Executive Director, Suzanne Allen, shares an overview of 25 years of impact from the Foundation
2021 is a special year for Barberton Community Foundation. We are celebrating our 25th Anniversary!
Officially, our anniversary is in September – September 27, 2021 to be exact. It all started 25 years ago, when Barberton voters overwhelmingly supported turning an original $86 million in funds and securities from the sale of Barberton Citizens Hospital into a lasting endowment.
From this endowment, Barberton Community Foundation was created as a tax-exempt nonprofit, and the funds were permanently invested with the intent to use the interest to support grants and scholarships. By law, a community foundation can only make grants to nonprofits, and the only individuals who may receive funds are scholarship awardees.
Our founders also wanted to make sure the monies from the sale of the hospital stayed in Barberton forever, and so crafted language in our by-laws that state we can only make grants to support nonprofits that support the residents of Barberton.
The first grant made by the Foundation was on February 2, 1997. The new Foundation Board voted to uphold their promise to the community and fund the $32 million necessary to build an entirely new facility for Barberton High School. This grant was contingent upon the citizens of Barberton approving a $32 million bond issue, which they did. Over the course of the past 25 years, this investment for the high school has saved Barberton residents $58 million in taxes.
Since its inception, and because of the interest earned from the permanently invested funds and generous contributions from donors, Barberton Community Foundation has awarded 5,263 grants to nonprofits serving our community and 3,319 scholarships to our graduates totaling more than $107million. We hope you’ll agree these 25 years have provided a great return on voter’s original investment, and we look forward to continuing our good work.
As always, the mission of Barberton Community Foundation is to strengthen the Barberton community for current and future generations by providing leadership, fostering collaboration, and creating a legacy of giving to do good.
If you want to learn more about the Foundation, visit our website at barbertoncf.org or please give us a call at 330-745-5995.