CLEVELAND, March 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion East Ohio has presented $110,000 in grants to 12 winning community organizations in its 22nd 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.
"For more than two decades, our Community Impact Awards have honored area community and non-profit organizations and projects, which have made significant positive impacts upon their respective communities, " said Jeff Murphy, Dominion East Ohio vice president and general manager. "This year's winning projects certainly have lived up to those historical standards of excellence and community service."
Since 1996, Dominion East Ohio has distributed more than $1.7 million in Community Impact Awards to organizations throughout its service area. This year's Community Impact Award winners are:
- The Gordon Square Arts District of Cleveland received $12,500 for its support of Cleveland Hustles, a reality cable television show broadcast nationally on CNBC. The program featured local entrepreneurs competing to secure investment from area investors. As a result of the program, produced by Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star LeBron James and Maverick Carter's Springhill Entertainment, three businesses opened up storefronts in the neighborhood, generating $1 million in investment and creating 45 new jobs.
- The Hattie Larlham Foundation received $12,500 for its Hattie's Food Hub program in Akron's Cedar-Douglas neighborhood. The program, located on a 4,400-square-foot space built on a once vacant lot, provides a venue for local residents to purchase affordable produce and dairy products from the local farmers. Hattie's Hub employs 21 people with developmental disabilities, who receive training to wash, prepare, package and market produce and other healthy foods.
- Coleman Professional Services of Kent received a $10,000 Special Workforce Development Impact Award grant for its Coleman Data Solutions' Job Opportunities for People with Disabilities initiative. The program is a model for demonstrating that people with disabilities can become valuable assets in the workplace, if given the right support and training. Coleman Data Solution, founded as a non-profit organization in 1987, is dedicated to employing people with disabilities, as 75 percent of current workers are individuals with disabilities.
- Cleveland's St. Clair Superior Development Corporation received $10,000 for its Upcycle Parts Shop project, which collects and transforms donated materials, such as vinyl floor samples, leather, and rolls of canvas, yarn and fabric scraps and sells them as supplies for area artists. The program already has collected more than 12,700 pounds of supplies from more than 200 donors. Resulting projects, such as benches built from recycled pallets, are helping to revitalized one of the city's most historic and diverse neighborhoods.
- The Friends of Max Hayes of Cleveland received $10,000 for its program that helps provide high school students real-world work experience that can lead to full-time jobs after graduation. The program includes plant tours, job shadows and internships at member employers. Teachers also participate in externships with member companies, aligning with the school career pathways.
- Marietta's Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association received $10,000 for its Peoples Bank Theatre Restoration project, which transformed a vacant 1919-vintage entertainment center. The $7.5 million project, which opened in January 2016, regularly hosts touring theater productions, comedy shows and movie screenings, attracting new tourism and entertainment dollars to downtown Marietta. Peoples Bank Theatre also works closely with nearby Marietta College.
- The Up Side of Downs of Northeast Ohio received $10,000 for its new Artful 21 facility in Independence, which includes a retail store, featuring the work of local artisans with Down syndrome. The store, which showcases the work of 13 local artisans, employs two staff members with Down syndrome, who are trained in all aspects of retail, including sales, stocking and customer service.
- Youth Opportunities Unlimited of Cleveland received $10,000 for its Pathways program, which offers workforce training sills to youth, ages 14 to 24, living in economically distressed communities. For example, during the 2015-16 academic year, Pathways provided internships for 102 Cuyahoga County teens with 37 different employers.
- The Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation received $7,500 for its Cleveland Summer Cinema program, which attracts thousands of summer visitors to the neighborhood. The weekly programs feature a movie screening on the lawn of a neighborhood Cleveland Metropolitan School District campus, along with local food truck vendors. The program, which began in 2015, has grown to include a local farmers' market and educational presentations.
- The Famicos Foundation of Cleveland received $7,500 for its Famicos Cares legal assistance program. Famicos' Community Access to Resolution and Expungement Services (CARES) helps those whose lives and livelihoods have been suspended because of correctible legal issues. The program helps area residents free legal assistance in matters of clemency, and record sealing, low-level criminal defense, license suspensions, drafting wills, housing and probate matters and defending civil or credit-related claims. In the past three years CARES has helped more than 500 people.
- The Summit County Historical Society of Akron received $5,000 for its Sheep Return to Historic Mutton Hill program. The Society contracted with an area sheep farmer to bring a herd of sheep to graze on the grounds of the Perkins Stone Farm, recreating the 1840s era when the property once housed a flock of up to 1,500 sheep. The helped increased Perkins Stone Mansion tour and property visits by 50 percent and more than 1,750 people attended such related free events as herding, fiber art, wool-spinning demonstrations and children's craft activities.
- The Allen Economic Development Group of Lima received $5,000 for MakerFest 2016 initiative, a three-day career expo for jobs in manufacturing, health care, skilled trades and service industries. The event attracted five colleges and universities, 75 employers and 1,300 high school students from 28 schools. The program also includes Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competitions and breakout sessions. For example, the four winners of a welding competition, all females, reportedly received job offers upon graduation, in a historically male-oriented career field.
Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 26,400 megawatts of generation, 15,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,600 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 1 trillion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves more than 6 million utility and retail energy customers. 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, In Lima, Peggy Ehora, (419) 226-4866. Email: Peggy.A.Ehora@dom.com