Foundation Grants $266,830

Historical Society gets $50,000 for Expansion

Ray Cooney – Editor

The Commercial Review

Local organizations will be receiving more than a quarter of a million dollars.

The Portland Foundation on Saturday announced $266,830 in grants to help support 25 projects. That total includes $50,000 for Jay County Historical Society.

It also gave more than $1,100 in Teacher Creativity Mini-Grants, which are funded by the Virgil and Josephine Thomas Educational Fund.

“The Foundation is pleased to be able to award these grants,” Doug Inman, executive director of The Portland Foundation, said in a press release. “The generosity of countless Jay County Citizens over the past 64 years allows the Foundation to assist in improving the quality of life in the community.”

Jay County Historical Society received the largest award for The Portland Foundation’s winter grant cycle. The $50,000, which included nearly $3,500 from the Clyde E. Geeting Memorial Trust for historical facilities, is slated to fund an addition to Jay County Historical Museum.

Jay Community Center was granted $41,800 for its Boomer Sports programs and the Run Jay County 5K Circuit, Arts Place was given $40,000 for its MusicWorks program and the purchase of an electric kiln, and John Jay Center for Learning got a total of $28,800 for its senior learning series and a new leadership academy.

Other organizations earning grants of $10,000 or more were Community and Family Services ($23,500 for adult day care and the Summer Adventures in Learning program), Youth Service Bureau ($17,500 for the Born to Learn and Keeper At Risk Students in School programs), Jay County Fair Association ($13,118 for new digital sign), the Jay County 4th of July Committee ($10,000 for Fourth of July celebration) and Jay County Scout Facilities, Inc., ($10,000 for construction of a storage facility).

Also selected for grants were Agape Respite Care, Dunkirk American Legion, Dunkirk Beautification Committee, F J Barr Chapter 24 Disabled American Veterans, Jay County Chamber of Commerce, Jay County Conservation Club, Jay County Humane Society, Jay County Soil and Water Conservation District, Jay County Special Olympics, Jay County Trails Club and Second Harvest Food Bank

Teacher grants of $250 went to Debbie Wilhem of Jay County Christian Academy for Nextbook tablets and Priscilla Willrath of Westlawn Elementary School for an ELMO visual presenter and projector. Beth Mathewson of Jay Schools got $212 for a Kaufman Speech Praxis Kit, Jennifer Johnson and Janelle Kirby, third grade teachers at Westlawn, got $199 for picture books for reading and language arts classes and Kelly Smeltzer and Pete Vogler got $196 for sheet music for the Jay County High School band.