Illinois Prairie Community Foundation

IPCF Awards 73 Grants to Nonprofits

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.  – Illinois Prairie Community Foundation has awarded $139,311 in three categories of grants to 73 programs in McLean, DeWitt, Livingston and Logan counties. Grants ranged from $500 to $5,505. Funding came from the Jerome Mirza Foundation, donors to the Community Foundation’s annual campaign and several endowments at the Community Foundation.

Receiving 37 General Grants totaling $62,220 for programs in the fields of education, environment, health and wellness and youth were:

  • Best Buddies Illinois – $1,300 for “Best Buddies Leadership Program” to develop leadership skills in students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) through school friendship program and ambassador program.  
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois – $3,000 for “Community and School Based Mentoring” to increase graduation rate in local school districts and increase the number of children who finish high school with the skills needed to be college or workforce ready.
  • Bloomington Parks Recreation & Cultural Arts Dept. – $1,123 for “Empire Junction Pollinator Garden” to create a pollinator garden that will both benefit the environment and provide educational and outreach work opportunities for park users and neighborhood residents.
  • Boy Scouts of America W.D. Boyce Council – $750 for “2020 Multi-Week Adventure Camp” to provide boys and girls an unforgettable positive outdoor experience; learning teamwork, self-respect and respecting others, self-confidence and participate in Scouting’s unique programming.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal – $2,100 for “STEAM Powered Play” to provide STEAM program access to at-risk youth; in partnership with the Children’s Discovery Museum.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Livingston County – $2,000 for “Building Future Leaders” to provide older Club members with opportunities that prepare them for life after high school.
  • C.H.A.R.M. – $1,900 for “10th Annual West Bloomington Neighborhood Block Party” to provide resources, school supplies, educational and nutritional components for low-income families in west Bloomington.
  • Children’s Home + Aid – $2,438 for “Doula Program” to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect and develop strong parent-child attachments to help mothers build healthy futures for their babies.
  • Clinton Community Education Foundation – $1,500 for “Read Across Clinton” to improve the reading achievement of economically disadvantaged children by providing each child a variety of books to take home on last day of the school year.
  • Community Connection Group of Central Illinois – $1,000 for “Building Future Leaders and Entrepreneurs” to help youth in Livingston County bridge the gap between high school and their future though a 4-week summer program.
  • Community Health Care Clinic – $2,500 for “Expanding Capacity at McLean County’s Free Dental Clinic for the Uninsured” to offer acute, restorative and preventative adult dental services to more Clinic patients through purchase of additional dental equipment.
  • Dreams Are Possible – $3,859 for “Preparing Women for Employment With a Living Wage” to prepare women for economically sustainable employment by creating skill-based workers, helping them transition from jobs to careers, and preparing them to expect and advocate for a living wage, benefits and dignity in the workplace.
  • Environmental Education Association of Illinois – $1,200 for “Increasing Early Childhood Outdoor Education in Central Illinois” to increase student outdoor learning experiences by providing educators with the knowledge, training and experiences needed to feel confident in taking their students outside.
  • Faith in Action of Bloomington-Normal – $1,600 for “Faith in Action of B-N Expansion” to increase access to medical transports and services for more McLean County residents 60 or over to decrease social isolation.
  • Fostering Dignity – $1,100 for “Backpacks for Youth” to purchase backpacks that will be distributed to local DCFS offices for use by staff when removing a child from an abusive or neglectful situation.
  • Girl Scouts of Central Illinois – $800 for “G.I.R.L. Outreach Program – DeWitt County” to increase lifelong success and well-being of at-risk girls within our communities through the direct delivery of leadership and personal development programming.
  • Girls In the Game – $1,400 for “Girls in the Game After School” to provide a safe, noncompetitive environment for girls at five District 87 schools to learn and stay active in this weekly after-school program.
  • Girls on the Run – $1,000 for “Girls on the Run McLean County Expansion” to help more girls attending McLean County schools recognize their inner strength during after-school program that focuses on building confidence through running, culminating in a 5K race.
  • Heartland Community College – $2,500 for “Complete and Connect Lincoln” to help individuals in Logan County earn a sustainable living wage and have a successful career path by reducing the number of individuals in Logan County without a high school diploma.
  • Illinois Wesleyan University – $1,300 for “Summer Immersion Language Camps” to introduce children (PreK-5) to the rich diversity of the human experience by expanding summer offerings to less-commonly taught languages, such as Korean, Mandarin and Sign Language.
  • Jump 4 Joy Squad Inc. – $600 for “Jump 4 Joy Summer Camp” to increase health and fitness awareness among McLean County children and teens, instilling a desire for lifelong physical and mental well-being through a free 2-day summer jump rope camp.
  • Junior Achievement – $1,000 for “JA Inspire Interactive Career Pathway Education” to expose 8th grade students to new careers or help them better understand the path to careers of interest.
  • Lifesong for Orphans-The Forgotten Initiative – $2,200 for “First Response” to provide items necessary when a foster child is placed in a home, making the home safe and comfortable for the child.
  • Lincoln Pastoral Counseling Services – $1,000 for “Subsidy Program” to decrease mental health issues within the community by increasing the amount of subsidy funding provided to those unable to pay full fee for counseling services.
  • Living Well United – $1,500 for “LeRoy Living Well Center” to reduce isolation of seniors in LeRoy, Ellsworth, Bellflower, Arrowsmith and Saybrook by helping them build strong social networks of care, and keep their minds and bodies in the best shape possible to encourage aging successfully in their own homes and communities.
  • Marcfirst – $2,000 for “Family Transitions” to give parents of young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities the information and tools they need to navigate the transition from school support to the adult world.
  • McLean County Children’s Advocacy Center – $1,200 for “Darkness to Light: Stewards of Children” to educate and empower adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
  • Midwest Food Bank – $3,000 for “Hope Pack Weekend Feed Program for Children in Need” to provide food insecure children with supplemental weekend food throughout the school year, ensuring students arrive at school on Monday morning ready to learn.
  • Prairie Central High School – $1,000 for “Foundations of Fitness Physical Education” to create an overall culture in Physical Education of engagement and motivation to acquire and improve physical skills; grant to purchase a projector unit for the school gym.
  • Recycling Furniture for Families – $2,000 for “Providing Furniture for Families in Need” to provide safe and clean furniture to families in need.
  • Royal Families Kids Camp – $1,100 for “Royal Families Kids Camp #362” to break the chains of abuse, neglect and abandonment for foster children ages 6-12 by creating life-changing moments in the healthy and safe environment of a week-long summer camp.
  • Salem 4 Youth – $650 for “Planting for Pollinator Sustainability” to educate both students and the community about the importance of both pollinators and the necessary/native forage plants to the survival of pollinators which are vital to our worldwide food supply.
  • The Salvation Army – $2,000 for “Personal Hygiene Referral Program” to provide hygiene products to families and individuals in McLean County once every 90 days with a referral from a partner agency.
  • United Way of Logan County – $1,800 for “Dolly Parton Imagination Library” to provide a book a month to enrolled Logan County children for the first five years of life.
  • Vault Community Center – $3,400 for “The Golden Gears Café: Small Business Leadership Program” to educate Clinton are teens in the fields of leadership, business, culinary arts and basic cooking skills, helping to alleviate apathy, low self-esteem and lack of purpose prevalent in local students.
  • Western Avenue Community Center – $2,200 for “Evening Summer Camp for Young Adults” to provide a safe, supervised space for young adults to spend time for two summer evenings a week between leaving work and going home.
  • YWCA McLean County – $1,200 for “Young Wonders Youth Development Program” to provide a safe and developmentally appropriate environment for children that further supports their social, communication, academic, recreational and self-regulation skills to help them be successful in life.

Receiving 30 Arts and Culture Grants totaling $59,596 were:

  • Atlanta Public Library District – $5,000 for “Community Arts and Culture Program” to provide access to arts and culture events and activities at little or no cost to residents of Atlanta.
  • BCAI School of Arts – $2,000 for “BCAI Summer Arts Exposure” to awaken and strengthen participants’ innate interests and skills through vast sampling of traditional and nontraditional arts during 3-week summer arts camp.
  • Bloomington Center for Performing Arts – $2,000 for “Taste of Broadway Performing and Visual Arts Workshop” to provide an in-depth theater and visual arts summer camp for 40 students, ages 8-15 years old, with a performance on the BCPA main stage.
  • Brass Band of Central Illinois – $1,000 for “2021 Spring Concert” to help offset the cost of the 2021 spring concert that is free and open to the public and features a guest artist/soloist.
  • Chenoa Public Library District – $500 for “Music at the Library” to introduce children and adults to the music education opportunities available at the new library.
  • Children’s Discovery Museum – $1,500 for “Art Around You: Exploring Contemporary Art in the Community” to provide children in 2nd to 5th grades an opportunity to view, discuss and create contemporary art; partnership with Illinois State University Galleries.
  • City of Pontiac – $2,000 for “Rockin’ at the River Summer Concert Series” to expose the citizens of Livingston County to a broad range of musical styles and genres while providing free, family friendly entertainment.
  • Cultural Festival Inc. – $1,000 for “A Musical Genre Showcase” to present a variety of live music performances featuring the several genres that will be hosted by a narrator who will discuss the influences and similarities that exist among the different styles of music.
  • Further Jazz – $1,500 for “Jazz on Film Concert Series” to produce a series of films/concerts that will focus on jazz films and jazz-influenced films; each film will be followed by a concert featuring the music of the artist featured in the film.
  • Heartland Jazz Orchestra Foundation – $1,500 for “History of Jazz Concert for Young People” to expose young people to jazz and teach them the history of America’s classical music to enrich their artistic appreciation of all music and jazz in particular.
  • Heartland Productions Inc. – $3,000 for “Two New Play Programs” to assist with the Mike Dobbins Memorial “New Plays from the Heartland” one-act play competition and “The Play’s the Thing” which helps a playwright refine a full-length play.
  • Holiday Spectacular Inc. – $2,000 for “Free Tickets for Low-Income Community Members 2020” to underwrite the cost of free tickets to weekend afternoon performances of 2020 Holiday Spectacular; Western Avenue Community Center and Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church of Bloomington will target families to receive tickets.
  • Illinois State University – $1,000 for “Rivulets: Fostering Engagement with Literary Arts through Spoon River Poetry Review (SRPR)” to enrich literary arts instruction for secondary school students in contemporary poetry and creative writing practices via SRPR and workshops, as well as foster student engagement and investment in literary arts.
  • Illinois State University – $1,500 for “Teen Arts Group at University Galleries” to provide 15 Bloomington High School students with free opportunities to engage with contemporary art, interact with arts professionals and gain professional gallery experience.
  • Illinois Symphony Orchestra – $3,000 for “Concert for Kids” to create a highly interactive and engaging concert experience that will introduce, engage and inspire students in grades K-5 through live orchestral performance in Bloomington.
  • Illinois Voices Theatre – $2,500 for “Seedling Theatre (including Seedling Encore)” to provide a range of theater opportunities for special needs populations and their able-bodied peers.
  • Illinois Wesleyan University – $2,100 for “46th Annual Jazz Festival at Illinois Wesleyan” to provide professional training for young musicians, increasing their knowledge and skills while also helping local music educators who lead jazz groups by providing clinics and workshops in skills needed by educators.
  • Illinois Wesleyan University – $2,400 for “IWU School of Music Summer Music Program” to provide intensive and professional training for young musicians, increasing their knowledge and skills, while providing a free public concert series in the Bloomington- Normal community.
  • Inside Out Accessible Cooperative – $1,500 for “IOAA Art Education” to develop a lifelong pursuit of the arts by providing a variety of art classes at reduced cost to youth, seniors, adults and individuals with disabilities.
  • McLean County Arts Center – $1,000 for “Sugar Creel Arts Festival” to present festival that features artists in a variety of disciplines, children’s art activities and live music.
  • McLean County Historical Society – $3,000 for “Evergreen Memorial Cemetery Walk” to enable schoolchildren to experience live theater while teaching them about their community’s history and the importance of respecting cemeteries.
  • MIOpera Inc. – $2,000 for “MIOperatunities Presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music” to increase and enhance arts education through opera and musical theater in McLean County with affordable, professional and accessible performance opportunities for children and young adults.
  • Mt. Pulaski CUSD 23 Music Department – $2,696 for “Risers for Mt. Pulaski Concerts and Logan County Music Festival” to purchase risers, providing ample room and a safe place for students to perform; grant made from David & Kay Williams Music Education Endowment.
  • Music Connections Foundation – $3,000 for “Niños y Música” to develop English language skills in parents and children; to educate parents on how to interact actively with their children through music; and to promote positive parenting behaviors to foster optimal child development at home.
  • Normal Township Activity & Recreation Center – $2,400 for “ARC Glee Club” to combat seniors’ isolation by providing an opportunity for social bonding, allowing them to experience positive emotional energy and mutual pride in the shared performance of music.
  • Poco a Poco Inc. – $1,500 for “Poco a Poco 2020 Summer Music Fest” to produce a summer music festival in Streator, including intensive and interactive music training and live concerts.
  • Prairie Fire Theatre – $2,000 for “Mad About Broadway” to bring a professional-grade classic musical theater production in September to Bloomington-Normal employing area musicians, artists and technicians.
  • Pt.fwd – $1,500 for “Pt.fwd Artist in Residency Program” to increase access to equitable opportunities for musicians and sound artists in McLean County and to share these opportunities with the public.
  • Share the Music – $1,500 for “Instrument Lending Program” to enable participation in music programs at schools, by making instruments available to those who cannot afford them.
  • Threshold to Hope Inc. – $2,000 for “Art Instruction and Exploration for Low-Income Artists” to increase low-income artists’ skills, allowing them to experience emotional benefits of painting and assist them in creating paintings that have the potential to be sold for their financial benefit.

Receiving 6 Sol Shulman Jewish Life and Education Grants totaling $17,495 were:

  • Heartland Productions Inc. – $2,500 for “A Shayna Maidel, a Play by Barbara Lebow,” a compelling play about two Jewish sisters reunited after the Holocaust in New York in 1946 will be performed in February 2021.
  • Illinois Symphony Orchestra Inc. – $3,000 for “Orchestra Around the Town Free Concert Series” to celebrate the legacy of Sol Shulman by partnering with Moses Montefiore Temple to increase awareness of Jewish composers through a free concert (in fall 2019 or spring 2020) at the Temple.
  • Moses Montefiore Temple – $1,390 for “Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center” to create better equity in developing an understanding of the Holocaust; students in the MMT Religious School grades 4-12, in addition to other interested adults, would benefit from the immersive experience of attending the Skokie museum.
  • Moses Montefiore Temple – $1,050 for “Jewish Film Festival” to provide a fun and educational opportunity to Jewish and non-Jewish families typically disconnected to the dynamic diversity in the surrounding area; festival will offer two movies featuring Jewish values and roles over two weekends.
  • Moses Montefiore Temple – $4,050 for “Jewish Music Enrichment” to provide a structured and ongoing program of music enrichment and education to all who attend services and to families and children who are enrolled in the Religious School.
  • Moses Montefiore Temple – $5,505 for “Religious Action Center L’Taken Teen Trip to Washington, D.C.” to provide participating teens an opportunity to interact with 2,000 other Jewish teens; attendees will gain knowledge on how to be effective leaders in the Jewish community as well as the community at large.

Applications for 2021 grants from the Foundation’s Women to Women Giving Circle and Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) will be available in October.

About Illinois Prairie Community Foundation
Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, now in its 22nd year, encourages and facilitates philanthropy in McLean, DeWitt, Livingston and Logan counties by connecting donors who care with causes that matter to them. The Foundation currently manages assets of more than $15.8 million in more than 170 funds including endowments and donor advised, fiscal sponsorship and scholarship funds.

Michele Evans, Grants & Communications Director, 309-826-1120 (cell)