaking, Bath Community Fund received 15 funding requests totaling nearly $53,000 -- almost triple the amount it had available to grant, according to Mary Anne Krejci, chair of BCF's Grant Committee.

To expand the fund's impact, leaders of Bath Community Fund have set an ambitious goal to raise $2.018 million in celebration of Bath's bicentennial year in 2018 through the "For Bath, Forever" campaign. With an endowment of more than $2 million, the fund will be able to award at least $100,000 to nonprofits in Bath every year, forever. "A fund of that size would allow us to meet all of the grant requests we received this year -- twice over," Krejci said.

Other grants awarded in 2018 will support the construction of an additional restroom at Bath Community Park, provide food for Revere students in need, and make theater productions more accessible to senior citizens, among other projects.

The following is a full list of grants awarded in 2018:

Apollo's Fire the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, to provide free and discounted concert tickets for students and senior citizens of Bath Township, $1,000

Bath Park Board, for the construction of an additional restroom at Bath Community Park, $5,000

Bath Volunteers for Service, to support the 42nd Annual Bath Tour of Distinctive Homes, $800

Crown Point Ecology Center, to support Tiny Tillers, a gardening and nature exploration program for preschoolers from the Bath area, $2,000

Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio, to support a running-based youth development program for girls in the Bath community that combines physical activity with discussions about self-confidence, bullying and healthy relationships, $1,000

Revere Power Pack Program, to provide food for Revere students in need to take home for the weekend, $2,000

Stewart's Caring Place, to provide support services for Bath residents on a cancer journey, $1,500

Victory Gallop, to replace aging fencing on the farm, which offers therapeutic horseback riding programs for children with special needs and life-threatening illnesses, $2,000

Western Reserve Historical Society, to expand the welcome center at Hale Farm & Village, $3,500

Western Reserve Playhouse, to build a new entryway that makes the playhouse more accessible to seniors and people with disabilities, $1,000

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