The Crawford Heritage Community Foundation recently distributed discretionary grants totaling $31,446.52 from several permanent endowments.

The foundation awards discretionary grants twice each year. They prioritize giving to projects that improve upon the effectiveness of existing programs and those that incorporate preventive or curative approaches to problems and challenges faced by our community. Twenty-six local organizations received grants for their projects.

Grants from their Unrestricted Fund and Ben Franklin Trust support projects in all parts of Crawford County. Programs for children and youth receive support from the Bernadene R. and John B. Cooley Fund. Grants from the Marian and Vincent Barsch Fund support cemetery preservation projects countywide.

Titusville-area projects are financed from the Titusville Fund and Fred Lintner Fund. Faith-based and religious programs in the Titusville-area receive funding from the Albert L. Carlson Fund.

“We must be strategic about how we direct our discretionary grant funding,” said Jennifer Mohtashemi, chair of the foundation’s grantmaking committee. “Although we’ve been able to award more and more each year, current demand for funding still exceeds our resources. Ultimately, we want to support projects not only that will have the greatest impact on our community, but also those that we can expect to be successful. It’s very inspiring to see all of this great work happening in Crawford County and we’re excited to see these projects come to fruition.”

The next cycle of grantmaking takes place in the summer. Organizations requesting funding should complete the foundation's online application at crawfordheritage.org before June 15.

• The Academy Theatre was awarded $1,000 to purchase costumes and sets for their summer youth Broadway choreography camp.

• Americans for the Competitive Enterprise System Inc. received $1,000 to implement the Pennsylvania Business Week program at PENNCREST School District. The program educates students about the benefits of the free enterprise system.

• Benson Memorial Library will use $1,000 to improve public programming by upgrading and replacing educational tablets, a computer and a projection screen.

• Bethesda Lutheran Services received $1,000 to improve play conditions for children by upgrading old playground equipment.

• Child Development Services Inc. will use $1,300 to further develop the new toddler playscape at the Willow Child Development Center.

• Common Roots will improve safety and living conditions at its property on South Main Street in Meadville by using $2,500 to purchase materials to build a double-decker porch. The residence is projected to add safe and affordable rental units to the housing market.

• Crawford County Coalition on Housing Needs received $2,500 to defray the cost of replacing the roof on its South Main property, a homeless shelter residence for families.

• The Crawford County Historical Society will use $1,000 to purchase a microfilm reader/printer, a modern-day necessity that will facilitate community historical research at the Tarr mansion.

• The Crawford County School for Adult Education will improve its services by using $1,500 to purchase computer software and an upgraded printer.

• Greendale Cemetery is recognized for its historic, park-like grounds covering more than 200 acres in West Mead Township. A diseased maple tree will be removed with the help of $1,085.

• Hatch Cemetery is located on Route 198 between Blooming Valley and Guys Mills. Although the burial ground is no longer active, it serves as the final resting place for more than 250 people, 34 of which are veterans. Costs associated with the removal of a dead ash tree and the trimming two maple trees will be defrayed by $1,000.

• Students who participate in Junior Achievement programs earn incomes 20 percent higher than their peers, are 30 percent more likely to attain a bachelor’s degree and find it easier to secure stable employment. Junior Achievement of Western PA will use $1,000 to support its career pathway programs for students in Crawford County.

• The Meadville Area Recreation Foundation received $1,000 to provide lunch and snacks to local children participating in the Summer Parks Program.

• Meadville Community Theatre will enhance its audience experience by using $1,000 to purchase new wireless microphones for its actors.

• The Meadville Garden Club hosts the bi-annual Trees of Christmas event, the proceeds of which support the Baldwin-Reynolds House Museum at Mount Hope. This year, the club received $1,500 to publicize the live Christmas tree display in hopes of attracting more attendees and improving fundraising revenue.

• Meadville Public Library received $2,450 to repair the gutters and rainwater drainage systems of the Helene Barco-Duratz Cultural Center, located on Chestnut Street in Meadville.

• The Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism was awarded $1,000 to increase participation and provide support for its summer youth Journalism Camp at the Tarbell House in Titusville.

• The Richmond Township Recreation Board will be able to remodel the community bathrooms at the Richmond Township Recreation Center with the help of $954.

• The Rotary Club of Titusville hosts a Christmas party for economically-disadvantaged children, provides scholarships to local students to attend leadership and service camps and funds service trips abroad. The club will continue its youth programming with the help of $2,000.

• Saegertown Area Library will use $500 to grow its special collection of graphic novels to promote youth literacy.

• Second District Elementary School received $1,000 to improve and expand the BARK (Behavior Interventions and Supports) Program. This incentive-based program encourages positive behavior on the part of students.

• South Lake Preserve received $1,000 to defray costs associated with the planning and construction of a gazebo in Ice House Park in Conneaut Lake borough.

• Wayland Cemetery was established in the early 1800s and is located in East Mead Township. Cemetery maintenance, monument preservation and dead tree removal will be supported with $800.

• Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will see to it that an invasive species is controlled on its Venango Riffle Preserve by using $1,100 to purchase and apply the necessary herbicide.

• Members will have access to additional fitness equipment at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Titusville after $1,507.52 is used to repair three exercise machines.

• The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Titusville received $1,000 to support programs teaching self-sufficiency and economic independence strategies to local homeless or near-homeless people in the community. 

The Crawford Heritage Community Foundation is dedicated to making Crawford County a better place to live, learn, work and raise a family. The foundation helps people make the most of their philanthropy by giving to endowed funds.

Grant awards are made from these funds to support the causes donors care about as well as worthwhile programs selected by the foundation. The foundation manages more than 100 funds, which benefit more than 100 different organizations, scholarships and charitable purposes.

They make grants totaling more than $600,000 each year. More than $8.5 million has been awarded since the organization was established in 1998.

• More information: Write the Crawford Heritage Community Foundation, P.O. Box 933, Meadville, PA 16335; call 336-5206 or visit crawfordheritage.org online.

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