The Bill Long Foundation’s annual membership meeting was held April 13 in the Heiser Auditorium, Kendal at Oberlin.
Members attending this meeting heard 22 grant requests from 19 local organizations.
This is a unique event as the membership hears and debates proposal applications and then votes as a body the level of funding that is awarded.
This year, $19,940 was awarded by the Foundation and members attending the meeting privately contributed an additional $5,240 to further fund several requests. This means a total of $25,180 was distributed to local organizations to fund Oberlin community projects and reflects an increase of more than $5,000 from last year’s grant distributions.
Grants funded this year include:
• CREDO — $800 for scholarship assistance for high quality students.
• Family Promise — $2,000 to purchase clothing, hygiene products, and laundry facilities for homeless families.
• Firelands Association for the Visual Arts — $600 for need-based scholarships.
• Ninde Scholars Program — $800 for ACT testing fees for low-income students.
• Northern Ohio Youth Orchestras — $800 for Summer Symphony operational expenses.
• Oberlin College Bonner Center — $1,000 for five or more local community-based student projects.
• Oberlin Community Services — $3,500 for general operations, $600 for food costs for the Juneteenth Community Picnic, and $1,800 for shelving for a walk-in cooler.
• Oberlin Community Youth Scholarship Fund — $1,500 for scholarships to three or four students of need for higher education.
• Oberlin Community Music School — $480 to compensate two teachers for computer-music composition class.
• Oberlin Schools Band — $320 for a four-channel amplification system with two speakers.
• Oberlin Schools Special Needs Preschool — $330 for two Body Sox and one Crash Pad for special needs students.
• Oberlin Weekday Community Meals — $2,500 for food and utility reimbursement.
• Ohio Dance Theatre — $500 to provide need-based tuition assistance for under-resourced children wanting to study dance.
• Oberlin High School guidance department — $450 to send two students to a HOBY Conference.
• Oberlin High School Interact Club —$750 for purchase of food to send home with students in need on weekends and $250 for materials to prepare desserts for the Community Meals Program.
• Providing Oberlin With Efficiency Responsibly — $1,400 for the cost of hiring a contractor to perform small repairs necessary for efficiency work.
• Prospect PTO STEM Program — $300 for specific materials for STEM Night.
• Senior Enrichment Services of Oberlin — $2,500 for general use.
• Zion Community Development Corporation — $2,000 for materials and labor for painting houses with youth skills instruction.
The BLF is committed to being a resource to community members in Oberlin. All grants funded must meet basic tenets of the the mission statement: “The Bill Long Foundation is a membership-powered community foundation that gives grants to support projects and activities in Oberlin that address basic human needs or enrich cultural life. Membership in the foundation is open to all. Members elect volunteer trustees who manage all operations and award grants based on the vote of members attending the annual meeting.”
Applications for grants are submitted in February with determination of funding at the annual membership meeting in April.
Information about the Bill Long Foundation, photographs from this year’s meeting, and the grant process for next year can be found at www.billlongfoundation.org.
Courtesy photo Oberlin High School band director Len Gnizak explains his grant proposal to the Bill Long Foundation membership.