State College, PA – Dec. 21, 2021 – Centre Foundation recently selected 25 local organizations to receive grants from this year’s Field-of-Interest funds, totaling more than $75,000.  

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

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

“Centre Foundation is grateful for these endowments and the opportunity to witness the powerful impact that local nonprofits are able to achieve because of these grants,” said Executive Director, Molly Kunkel. “Field of Interest endowment funds allow donors to support their passions and the community’s needs in perpetuity.”  

This year, the Centre County Federation of Public Libraries will receive a grant from the Ben Franklin Fund, which will help the Federation in their ongoing effort to bridge the digital divide by loaning Wi-Fi hotspot modems to library cardholders in Centre County. The addition of these devices will provide temporary internet access for those who may be unable to afford it.  

“On behalf of our Schlow Library community, we’re so thankful to receive this support from Centre Foundation, which partially funds our ability to continue loaning Wi-Fi hotspot devices,” said Library Director, Lisa Rives Collens. 

Nathaniel Rasmussen, Head of IT Services, added, “At a time when broadband access is as critical to learning, growing, socializing, and living as ever, we are so delighted to be able to continue to help county residents with limited options have access to a free means of connectivity.”  

The funds and recipients of each grant are as follows:  

The Andrew and Madaline Rishel Family Fund, which supports Christian churches in Penns Valley, will provide $559 to Calvary Penns Valley Church for their 2022 “Created by Me” summer camp.  

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, $2,029 will be divided between three organizations: 

  • Centre County Federation of Public Libraries will receive $702 for the Wi-Fi Hotspot Lending program. 
  • Huntingdon County Arts Council will receive $625 to provide folk musician concerts and workshops in Huntingdon County’s elementary and middle schools.  
  • Ten Thousand Villages of Central PA will receive $702 for the Village Fair program. 

The Caroyln A. Petrus Memorial Seeing Eye Dog Fund supports organizations that raise, train, and match seeing-eye dogs those who need them. The Seeing Eye will receive $15,873 to provide instruction and training for Seeing Eye dog recipients.  

The Centre Children’s Fund supports organizations that provide programs and services to at-risk children. This year, $1,666 will be divided between two organizations:  

The Centre County Medical Society Fund 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. Mountaintop Swimming Pool will receive $1,095 to provide transportation for community children to the swimming pool during the summer.  

The Counseling Service, Inc. Fund, which supports the provision of direct behavioral and mental health counseling services to Centre County residents, will provide $9,760 to Centre Safe to provide therapy for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.  

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, $4,377 will be divided between three organizations: 

The J. Alvin and Vera E. Knepper Hawbaker Memorial Endowment supports organizations that provide vital health and education services across Centre County.  This year, $3,719 will be divided between three organizations: 

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 provide $1,029 to Park Forest Preschool for the Movement & Mindfulness program. 

The Mattil Family Fund supports animal welfare causes and this year will provide $904 divided between two organizations:  

The Patricia Farrell Music Fund supports music programs of all types, especially those focusing on children. This year, $8,303 will be divided between two organizations: 

The Philipsburg Area Fund supports Philipsburg-area nonprofit organizations and programs. This year, $1,718 will be divided between two organizations: 

The Proud to Be An American Fund supports nonprofits that display, encourage, or promote patriotic observances, especially on the 4th of July. This year, $913 will be divided between two organizations: 

The Ruth E. Rishel Charitable Fund, which supports nonprofits and projects exclusively in the Penns Valley area will provide $2,267 to Penns Valley Senior Resource Center to provide ukulele workshops for seniors and adults with disabilities and a concert for the Penns Valley community.  

The William W. and Helen S. Litke Memorial Fund supports programs for Centre County residents with hearing loss. This year, $21,160 will be divided between two organizations: 

For more information about all of Centre Foundation’s granting opportunities, please visit our website, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or contact our Community Impact Director, Rachael Hartman ( | 814-237-6229).  

To learn more about setting up your own fund to support a passion near to your heart, please contact our Development and Stewardship Director, Kerry Tolton ( | 814-237-6229).  

Centre Foundation’s mission is to inspire and facilitate a culture of giving to create a vibrant community.