After members’ votes were tallied, the $10,000 Giving Circle grant was awarded to Hearts for Homeless, which will use the money for its day shelter.

“With this grant from the Giving Circle members, Hearts for Homeless will be able to reopen our daytime shelter for another year,” explained Ginny Poorman, Founder & Executive Director. “The shelter provides protection from the harsh winter, as well as meals, essential items, support for finding a job, and connecting with other resources that one may require.”

Nearly 100 people gathered at Above the Valley in Centre Hall on August 30th for the annual reception of Centre Foundation’s Giving Circle. Established in 2006 as part of Centre Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration, the members have distributed $124,000 so far, supporting important projects and organizations that serve Centre County. This year, another successful membership drive ensured that the runner-up organizations also received grants.

“I’m happy to announce that Discovery Space and Bellefonte Art Museum will each receive a $2,500 grant due to the expanded membership and generosity of our Giving Circle members,” announced Molly Kunkel, Executive Director of Centre Foundation.

In June, there was an open call for grant applications. Members then ranked over 30 applications; the top three organizations were asked to attend the reception to present their unique grant ideas before the full membership.

The Bellefonte Art Museum will use the grant money toward their tenth anniversary celebration next summer. Entitled “Co-Creating: An Imagination Celebration,” it will feature free events at the museum and throughout the community in conjunction with numerous partners who work in a multitude of artistic mediums.

Patricia House, Executive Director, presented the idea to the Giving Circle members – replete with visions of Lego walls, community murals, and artistic takes on food and nature. Amy Koll, Member & Visitor Relations Manager, and Lori Fisher, Gallery Manager, were on hand to answer Giving Circle members’ questions and show them a few samples of artists’ work that are featured in the gallery.

As Discovery Space moves into their new, expanded facility on North Atherton Street, they plan to use their grant money for a new Pollinator Exhibit. Executive Director Michele Crowl and PSU Center for Pollinator Research partner, Christina Grozinger, presented the educational idea to the Giving Circle members.

Grozinger challenged the attendees to think what food and drink options would be left to enjoy without our winged pollinator friends (hint: not many). The exhibit will similarly encourage children to consider the world around them, exploring the lives of bees through cooperative play and engagement in science practices.

There was also a brief presentation by last year’s $10,000 grant recipient, Interfaith Human Services (IHS), about the impact this grant had in the community. Wendy Vinhage, Executive Director of IHS, updated the Giving Circle members about the Financial Care Program, which has enjoyed an expansion into the Philipsburg area – thanks to last year’s grant.

“This grant allowed us to expand our financial care program, helping more low-income families budget their finances through one-on-one money management counseling,” explained Vinhage. “By helping more people with money management, we are putting them on their way to self-sufficiency.”

Previous recipients of Giving Circle grant include Park Forest Preschool, House of Care, Discovery Space, Housing Transitions, Strawberry Fields, and the Community Help Centre.

More information about the Giving Circle program is available at