Centre Foundation recently selected 24 local organizations to receive grants from this year’s field-of-interest funds, totaling more than $67,000.

Each September, organizations are invited to apply for funding from these 15 funds, which were established by donors to support various causes and/or geographical areas in Centre County.

This year, the newest fund, the Donna L. Litke Occupational Horse Therapy Endowment Fund, which was established in 2018, began granting.

“Centre Foundation is honored to bear witness to the incredible impact echoing throughout our community as a result of these Field of Interest grants,” said Molly Kunkel, Executive Director. “The power of an endowment fund is that it enables donors to fill areas of important need within our community year after year.”

The grants will fund a variety of programs that focus on education, health and social services, animal welfare, youth development, and the performing arts.

The Andrew and Madaline Rishel Family Fund, which supports Christian churches in Penns Valley, will grant $497 to St. John’s Luthern Church of Millheim for supplies to create a cremation/memorial garden in Fairview West Cemetery.

The Ben Franklin Fund supports community projects in Centre, Clearfield, Huntingdon, and Mifflin counties, carrying out Franklin’s commitment to giving back to Pennsylvania communities. This year, $2,012 will be divided between two organizations:

  • Mountaintop Swimming Pool will receive $1,006 to provide transportation for community children to the swimming pool during the summer.
  • Nittany Mountain Biking Association will receive $1,006 for the development of the Harvest Fields Community Trails (HFCT) system, which will provide the only purpose-built beginner/intermediate mountain biking trails in the area.

The Carolyn A. Petrus Memorial Seeing Eye Dog Fund provides funding for organizations that raise, train, and match seeing-eye dogs to the people who need them. The Seeing Eye will receive $15,700 to provide instruction for Pennsylvania residents being matched with guide dogs.

The Centre Children’s Fund, which supports organizations that provide services to at-risk children, will provide $1,664 to Centre County Youth Service Bureau to support the Big Brothers Big Sisters youth mentoring program.

The Centre County Medical Society Fund, which assists nonprofits that are working to promote the health and well-being of Centre County citizens, specifically those that are fighting obesity in children and/or creating playground equipment or facilities, will provide $1,089  to Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority with an additional $411 grant from the Community Impact Fund (total of $1,500) for supplies for a sensory garden to be built by an Eagle Scout at Whitehall Road Regional Park.

The Counseling Service, Inc. Fund, which supports the provision of direct behavioral and mental health counseling services to Centre County residents, will divide $9,673 between two organizations:

  • Centre Safe will receive $7,173 to provide behavioral health services for uninsured Centre County residents who access health care services at Centre Volunteers in Medicine.
  • AIDS Resource Alliance will receive $2,500 to provide no-cost mental health services to individuals who are living with HIV.

The Donna L. Litke Occupational Horse Therapy Endowment Fund supports the maintenance and upkeep of horses used for occupational therapy in Centre County or in any of the six contiguous counties (Blair, Clearfield, Clinton, Huntingdon, Mifflin, Union). This year, $4,204 will be divided between two organizations:

  • Hands On Therapeutic Riding Program will receive $2,102 to support the care and upkeep of therapy horses used in the program.
  • Victory Therapeutic Horsemanship will receive $2,102 to support the care of two American Mustangs used to offer therapeutic riding services to veterans.

The J. Alvin and Vera E. Knepper Hawbaker Memorial Endowment Fund, which supports organizations that provide vital health and education services across Centre County, will divide $3,702 between two organizations:

  • Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund will receive $2,802 to assist Centre County cancer patients with critical basic expenses including rent, utilities, home heating, groceries, etc.
  • Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation will receive $900 to provide educational programs for 3rd-8th graders that will explore the functions and attributes of wetland ecosystems.

The Louis E. and Patricia H. Silvi Fund, which supports early childhood education programs that improve the health, care, and education of young children, will divide $1,032 between two organizations:

  • Park Forest Preschool will receive $810 to provide a program for families and caregivers that will promote healthy social-emotional development of their children.
  • Home Nursing Agency will receive $222 to provide cabinet locks, safety gates, safe sleep items, and other safety needs for low-income, first-time pregnant mothers in Centre County.

The Mattil Family Fund, which supports animal welfare causes, will grant $922 to Centre Wildlife Care to provide summer interns who feed, clean, and care for injured and orphaned wild animals under the supervision of a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

The Patricia Farrell Music Fund supports music programs of all types, especially those focusing on children. This fund was established by Patricia Farrell, who was a former board chair of Centre Foundation, an active community volunteer, Penn State professor, and musician. This year, $7,995 will be divided among three organizations:

  • YMCA of Centre County will receive $4,295 to support the Academy of Music program at the Moshannon Valley YMCA which provides lessons on piano, guitar, drums, vocals, and more.
  • Ridgelines Inc. will receive $2,700 for the Youth Songs intensive music program at the Central Counties Youth Center featuring Eric Ian Farmer.
  • SCASD Education Foundation will receive $1,000 to purchase string instruments to be used by students who cannot afford to buy or rent their own.

The Philipsburg Area Fund will grant $1,649 to Centre County Library and Historical Museum to upgrade the security system of the Holt Memorial Library to include security cameras, panic buttons, and a door alarm.

The Proud to Be An American Fund, which supports nonprofits that display, encourage, or promote patriotic observances, especially on the 4th of July, will divide $1,417 between two organizations:

  • Central Pennsylvania July 4th will receive $708.50 to purchase light pole banners to commemorate Independence Day.
  • Constitution Day Centre Hall will receive $708.50 to support the Constitution Day celebration at Tussey Mountain.

The Ruth E. Rishel Charitable Fund focuses on Rishel’s home community of Penns Valley. This year, $2,174 will be awarded to Penns Valley EMS to purchase a CPAP machine for use in one of PVEMS’s ambulances.

The William W. and Helen S. Litke Memorial Fund, which supports programs for Centre County residents with hearing loss, will divide $13,331 among two organizations:

  • Centre Volunteers in Medicine will receive $6,665.50 to provide financial assistance to low-income individuals who are seeking hearing aids.
  • State College Area School District will receive $6,665.50 to purchase teacher microphones for elementary and middle school classrooms in which there are students that are hard-of-hearing.

For more information about all of Centre Foundation’s granting opportunities, please visit our website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or contact our Grants & Community Impact Coordinator, Rachael Hartman (rachael@centre-foundation.org | 814-237-6229).

To learn more about setting up your own fund to support a passion near to your heart, please contact our Executive Director, Molly Kunkel (molly@centre-foundation.org | 814-237-6229).