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GCEF awards $66,200

12/19/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

AKRON — The Gay Community Endowment Fund (GCEF) of Akron Community Foundation recently awarded grants totaling $66,200 to nine Greater Akron nonprofit organizations. Akron Community Foundation’s board ratified this latest round of grants at its quarterly meeting Dec. 6.

The largest of these grants will support the 2014 Gay Games, a sports and culture festival coming to Cleveland and Akron next August. This $45,000 grant represents just one part of the fund’s commitment to the Gay Games. In October, fund officials announced that proceeds from its annual Sugar Plum Tour also would support the games, bringing the fund’s total commitment to a record $100,000 and making it the official host sponsor of events held in Akron and Summit County.

A portion of the committed funds will be used to award grants of up to $5,000 for local projects that support the Gay Games, including arts and culture events; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) programming; and diversity projects. Nonprofits may submit their grant applications online through Jan. 10 at www.akroncf.org/applyGG9.

Other grants approved this year will provide mental health services to LGBT individuals in Greater Akron, including counseling for senior citizens and school-based outreach programs for LGBT youth.

Since awarding its first grants in 2005, the GCEF has reinvested nearly $250,000 into local nonprofit initiatives that promote the well-being and full inclusion of LGBT citizens in the greater Akron area. To make a gift to the GCEF, visit www.akroncf.org/give/gcef.

The following grants were awarded this year:

  • CASA Board Volunteer Association Inc., for an equality-training seminar that educates volunteer court advocates about placing children with same-sex foster or adoptive parents, $2,000;
  • Child Guidance & Family Solutions Inc., to develop marketing materials for the agency’s school-based adolescent outreach program targeted toward LGBT youth, $5,000;
  • Cleveland Special Events Corp., for events held in Akron and Summit County as part of the 2014 Gay Games presented by the Cleveland Foundation, $45,000;
  • Community AIDS Network, for the Teen Pride Network, a collaboration with the Akron chapter of PFLAG that offers positive social support and activities for LGBT youth who feel isolated in their school, home or community, $2,600;
  • Community Drug Board, doing business as Community Health Center, to increase outreach to the LGBT community and educate the agency’s substance abuse counselors about the specific needs of LGBT clients, $2,500;
  • Fair Housing Contact Service Inc., to provide remediation to LGBT individuals who have faced discrimination by housing providers, $2,000;
  • Fusion Magazine, for Kent State University’s student-produced publication, which strives to unify people of different backgrounds and orientations, $500;
  • Jewish Family Service of Akron Ohio, for counseling and support groups for LGBT senior citizens, $4,000; and
  • Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays in Northeast Ohio Inc., for the Teen Pride Network, a collaboration with Community AIDS Network that offers positive social support and activities for LGBT youth who feel isolated in their school, home or community, $2,600.
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