Centre Foundation is pleased to announce the 22 local organizations set to receive 2020 Field-of-Interest grants totaling more than $70,000.

Each year, organizations are invited to apply for funding from 15 Field-of-Interest endowment funds, established by donors in support of various causes and/or geographical areas in Centre County that they hold dear. 

This year, the Ruth E. Rishel Charitable Fund, which supports nonprofit organizations and projects exclusively in the Penns Valley area, will grant to both the Centre Hall Area Library Association and the Friends of the East Penns Valley Library to expand the library’s equity, diversity, and inclusion collection and to increase diversity in the library’s audiobook collection respectively.

“The Centre Hall Area Library serves a growing area of the county, and before COVID-19 restrictions, the library was experiencing steady growth in usage. We believe it is vitally important that our collection reflect the diversity in the community and respond to the need to engage in thoughtful discussions and reflections on the topics that are facing our immediate community as well as the larger society. The library, as a community hub, can be a catalyst for change,” said Rhonda Rumbaugh, Board President of the Centre Hall Library Association.

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

“We, at Centre Foundation, are excited to watch the growth these projects will bring to our community as a result of the Field of Interest grants,” said Molly Kunkel, Executive Director. “By implementing the use of endowment funds, our donors are empowered to fill these important areas of need for years to come.” 

The grant allocation is as follows:


Fund Name Grant Amount Grant Recipient Project Description
Andrew and Madaline Rishel Family Fund $515 Salem Lutheran Church To support the church’s food pantry.
Ben Franklin Fund $2,017 Juniata Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America To provide program assistance for low-income families from Centre, Huntingdon, and Mifflin counties.
Carolyn A. Petrus Memorial Seeing Eye Dog Fund $15,707 The Seeing Eye To provide instruction and training for Seeing Eye dog recipients.
Centre Children’s Fund ($1,653)  $1,254 Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania To provide scholarships for youth to attend summer art programs.
Centre Children’s Fund ($1,653) $399 Park Forest Preschool To provide virtual Family Budgeting 101 workshops in partnership with Interfaith Human Services.
Centre County Medical Society Fund $1,085 Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority  To install interactive play and fitness stations at several local parks. 
Counseling Service, Inc. Fund  $9,659 Centre Safe To provide therapy for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
Donna L. Litke Occupational Horse Therapy Endowment ($4,344) $2,172 Hands on Therapeutic Riding Program To support the care and upkeep of therapy horses.
Donna L. Litke Occupational Horse Therapy Endowment ($4,344) $2,172 Rising Hope Therapeutic Riding Center To support the care and upkeep of therapy horses.
J. Alvin and Vera E. Knepper Hawbaker Memorial Endowment Fund ($3,680) $1,840 Centre County Youth Service Bureau To support the Bellefonte Youth Center.
J. Alvin and Vera E. Knepper Hawbaker Memorial Endowment Fund ($3,680) $1,840 Penns Valley Youth Center To support the K-5 after school program.
Louis E. and Patricia H. Silvi Fund  $1,024 Easterseals Western and Central Pennsylvania For kitchen updates to improve health and safety.
Mattil Family Fund ($908) $454 Hope’s Dream Rescue and Sanctuary  To provide equipment for Centre County’s Humane Society police officer.
Mattil Family Fund ($908) $454 Pets Come First To support the Community Cat Trap & Release program.
Patricia Farrell Music Fund ($8,114) $1,514 Jana Marie Foundation To support the Mindful Rhythms workshops.
Patricia Farrell Music Fund ($8,114) $1,600  Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra  To provide free virtual music lessons through the Practice/Play with the PCO program.
Patricia Farrell Music Fund ($8,114) $5,000 The State Theatre To support the establishment of a streaming event and video series.
Philipsburg Area Fund  $1,674 Reliance Fire Co To purchase wildland protective clothing and PPE for firefighters.
Proud to Be An American Fund  $1,420 Constitution Day Centre Hall  To support the celebration of Constitution Day.
Ruth E. Rishel Charitable Fund ($2,206) $1,103 Centre Hall Area Library Association  To expand the library’s Equity/Diversity/Inclusion (EDI) collection for all ages.
Ruth E. Rishel Charitable Fund ($2,206) $1,103 Friends of the East Penns Valley Library  To increase diversity selections of the library’s audiobook collection. 
William W. and Helen S. Litke Memorial Fund for the Aid and Assistance of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired $16,335 Centre Volunteers in Medicine To provide financial assistance to low-income individuals who are seeking hearing aids.

Total: $70,341