Foundation Board Awards 2023 Education and Workforce & Economic Development Grants

Foundation Board Awards 2023 Education and Workforce & Economic Development Grants

Foundation Board Approves First Grant Cycle of 2023, Awards $73,000 to Education and Workforce & Economic Development Programs

Barberton Community Foundation’s Board of Directors met for their regular meeting on Thursday, March 16, at the Active Adult Center. The board approved eight grants totaling $73,009.04. The board also approved Renea Macko and Rob Pursley as new Friends of the Foundation, and thanked Dr. Suzanne Allen, who is retiring from her role as executive director of Barberton Community Foundation on March 31. Tiffany Peters, director of finance, has been named as interim executive director.


Barberton City School District was awarded $22,975.32 for their partnership with AMHA to expand support for families and students. The grant supports more on-site tutoring days, bussing to parent/teacher conferences, and bi-monthly resident meetings to educate parents about school services and opportunities. AMHA expects to serve 800 individuals through these programs.

National Inventors Hall of Fame received $15,000 for 2023 Camp Invention financial support for 120 students who would like to attend. Camp Invention is a summer enrichment program led by Barberton teachers with STEM-based curricula.

Child Guidance & Family Solutions received $10,000 for their Toddlers and Preschoolers Succeeding (TAPS) program. TAPS provides on-site training for preschool and childcare staff on how best to respond to challenging classroom behaviors and improve kindergarten readiness. Child Guidance anticipates serving 380 preschoolers with this funding.

Barberton City School District was awarded $6,533.72 to support the primary school’s Magical Reading program, which teaches parents how to read to their children in creative, educational and engaging ways. Funding supports the purchase of books for families to read together, crafts and operations for the event.

United Way of Summit & Medina received $5,000 to support Financial Empowerment Center services provided to Barberton residents. The Center estimates they will serve 215 residents through free financial empowerment programming, including financial coaching, tax preparation and banking assistance.

Junior Achievement was awarded $5,000 to provide programming within Barberton City Schools to 320 students in middle and high school. Programs include JA Personal Finance, JA Inspire, JA Company Program and JA Economics for Success.

The International Soap Box Derby received $5,000 for programs and field trips for Barberton City School students, including their popular Gravity Racing Challenge program. Funding supports the purchase of derby car parts, supplies and program books for 180 students.

SCORE Akron received $3,500 for their Barberton Community Workforce Development programs which include mentoring and workshop programs for entrepreneurs interested in starting their own business or expanding their existing business.

Foundation Awards Health and Wellness Grant Cycle

Foundation Awards Health and Wellness Grant Cycle

Barberton Community Foundation Logo

The Barberton Community Foundation Board of Directors held their July board meeting at Summa Health – Barberton Campus. Several board and friends members toured the hospital’s newest Joint Replacement Center prior to the meeting. The board discussed regular business and voted to approve Hugh McMichael and Theresa Osbourne to the Friends of the Foundation. Executive director Suzanne Allan, Ph.D. said, “We’re pleased to welcome people who care about our community as new Friends to the Foundation.”

The Foundation’s second grant cycle focuses on health and wellness. The board approved fourteen grants totaling $143,535.

The largest grant of the cycle was $25,000 awarded to Summa Health – Barberton Campus to support the purchase of a new CT machine, supporting cardiac care, stroke therapy and more.

The Foundation awarded $15,000 to AxessPointe in Barberton for their Patient Assistance Fund, which will cover costs such as prescription copays, provide groceries, hygiene items and cleaning items. Funding will help AxessPointe ensure underserved and low-income individuals receive crucial primary and preventative care.

Victim Assistance Program was awarded $15,000 for their Barberton Victim Advocacy Program, which serves victims of crime and trauma. The program is located within the Barberton Municipal Court.

The City of Barberton received grants for two separate parks projects. Tuscora Park received $15,000 to support six new pickleball courts and Breitenstine Park received $10,000 towards renovating the tennis courts.

Countryside (Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy) received $10,000 to continue their community food access program at the Barberton Farmers Market. This program has been very successful in supporting SNAP and WIC clients with options for more fruits, vegetables and healthy foods in their diets.

Girls on the Run received $10,000 to provide scholarships for girls interested in participating during the fall 2022 and spring 2023 seasons. Funding will also support the purchase of athletic shoes and coaching stipends.

The Humane Society of Summit County received $10,000 to provide services for pet owners in the Barberton community through their MABEL clinic.

The Foundation awarded $7,500 to the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank to support costs associated with the monthly Barberton Direct Distribution, which provides access to healthy food at no cost for Barberton residents. This funding equates to a provision of 14,400 lbs. of food.

IBH Addiction Recovery received $7,500 for group and individual counseling for Barberton clients with substance abuse disorder. Clients receive counseling at every level of care which includes residential, day, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment.

Embracing Futures, Inc. received $6,000 to support their Orthodontic Care program, which supports low-income families by providing braces for children with severe orthodontic problems.

The Foundation awarded Greenleaf Family Center $5,000 to support school-based suicide prevention services to approximately 2,000 Barberton middle and high school students.

Ben Curtis Family Foundation received $5,000 to support their Birdie Bags program. This program continues to serve 1,400 to 1,500 Barberton children once each month with take-home bags containing six nonperishable meals, four snacks and personal hygiene essentials.

The Foundation supported the Rape Crisis Center with $2,535 for their program, Responding to Victims in Barberton community. Funding supports victims of domestic/family/intimate partner abuse and/or sexual violence.

The Foundation’s last grant cycle of the year focuses on arts and community programming and is due October 1.

Top Photo Tag: (L-R) Friends of the Foundation Bob McDonald, Paula Kallio attend a tour with Michelle Rappach RN, Joint Replacement Manager at Summa Health – Barberton Campus. Michelle says, “When you aren’t in joint pain, you move better, you feel better and you live better.”


Foundation Board Meets at White Rabbit, Awards Funding for First Grant Cycle

Foundation Board Meets at White Rabbit, Awards Funding for First Grant Cycle

Barberton Community Foundation Logo

The Barberton Community Foundation Board of Directors held their second meeting of the year at White Rabbit Galleries.

The board discussed regular business and approved $119,220.86 for thirteen grants in the first grant cycle of the year: Education and Workforce & Economic Development.

The board approved a fund name change from the Esther Ryan Shoe Endowment Fund to the Magic City Kiwanis/Esther Ryan Shoe Endowment Fund. This change came after the Magic City Kiwanis agreed to partner with the Foundation and merge two funds under the Foundation’s management. Magic City Kiwanis will continue to host the annual Spaghetti Dinner.

Another fund change was for the Barberton Community Health Clinic Endowment Funds. At the direction of fund holder Donna Keim, the health clinic funds will transfer into a new scholarship called the Walter Ritzman Scholarship Fund. This change comes as the Health Clinic no longer exists to serve the community. The scholarship will provide support to Barberton students pursuing a pharmacy degree.

Grants Approved

The Foundation awarded thirteen grants totaling $119,220.86 in their first grant cycle of the year.

Child Guidance & Family Solutions received $10,000 for their program Toddlers and Preschoolers Succeeding program (TAPS) which improves kindergarten readiness and reduces preschool expulsion rates in four Barberton preschools annually. TAPS helps preschools focus on children’s social-emotional needs by providing trauma-informed approaches, classroom management techniques and embedded social-emotional models.

With the new Barberton Intermediate School beginning next year, The Foundation awarded $4,800 to Barberton City Schools for t-shirts to all the staff and students of Barberton Intermediate to support community and pride.

Tri-County JOG was awarded $26,500 for their program, Municipality Workforce Development for Barberton Youth, which share municipality employment opportunities with Barberton High School juniors.

The Akron-Barberton Community Workforce Development program, managed by SCORE Akron, received $5,000 to assist with their mentoring and educational workshops for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Camp Invention, a popular summer program organized by the National Inventors Hall of Fame received $10,000 to provide financial support to Barberton students who would like to attend the program.

United Way of Summit & Medina received $5,000 for their Financial Empowerment Services programming provided to Barberton residents. The center estimates they will serve 75 residents through free financial empowerment programming, including financial coaching, tax preparation and banking assistance.

The Foundation supported JA programming through Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio with a $5,000 grant to provide support for JA’s K-12 programming which focuses on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness.

The International Soap Box Derby received $4,000 to continue their SBD Mini Car STEM program with Barberton City School elementary students and provide materials for middle school students’ gravity racing challenges.

Red Oak Behavioral Health received $13,000 for summer programming in partnership with Lake Anna YMCA.

Barberton City Schools Theatre Department received $20,000 to upgrade the theatre equipment. Currently the sound and lighting boards are failing. Upgrades will benefit both the school and community groups who use the theater.

Barberton City Schools eSports received $5,671.70 to purchase three additional computers for student players. The program has a waiting list for players and is fundraising for team jerseys.

The Foundation awarded two grants to Barberton City Schools for additional programs: $2,796.92 for their program Learning under the Lights, which is a summer reading and math event, and $7,452.25 for building a Magical Reading Nook at Barberton Primary School for students to read under the stairs in a cozy environment.

Other business:

The Foundation Board passed several policy updates out of the governance committee and welcomed Tiffany Peters to the Foundation staff as the new director of Finance. Tiffany started on Monday, March 14 and is joining the Foundation from serving in various financial roles with United Way of Summit and Medina Counties.


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.

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.

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!