Community Foundation awards grants

May 18, 2019

More than $100,000 in CommunityWorks grants were awarded during the Community Foundation of the Kankakee River Valley’s annual awards luncheon Thursday at the Majestic Theatre in Kankakee.

The Community Foundation builds substantial endowment funds for the community. It brings together individuals and organizations to identify and understand community issues and grant making opportunities.

“Today we celebrate our community’s daily efforts that keeps our community strong,” said Community Foundation board chair Elizabeth Kubal.

Community Foundation executive director Nicole Smolkovich added, “We have much to celebrate. The programs and projects funded improve the community’s quality of life.”

This year’s grant recipients are:

• Blessings in a Backpack, $5,000 to provide backpacks with food and snacks to preschool and elementary school children over the weekends.

• Bourbonnais Township Park District, $1,017 to purchase emotional and social learning STEAM kits for preschool classrooms.

• Harbor House, $5,000 to fund parent counseling.

• Herscher CUSD 2, $2,500 to provide resources for their Kindergarten Readiness project.

• Hippocrates Medical Clin- ic, $2,200 for a portable blood pressure, temperature, pulse oximeter monitor for expectant mothers.

• Illinois State Police, $3,000 towards the cost of the weeklong Team Illinois Youth Police Camp.

• Iroquois Mental Health Center, $5,000 to provide early childhood professional credentialing.

• Kankakee Area YMCA, $5,000 to start a Teen Employment Readiness Program.

• Kankakee Community College Baby Talk Program, $2,500 to provide early childhood education and family literacy support.

• Kankakee County Center Against Sexual Assault, $4,650 to provide mental health services to child victims of sexual assault.

• Kankakee County Health Department, $2,200 to begin a Young Growers of Pembroke Township program for sixth through eighth graders.

• Kankakee Public Library, $5,000 for their iGen program that teaches children ages 5 to 8 about coding.

• Kankakee River Valley Forest Preserve District, $2,200 to plant trees at Heiland Lakes Preserve.

• LoveALatte Coffee Treats and Sweet Eats Prepared by Special People, $3,200 to continue to provide job training for adults with special needs through their pop-up coffee shop.

• Momence Park District, $10,000 for playground equipment at Island Park.

• Onarga Academy, $5,000 for vocational programming.

• Pledge for Life Partnership, $4,000 toward the Pack Your Backpack with Resiliency program for Kankakee and Iroquois County kindergarten through third grade students.

• Teen Moms HOPE, $5,000 for their teen parenting program to fund child care costs for moms to complete their education or obtain work.

• The Helen Wheeler Center, $3,000 to establish a play therapy room.

• YWCA Kankakee, $5,000 for early childhood parent and staff training.

In addition, $1,250 grants were presented to Agape Community Outreach Mission, Catholic Charities, Harbor House and KC-CASA through the Rosie Fund.

Community Foundation programs funded through CommunityWorks have included Wright in Kankakee, $12,500; the Riverfront Trail, $1,000; Success by 6 Kankakee, $2,000; Success by 6 Iroquois, $2,000; and WorkKankakee.org, $2,500.

Last year, a new $10,000 grant competition for municipalities was announced. Recipients were the village of Bourbonnais to purchase a new component at their skate park and Watseka to fund new sculptures and landscaping in its downtown area.

Through the Community Foundation website, www.cfkv.org, donations can be made to individuals projects through July 12.

“When you give, you make it for good, forever,” said Smolkovich.

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