CLEVELAND, March 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion East Ohio today presented $110,000 in grants to 15 winning community organizations in its 21st annual Community Impact Awards competition, co-sponsored with Cleveland Magazine.
A panel of community judges chose the winners from among more than 70 entries, submitted by organizations throughout the region. The award recognizes organizations that have made an impact in the community. The Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion East Ohio's parent company, Dominion Resources Inc., funds the Community Impact grants. The Dominion Foundation is dedicated to the economic, physical and social health of the communities the company serves.
"As we have come to expect, this year's Community Impact Award honorees devised and executed some very ambitious and creative projects, which really wowed our judges," notes Jeff Murphy, Dominion East Ohio vice president and general manager. "These projects demonstrate the major role that our region's non-profit and economic development agencies play in improving their local communities."
Since 1996, Dominion East Ohio has distributed more than $1.4 million in Community Impact Awards to organizations throughout its service area.
This year's Community Impact Award winners are:
- Slavic Village Development of Cleveland received $12,500 for its Slavic Village Recovery Project, which used public/private partnerships to improve the neighborhood which had nation's highest home foreclosure rate. The project rehabilitated 28 structurally sound vacant homes and sold them to new owner occupants. The program also conducted 155 strategic demolitions of structures that could not be rehabbed. The program also helped owner occupants of 25 other homes make necessary repairs.
- Campus District, Inc., and the St. Clair-Superior Development Corp., received $12,500 for their NightMarket Cleveland collaboration. NightMarket presented a series of open air market evenings that featured local artists, restaurateurs and other entrepreneurs. NightMarket Cleveland attracted thousands of shoppers and diners to an urban neighborhood and fostered growth among minority and/women-owned vendors.
- Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry of Cleveland received a $10,000 Special Workforce Development Impact Award grant for its Central Kitchen program. The project provides culinary industry training and on-the-job experience to homeless shelter residents and other participants, as they help prepare 400,000 meals annually for area homeless shelters.
- Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership received $8,000 for its Warren Enriched program, which combined targeted rehabilitation and sales of formerly vacant homes to new owner occupants with demolitions of other derelict buildings. The demolitions freed up space for construction of community parks, gardens, arts spaces and other public uses.
- Cleveland's Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center received $8,000 for its Safe & Sound Supervised Visitation Center. The facility, the only one of its kind in Cuyahoga County, provides a safe place for supervised visits for families in which domestic violence, substance abuse, and other challenges are an issue, putting the child at risk.
- Towards Employment of Cleveland received $8,000 for its program that provides low-income, under-employed and unemployed individuals with the necessary training, placement assistance and support to enter and advance in manufacturing and health care careers. In 2014, Toward Employment graduates earned an average wage of $10/12 per hour, compared with the Ohio minimum wage of $7.85 per hour.
- Western Reserve Historical Society of Cleveland received $8,000 for its Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel restoration. The project restored the 1910 vintage carousel, which operated at the former Euclid Beach Park until the park closed in 1969, placing the renewed attraction in a new pavilion at the society's Cleveland History Center. The restored carousel, which was made handicapped accessible, is now entertaining a new generation of riders.
- Seeds of Literacy of Cleveland received $8,000 for its Adult Basic Education and GED Preparation program, which relies on one-to-one tutoring and individualized curricula to help students who did not succeed in traditional school settings. The program enlisted 200 volunteer tutors to serve nearly 1,000 students.
- EDWINS Second Chance Life Skills Center of Cleveland received $5,000 for its six-month residential program that prepares former prisoners for culinary and hospitality industry careers through classroom training and hands-on work experience at a fine dining French restaurant in Cleveland's Shaker Square district. The program also teaches participants budgeting and other necessary life skills to succeed.
- Cleveland's Care Alliance Health Center received $5,000 for its Central Neighborhood Clinic. The 30,000-square-foot facility provides medical, dental, optometry and behavioral health care and pharmacy service for some of the region's most medically underserved communities. At full capacity, the facility will increase health care access to more than 12,000 Clevelanders.
- Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation received $5,000 for Griot Village, a 40-unit multi-family townhouse developed specifically for persons aged 55 and older with legal custody of grandchildren, nieces and nephews and other minor children. The $12.7 million project, built in partnership with the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority is the first in Ohio to target this demographic.
- Youngstown Neighborhood Development Association received $5,000 for its Better Blocks program, an effort to revitalize underutilized sections of two of the city's primary neighborhood commercial corridors, Mahoning Avenue and Midlothian Boulevard. The project, involving neighborhood resident and property owners, and businesses and city officials, resulted in building improvements and cleanup of sidewalks and vacant lots.
- Beatitude House, which provided transitional housing to homeless families in Youngstown, Warren and Ashtabula, received $5,000 for its "Over the Edge for Beatitude House" urban rappelling fundraiser. The two-day event attracted 86 participants, who rappelled down Youngstown's 18-story Metropolitan Tower, generating more than $160,000 in sponsorship monies and donated services, netting $110,000 in cash donations.
- Canton's Stark Community Food Access and Renovation Corporation received $5,000 for its StarkFresh program. StarkFresh encourages local residents' consumption of fresh, locally-produced foods by operating a "Veggie Mobile" mobile produce market and expanding the number and capacity of urban garden sites. The program also made local produce more accessible through accepting SNAP benefits, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Vouchers at all locations.
- Opportunity Parish Ecumenical Neighborhood Ministry (OPEN M) of Akron received $5,000 for its Community Works Connection (CWC) program. CWC helps low-income individuals reduce barriers to employment and job retention and advancement. Support services include temporary transportation and assistance with food, housing, clothing utilities, child care and health services, all designed to help participants retain and advance in their jobs.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 24,300 megawatts of generation, 12,200 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,500 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 933 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 14 states. For more information about Dominion visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
SOURCE Dominion East Ohio
For further information: Neil Durbin, (216) 736-6239. E-mail: Neil.J.Durbin@dom.com, Tracy Oliver, (216) 736-6219. E-mail: Tracy.A.Oliver@dom.com