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Bath Community Fund grant expands outreach to victims of crime, trauma


Grant to Victim Assistance Program provides resources for Bath police officers

Group of people standing in front of flags, police banner
Pictured from left to right: Crystal Brodzenski, VAP Director of Community Outreach; Devan Weckerly, VAP Marketing Specialist; Christel Durbec, VAP Crisis Response Team Coordinator; Alexandra Potter, VAP Assistant Director of Crisis Services; Jim Bernard, Bath Community Fund Grants Committee Chair; Kathy Sidaway, Bath Community Fund Advisory Board Chair; and Vito Sinopoli, Bath Police Chief.

A recent grant from the Bath Community Fund of Akron Community Foundation is increasing awareness about services available to Bath residents who have experienced crime or trauma.

In December, the fund awarded $600 to Victim Assistance Program for the purchase of 350 customized notebook/pen combinations featuring the contact information for Victim Assistance Program's 24-hour crisis hotline. These materials were presented to members of the Bath Police Department on April 21, with representatives of both Bath Community Fund and Victim Assistance Program participating in the distribution.

"Victim Assistance Program is grateful for the continued support and relationship with Bath Community Fund. With the support of their grant, our agency can bring awareness to the Bath community about our free, quality services in which we provide crisis intervention, advocacy and education to victims of crime," said Crystal Brodzenski, director of community outreach. "Victim Assistance Program is also appreciative of the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the Bath Police Department, as we are a complementary service to the important work law enforcement carries out."

The multipurpose notebooks fit into the shirt pocket of police uniforms, making them easily accessible for taking notes in the field, while also serving as a reminder of Victim Assistance Program's services in the Bath community. These notebook/pen combinations were previously distributed to the Akron Police Department and have become highly valued by the officers for their convenience and helpfulness in assisting victims of crime or trauma.

Spiral notebooks with attached pens
A grant from Bath Community Fund purchased 350 customized notebook/pen combinations featuring the contact information for Victim Assistance Program's 24-hour crisis hotline.

"Providing immediate access to important services for victims of crime or trauma is an essential part of law enforcement's responsibility to the community," said Bath Police Chief Vito Sinopoli. "Through our partnership with Victim Assistance, law enforcement personnel are able to connect victims of crime with highly trained advocates who can help them through the criminal justice process and assist with victim-focused early intervention."

According to Victim Assistance Program, Bath Township police had 13,356 calls for service and recorded 150 crimes to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports in 2019. Each of these incidents is an opportunity for officers to share information about the free services provided by Victim Assistance Program to bring healing to those who have been impacted by crime, trauma or tragedy.

"Bath Community Fund is proud to provide funding for this important partnership and shine a light on the crisis intervention services available to our fellow Bath residents," said Jim Bernard, BCF Grants Committee chair.

Victim Assistance Program was one of 13 nonprofit organizations to receive a grant from Bath Community Fund in 2020. Altogether, the fund awarded $29,020 to nonprofits serving the Bath community last year. A full list of grants is available at

About Bath Community Fund
Established in 2014 by a group of committed Bath residents, Bath Community Fund is a permanent endowment dedicated to strengthening the Bath community for current and future generations by providing leadership, fostering collaboration, and creating a legacy of charitable giving. The fund is committed to responding to community needs, helping the less fortunate, supporting local nonprofits, and reinforcing and preserving Bath's historical and environmental legacy. Since its inception, the fund has grown to more than $1 million and reinvested more than $100,000 into the Bath community. For more information, contact Kathy Sidaway, advisory board chair, at 330-285-5893 or

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 65 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. It is a philanthropic endowment of more than $272 million with a growing family of more than 730 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 nearly $194 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 or visit

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