At their Annual Dinner, Centre Foundation awarded this year’s $100,000 Centre Inspires grant to Discovery Space for their proposal to develop Centre Makes. This community workshop will connect multiple generations, hobbyists, and entrepreneurs to the skills and equipment they need to create new products, prepare for careers in STEM, and pursue their recreational and creative interests.

Since 2014, the Centre Inspires program has invested nearly $500,000 in Centre County to fund innovative projects that create change through community engagement.

“We are honored and humbled to be selected for this grant,” said Michele Crowl, Executive Director at Discovery Space. “There’s been conversations for about five years now of people trying to make a space like this, where the community can come together to use tools and share knowledge. Never before have so many of those pieces come together at once.”

On hand to congratulate Discovery Space was Strawberry Fields, who won last year’s Centre Inspires grant for their proposal to open Good Day Café.This inclusive coffee shop, which opened in August, is dedicated to employing adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “The $100,000 is really just the beginning,” expressed Cindy Pasquinelli, CEO at Strawberry Fields. “What came along with it was the admiration, love, and respect that the Centre Foundation has nurtured and grown in this community. My hope is that Good Day Café will now pay it forward and support the Foundation’s efforts to grow and improve our community.”

The Centre County Federation of Public Libraries was additionally recognized for their Centre Inspires proposal to create story book walks in multiple park locations in Centre County. Centre Foundation’s Board of Directors voted to award the proposal a one-time Community Impact grant of $50,000.

Centre Foundation also named Diane Kerly as the recipient of the Oak Tree Award, which recognizes someone who has made a significant impact in the community through their work with Centre Foundation. Long-time resident of Centre County and dedicated philanthropist, Diane serves as Vice President at State of the Art and as trustee/manager of the Hamer Foundation. In the last three years, Centre Foundation and the Hamer Foundation have worked together to provide $550,000 to the Centre Gives stretch pool. Additionally, Diane has been involved in the creation of the Millbrook Marsh Nature Centre, served on the board of Centre County PAWS, and has been instrumental in the success of the Hundred Cat Foundation.

“Diane has very quietly made a big difference in our community,” said Centre Foundation Executive Director Molly Kunkel. “I am thrilled to highlight the impact she has made and to share our appreciation.”

More than 220 community members attended the dinner, which is held each year in appreciation of donors who have utilized Centre Foundation as a way to make an impact in the community by establishing non-profit organizational endowment funds. Donors can also be engaged and make an impact through the Foundation’s Giving Circle, Centre Gives, Centre PACT – Philanthropic Actions Created by Teens, or by joining the Campbell Legacy Society for future gifts.

For more information or to get involved with Centre Foundation, please contact Molly Kunkel ( | 814-237-6229).