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October 12, 2012

Foundation pulls strings for children

TERRE HAUTE — A group of elementary children currently unable to participate in a school strings (violin) program will soon have that opportunity, thanks to a grant from the Wabash Valley Community Foundation.

The foundation distributed nearly $89,000 in grants to 14 area nonprofits during an awards luncheon Thursday at the Holiday Inn. “We connect people who care with causes that matter,” said Beth Tevlin, the foundation’s executive director.

The Crossroads of America Youth Orchestra (CAYO) received a $2,920 foundation grant for the after-school strings pilot program, which will benefit children at one local elementary school, said Sandy Mutchler, CAYO  executive director. Plans are still being finalized.

The children who would benefit currently must spend extra time during the school day strengthening their math and language arts skills, so they don’t have time to participate in a violin program, she said. The goal is for about 20 students to participate, and the program would start in January.

Funding would be used to purchase violins.

If successful, the organization would like to take it to other schools in the future, Mutchler said. Sean Carey, an ISU student, initiated the project and will oversee it. He is a service learning scholar through ISU’s Center for Community Engagement.

Many students who participate in CAYO come from privileged backgrounds, and the pilot project “is a way to give back,” Mutchler said.

Among the other grant recipients, Arts Illiana received $25,000 to support the 2013 Year of the River program, while Light House Mission received $12,000 to purchase commercial washers and dryers.

The Mission currently uses residential washers and dryers to launder all bed linens and towels as well as the personal laundry of those staying there, which numbered 78 people on Thursday, said Rev. Tim Fagg, the mission’s executive director.

The residential washers and dryers keep breaking down, he said. He expressed appreciation to the Community Foundation for “coming forth to help us out.”

Other fall 2012 grant recipients are as follows:

n City of Terre Haute Human Relations Commission, $3,000 — Drama presentation: Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

• Community Christian Counseling, $3,795 — entryway stairs, landing and ramp.

• Crisis Pregnancy Center, $2,400 — HIV screening.

• Hamilton Center, Employment Solutions, $6,000 — Project SEARCH program support.

• Guerin Outreach Ministries/Educational Family Services, $2,000 — children’s tutoring program.            

• League of Terre Haute, $10,000 — Clothes Closet and dental education programs.

• National Multiple Sclerosis Society, $576 — information & referral program.            

• Ronald McDonald House, $2,500 — housing support for Vigo County families.           

• Terre Haute Children’s Museum, $2,000 — Go Figure math program support.

• Terre Haute Crow Committee, $4,000 — equipment and supplies for winter crow relocation project.

• Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, $12,500 — Children’s Concert.

Initially, 44 organizations requested funding, and those requests were then reviewed by a committee of nine Vigo County residents.  

For more information about contributing to or creating a fund to benefit a favorite organization, contact the Wabash Valley Community Foundation at 812-232-2234.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

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