The Middletown Community Foundation on Monday will celebrate distributing more than $30 million in grants and scholarships over the past 25 years to benefit the greater Middletown area.
The symbolic 30-millionth-dollar grant will be presented to the Monroe Local School District, which will receive $18,000 to match funds from the district’s technology budget for the purchase of 30 iPad computers. Roughly half of the equipment will be covered by the Community Foundation grant and half by the district.
Monroe Superintendent of Education Elizabeth Lolli explained that the grant will allow the district to replace its outdated, decade-old social studies textbooks with “virtual” textbooks housed on the iPads and continually updated via the Internet.
The check will be presented by Middletown Community Foundation Executive Director T. Duane Gordon during the Monroe School Board’s regular 7 p.m. meeting on Monday in the Monroe Elementary School cafeteria.
Over the past quarter-century, the Community Foundation has distributed $19.7 million in grants and $10.8 million in scholarships throughout the Middletown, Monroe, Trenton, Franklin, Madison Township and Lemon Township area, Gordon explained.
“We were expecting to pass the $30 million milestone this summer,” he added, “then last week’s $100,000 in quarterly grant approvals plus a $750,000 college scholarship check run moved us from $29.7 million to $30.5 million over the course of one week. That equals more than $300 for every man, woman and child in our service area.”
Along with the Monroe iPads award, grants approved for distribution in this historic check run for the quarter focusing on education and human needs were:
·$25,000 to Butler County Educational Service Center to salvage one of the four Butler County Success program school liaisons, social workers who assist with basic living needs of underprivileged children in the Middletown City School District’s elementary schools; the program was eliminated in the school district’s recent austerity measures
·$19,000 to the Middie Music Boosters for replacement of worn out instruments utilized by the Middletown High School marching band, concert band, wind ensemble, jazz band, pit orchestra and symphonic orchestra
·$10,000 to Franklin Area Community Services for food purchases in its anti-hunger pantry
·$6,600 to the We Can Business Incubator to provide for two Eno high-tech whiteboards at Middletown High School
·$6,000 to People Working Cooperatively to assist with low income family home repairs in the Middletown area
·$5,600 to WHIIMS to assist local low income women with health care needs
·$4,000 to the Art Central Foundation Summer Art Workshop for underprivileged children to cover cuts by other funders (this project had already received a $4,000 grant from the Community Foundation earlier in the year)
·$3,500 to Junior Achievement to support its Our National elementary school program throughout the greater Middletown area
·$3,000 to the Butler County Educational Service Center to expand the resource room at the Middletown Head Start Center with literacy materials
·$2,500 to Citizens Against Domestic Violence for its dating violence 101 prevention program
·$2,200 to Monroe Junior High for an anti-bullying program
·$1,000 to the American Red Cross Butler County Office for local disaster services
·$1,000 to Lady Middies of Excellence to support the leadership program at Middletown High School
·$500 to One Way Farm to support psychiatric and counseling services at the Fairfield home for abused and neglected youths from throughout the county
·$500 to St. Luke Presbyterian Church for its after-school tutoring program
“As has been the case for the past several quarters, the amount of requests far exceeded the amount of funding we had available, which we believe reflects the increased need and strain on non-profit services in the present weak economy,” Gordon cautioned.
He said well over $250,000 in requests were submitted and only about $100,000 in grant funding was available.
“This shows we still have significant unmet needs out there, even though the endowments created by generous donors to the Middletown Community Foundation over the years have generated this $30 million in assistance,” he added. “Continued contributions to our grantmaking endowments help make more funds available for grants, which helps us in covering that need deficit in our community.”
Originally created in 1976 as a component of the Middletown United Way, the Middletown Community Foundation remained a relatively dormant entity for its first 10 years. It separated into a stand-alone organization in 1986 and began its work at that time raising endowments and using those funds to provide grants to benefit the community in perpetuity.
Today, it holds $26 million in charitable assets and has distributed grants and scholarships totaling $30.5 million over the past 25 years.