Funding theater, playgrounds and meals: BG Community Foundation awards $60,725

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman, Special to the Sentinel-Tribune

Sixteen non-profit Bowling Green organizations were the recipients of $60,725 in Bowling Green Community Foundation 2022 grant funds at a presentation ceremony held Thursday at the Simpson Garden Park reception room.

“Since 1997, the foundation has awarded grants to non-profit organizations that serve the Bowling Green community to improve the quality of life of our residents,” said Rebecca Ferguson, foundation president.

She added the foundation is solely supported by private contributions.

Those 2022 grant recipients were:

Bowling Green High School’s Cultural Exchange through Theater program, received $2,000 for teaching culture through folk tales. The project will center on folktales and stories produced and staged by the Bowling Green High School Drama Club. Objectives are to foster compassion and empathy among residents of all ages and to contribute to on-going dialogue aimed at increasing justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in the Bowling Green community.

Crim Elementary’s Hot Glass for Elementary Students project was awarded $2,090 to give students the experience of creating glass art while learning about the history of glass in Northwest Ohio. The program will start at Crim as a pilot program and then expand to the Kenwood and Conneaut schools.

Wood County Prevention Coalition’s proposed “Project To Secure Those Meds” received $7,135 to minimize accidental poisoning and addiction due to misuse of unused or unwanted prescriptions. The funding will be used to provide 240 medicine lock boxes to specific community partners such as the Wood County Educational Service Center, Wood County Committee on Aging and the Ohio State University Extension-Wood County. The project will also educate residents about the dangers of having unsecured prescription drugs on hand and educate youth on the risks of abusing prescription painkillers.

Bobcat Band Boosters received $7,500 for the Marching to the Beat of the Bobcat Bands to replace the band’s quad drums, which the boosters said were a backbone of the marching band experience. According to the proposal, the current quads for the Bowling Green Marching Band for 22 years old and well past time to be replaced.

Brown Bag Food Project received $7,500 for their Meat the Need program. The money will be used to purchase meat for dissemination to low income families. The Brown Bag project reported their group provided emergency food to 333 families in September alone.

The National Alliance for Mental Illness of Wood County received $1,846 to expand mental health education and awareness to faith communities and local businesses through the NAMI FaithNet program and StigmaFree Company.

The Bowling Green Curling Club received $2,600 to purchase and replace equipment, including special equipment for the use of youth, wheelchair and differently enabled curlers. This was the second year that the curling group received funding. Leader Patrick Nelson told the audience about the success of last year’s program, with the group scoring well in regional and national competitions.

Work Leads to Independence received $850 for its Community Integration Activities. The group’s mission is to assist people with developmental disabilities to maximize their community participation by enhancing social and community skills.

The Cocoon received $5,000 to complete installation of a “big kids” playground at their facility to be used by its shelter residents and their children. The organization reported they served more than 800 survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence in 2021.

The First United Methodist Church received $3,600 for their Love BG Community Lunch program to provide once-a-month free and healthy meals to individuals in need. The program evolved from the original Martha’s Kitchen’s program.

Wood County 4-H’s Animal Science Curriculum received $1,846 to refurbish/replace existing Skill-a-Thon kits. The program teaches 4-H youth best practices supporting the production of quality and safe animal products for consumers as well as responsible animal handing, care and welfare.

The Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Foundation was given $2,440 to provide reusable, leak-proof swim pants for infants and toddlers to eliminate fecal matter from entering the water. In the 2023 swim season, the pool will begin requiring all children in diapers to wear reusable swim pants.

The Bowling Green State University’s Center For Women and Gender Equality will have $1,318 to promote the BG Should Run program to encourage faculty, students, staff and citizens to get involved in politics. Their goal is to demystify politics and provide participants (especially women) concrete ways they can get involved in local or national government.

Bobcat Vocal Music Boosters received $7,500 to provide sound equipment and new risers for the BGHS Choir Room.

The Connecting Kids to Meals Wood County After School Meal Program will receive $7,500 to provide after-school lunches for at-risk children.

The Wood County District Public Library’s Janis L. Pallister Fund was given $605 to purchase videotapes for the public’s use.

Officials in attendance included Bowling Green mayor Mike Aspacher, Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce President Mary Hinkelman, Bowling Green City Schools Superintendent Francis Scruici, Greater Toledo Community Foundation members Michael George and Bridget Holt and BGSU President Rodney Rogers and Sue Houston.

During the meeting, thanks were offered to David Anderson, who ended his service as a member of the foundation’s board after six years, as well as Lakeshia Dowling, Patrick Koneskey, Ryan Phipps and Ashley Vetter, who each served three years.

Also recognized were seven new trustees who will serve a three-year term, including Martha Woelke, Jim Phares, Kati Thompson, Randy Roberts, James Czerniak, Nick Hogrefe and Abhishek Bhati.