Foundation Board Approves Third Cycle Grants for Health and Wellness Programs

Foundation Board Approves Third Cycle Grants for Health and Wellness Programs

Foundation Board Approves Third Cycle Grants for Health and Wellness Programs

In their final meeting of the year, Barberton Community Foundation Board of Directors met at Barberton Public Library on Thursday, November 18, to approve $89,820.50 for ten grants in the third cycle for health and wellness programming. The board also approved the Foundation’s 2022 spending policy and selected 2022 officers: Jason Slater, Chair; Denny Liddle, Vice Chair; Jennifer Bidlingmyer, Treasurer; and Deb Shreiner, Secretary.


Jason Slater, Grants Committee Chair, shared that the Foundation had been able to connect fund holders with several grant partners this cycle. Josh Gordon, Board Chair, thanked Carrie Herman, Director of Community Impact, for connecting with those donors. “This creative approach allowed the Foundation to partner with our fund holders to better meet the needs of our grant partners and the needs of our community. This was a win-win for everyone.”

The Foundation awarded Coleman Health Services $20,000 for their Student Success Initiative. This program is a partnership between Coleman and Barberton City Schools to combat disengagement and disruptive classroom behavior in children through working to resolve emotional and relational conflicts. The program provides the tools and support a family needs to encourage their children at school, increase their attendance and academic performance overall.

Red Oak Behavioral Health was awarded $15,000 toward screening an IndieFLIX Education video series that focuses on topics such as anxiety, finding balance in the digital world, strategies to overcome cyber-bullying, exploring the impact of race and racism on mental health and how to move toward racial healing. Red Oak will coordinate the screenings and facilitate discussions of the films’ topics. This project partners with Barberton City School District and the Barberton Community Wellness Collaborative, a network of programs and agencies providing health and wellness services to Barberton schools students.

AxessPointe Community Health Center received $15,000 to support their Mobile Dental and Oral Health Clinic. The mobile unit will provide more equitable access to care by bringing medical and dental services to local neighborhoods in Barberton. Funds will be used to purchase a handheld x-ray machine and oral sensors.

The Foundation awarded Victim Assistance Program $14,820.50 for their Barberton Municipal Court Advocacy Program. Victim Assistance Program estimates that this funding will go toward services to 350 individuals in 2022. Services include crisis intervention, court advocacy, community resource referrals, safety and action planning, as well as victim rights education.

Countryside received $10,000 for their Food Access Program at the Barberton Farmers Market. This program provides tokens and vouchers to SNAP and WIC recipients and senior citizens, which can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables at the markets.

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank received $7,500 for their 2022 Barberton Direct Distribution Program which operates monthly at the Barberton Salvation Army to provide Barberton residents access to healthy food at no cost.

$2,500 was awarded to First Tee – Greater Akron for their program called Expanding Educational Life Skills Programming in Barberton. First Tee integrates the game of golf with a life skills curriculum, including building self-confidence and resilience. Funding also supports their partnership with Lake Anna YMCA as a partner and location for programming.

$2,000 was awarded to Ben Curtis Family Foundation for their Birdie Bag program which provides bagged meals for Barberton students facing food insecurity. Ben Curtis Family Foundation has been providing Birdie Bags in Barberton since 2018. In 2022, they estimate they will serve 1,400-1,800 children on a monthly basis.

Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio received $1,500 for scholarships for Barberton participants, which provides scholarships for both Barberton Middle School and Barberton Elementary School programs. The program is offered to students in 3rd-8th grades and promotes social-emotional learning and mental well-being along with physical activity.

Greenleaf Family Center was awarded $1,500 for their Adolescent Suicide Prevention Program. This program will provide services to Barberton Middle School and Barberton High School students and school staff, and provide assistance with Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) training for all Barberton City employees.

Spending Policy and a Message from the Director

With the final payment on Barberton High School’s construction made this year, the Foundation adopted a new spending policy to reflect changes to both the Foundation’s obligations and its goals moving forward.

“In 2022 we will continue to listen to the community,” said Suzanne Allen, Executive Director. “We are working with Heritage Ohio for a Downtown Assessment and we will contract with Management Resources Company for a city-wide needs assessment. We are excited to partner with the City, the Schools, and Summa Health – Barberton Campus on the needs assessment. These results will give us the ability to better measure the impact of our investments.”

The Foundation will increase funding for small grants, grant cycles and scholarships, while adding funding for Economic Development initiatives.

Josh Gordon said that while spending is increasing in these areas, overall, the spending percent will decrease. “We continue to stand by our duty as a board for responsible and strategic management of the Foundation’s corpus. With that in mind, we strive to balance the needs of the future with the impact we can make today. This spending policy will allow the Foundation to grow both the principal fund and increase our granting capacity in the future.”

Suzanne concluded the evening by thanking the board and staff for an exceptional year. “A special thank you to Kim Miller for her service to this organization. Kim retires this week as our office manager for the past two years. We are so grateful to her for her hard work, and we wish her well.”

Karie Sattler joined the Foundation as incoming office manager in September.

With the announcement of this last 2021 grant cycle, Barberton Community Foundation has awarded $240,200 through its three grants cycles: Education, Workforce and Economic Development; Arts and Community; and Health and Wellness.

Virtual Dinner a Success

Virtual Dinner a Success

Barberton Community Foundation Logo

On Thursday, November 4, Barberton Community Foundation held its Annual Dinner virtually on Zoom

Over 100 people joined, with some choosing to host small gatherings in their homes to watch the event. The night was full of celebration for the Foundation’s 25th anniversary and included a check presentation for $2.1 million to Barberton City Schools for the final payment on Barberton High School. The payment represents the completion of the first promise Barberton Community Foundation made to its residents: agreeing to build Barberton High School. The Foundation has been making payments on the building for more than 20 years and has saved residents $58 million in real estate taxes.

Josh Gordon, Foundation Board Chair, said that the completion of the school payment is a success we all share. “As we celebrate the conclusion of the biggest project in the history of the Foundation, we must begin the work of finding the next aspects of our community in need of support. We are focused on identifying our greatest needs, especially in the areas of economic development and education. After 25 years and more than $105 million in grants, Barberton Community Foundation is just getting started.”

The honored guests of the evening were 2021 Game Changers Lisa McLean, Dr. Michael Hughes representing Summa Health – Barberton Campus and Jeff Ramnytz, representing Barberton City Schools. Each Game Changer received an award from the Foundation and a proclamation from the state. 

Suzanne Allen, Executive Director of Barberton Community Foundation, said that while this annual dinner was unique, the sense of gratitude and appreciation for the Barberton community that is so present during the traditional event, was definitely felt through the screen. “I want to thank everyone who attended virtually tonight. Thank you for helping to make this event safe and accessible to all, and for helping us celebrate tonight.” Suzanne said. “I especially want to thank our Game Changers for joining us, and for the incredible work they have done for this community. Each of you and your organizations are truly appreciated.”

The evening ended with an announcement from Suzanne regarding a new fund called Celebrate Barberton, created with the Foundation’s anniversary in mind. The new fund will partner with the City of Barberton to provide grants to each ward in the City for community projects, fostering engagement and community sprit across the city.

“Barberton is special,” Suzanne concluded. “Not only is it one of a very few small towns with a significant community foundation, but it has an enormous sense of pride – purple pride. For that too, we are thankful. Thank you all.”

Foundation Welcomes Karie Sattler as Office Manager

Foundation Welcomes Karie Sattler as Office Manager

Barberton Community Foundation is pleased to welcome Karie Sattler as our new Office Manager. Karie’s first day was Monday, August 30.

“I’m so excited to have the opportunity to work for the Foundation,” said Karie. “Everyone made me feel extremely welcome, and the first day went well.”

Suzanne Allen, Executive Director of Barberton Community Foundation said, “We are very pleased to welcome Karie to our team. She will continue the tradition of providing a warm welcome to Foundation guests as our unofficial director of first impressions.”

As the new Office Manager, Karie will provide administrative and organizational support to the staff, greet office visitors, handle information requests, process requests from the board, coordinate events, manage calendars and provide clerical functions. Karie will also be responsible for all board and committee meeting minutes for both Barberton Community Foundation and Tuscora Park Health and Wellness Foundation. She will replace Kim Miller, who is retiring in November, 2021.

Karie brings seventeen years of office experience to Barberton Community Foundation. She most recently worked as an Administrative Assistant and New Account Coordinator for Cintas, and worked as an Office Manager at MJ Miller & Co. Karie enjoys spending time with her family and her four kids. Her three boys keep her busy, especially during baseball, soccer, and football season.  


Foundation Board Approves Second Cycle Grants for Arts and Community Programs

Foundation Board Approves Second Cycle Grants for Arts and Community Programs

Barberton Community Foundation Logo

The Barberton Community Foundation Board of Directors met at the Active Adult Center on Thursday, July 15 to approve $63,179.50 for six grants in the second cycle for arts and community programming. The board also discussed several upcoming events, contracting with Heritage Ohio, and other business.


City of Barberton was awarded $20,000 for the Foundation Fields lighting upgrade. This grant supports the installation of exterior LED lighting retrofit upgrades for all four fields at the Foundation Fields complex.

The Foundation awarded $15,000 to the City of Barberton Parks and Recreation Department for operating support including: programming, youth camps, summer concerts, the Mum Fest, and park maintenance.

Habitat for Humanity received $15,000 from the Foundation for their program called: Barberton New Home Build. Habitat builds homes for low-to-moderate income families and offers 30-year, zero interest mortgages.

Magical Theatre Company was awarded $5,500 for operating support to sustain the organization through the ongoing pandemic.

The Barberton High School Art Department was awarded $4,179.50 to purchase and integrate iPads in the creation of artwork. This will help students learn the creative applications many professionals use.

The Foundation granted $3,500 to United Way of Summit & Medina for their 2-1-1 program. The 2-1-1 Information and Referral hotline is a free, confidential 24/7 information helpline that helps residents with find health and social services, food pantries, and more.

Two motions for changes to funds:

The Board approved two motions regarding funds held at the Foundation. First, there are several funds established by Barberton Summa Hospital: the Barberton Alumni Physician Now and Forever Funds and the Barberton Alumni Physician Scholarship Fund. The Foundation approved, at the recommendation of Dr. Michael Hughes (fund advisor), to consolidate these funds in order to grow the Barberton Alumni Physician Scholarship Fund for Barberton students.

Second, the Foundation approved that the Barberton Salvation Army Now and Forever Fund, which uses funds raised from the Labor Day event, expand its purpose statement to: “the purpose of the Fund shall be to support local nonprofit organizations that contribute to the overall health and well-being of the citizens of Barberton by services to the underserved population.” This change was made at the recommendation of Denny Liddle, who is the fund advisor and originator.


The Foundation has contracted with Heritage Ohio, which will be conducting an introductory event in the fall. The Foundation is also planning donor and board events, has partnered with Magical Theatre for Tuscany on Tusc, and is planning their Annual Dinner for November 4. Tickets will go on sale in the fall.

If you want to learn more about the Foundation, visit our website at or please give us a call at 330-745-5995.

Nominate a Game Changer

Nominate a Game Changer

Nominate a Game Changer

Game Changer Application Opens

It’s that time of year again! The annual Game Changer Award is open and accepting nominations through July 15. 2021 has been an exceptional year for many reasons. Help us identify those individuals and organizations who deserve recognition! You can download a nomination form or apply online by following the links below.

Read about our past Game Changers >


Nominees should be an individual or an organization that has made a positive impact in Barberton through their leadership, vision and/or commitment to the community. Tell us what you admire about them, how they have benefitted Barberton, and acts of service they have performed. Nominees should be connected to the community as a resident, a volunteer, or through their work.


The Game Changer award is traditionally presented during Barberton Community Foundation’s annual dinner. This year’s annual dinner is on Thursday, November 4 at the Galaxy Restaurant. Tickets and sponsorships for the dinner will be announced later this summer.

Process and evaluation:

The application window is open until July 15. A committee consisting of a cross section of citizens from Barberton reviews all nominations and makes a selection by the end of July.


Ray E. Leach, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund

Ray E. Leach, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund

Ray E. Leach, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund

Barberton Community Foundation is pleased to welcome the Leach Family to the Foundation with the announcement of the Ray E. Leach, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund. Tina, Kathy, Mike, and Ray have decided to honor their father (and Brianna her grandfather), with a scholarship that will benefit a Barberton student pursuing a trade school or technical education.

Ray Sr. was a self-made man who was always helping others. He believed that everyone should have the opportunity to follow their passion and do what they do best. This scholarship is designed to remember Ray Sr. in his belief of a brighter future, to further students’ talents and help them financially, no matter their passion.

If you would like to support the Ray E. Leach, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, there are several ways to make a donation.

You can give Barberton Community Foundation a call at 330-745-5995 or send a check by mail to 460 W. Paige Ave. Barberton, OH 44203. Be sure to mention the Ray Leach Sr. Scholarship as your designation.

In May 2021, the Leach Family awarded their first scholarship to Skylar Ramsey, which coincided on the 50th anniversary celebration of Leach’s Meats and Sweets. Congratulations Skylar and Leach Family!