MUNCIE, IN—Ball Brothers Foundation awarded $3.7 million in grants to nearly a dozen organizations during its final grantmaking round of the year. The grants were approved at the foundation’s board meeting in October.
Two particular grants were awarded for visionary projects that will have a transformative effect on the Muncie community. The first was a grant to Delaware Advancement Corporation for its five-year “Vision 2021” plan. The “Vision 2021” plan sets aggressive goals for community improvements that will retain residents, provide job and wealth-building opportunities, raise the standard of living in the community, and attract new talent. BBF funding totaling $300,000 will support implementation of the plan across the five year timeframe.
“For well over two decades, BBF funding has helped to drive forward the planning efforts of Delaware Advancement Corporation (DAC). We continue to see DAC as a leader in bringing together the business community, philanthropic groups, government entities, and dedicated citizens to set bold visions for the future of Muncie, Delaware County, and our surrounding region,” said Jud Fisher, President and COO of Ball Brothers Foundation. “In this latest planning effort, it was clear that participants felt that the time is right to push aggressively for quality of life enhancements in addition to the traditional focus on jobs and business growth if we want our region to grow and thrive. This coincides well with BBF’s long-held interests, and we are pleased to be an early funder of DAC’s Vision 2021 plan.”
Another grant—this one awarded to Cardinal Greenways, Inc.—will help bring to life a project that will fundamentally transform the city’s eastside gateway. Cardinal Greenways, Inc. will use the $500,000 grant to support the Kitselman Trailhead project. The BBF grant will specifically assist with efforts to connect the Cardinal Greenway and White River Greenway via a restored historic bridge that will span the White River near East Jackson Street. “The Kitselman Trailhead will not only connect two of our region’s best recreational trails, it will also serve as a stunning gateway into the city and a public space we can all be proud of. For twenty years, BBF has supported improvements in this area of the community, and this project has been the result of the tireless efforts of a large group of dedicated organizations and individuals. We are glad to play a role in helping to turn this transformative vision into a reality,” stated Jud Fisher.
Funding awarded to other organizations during this grant round included: A Better Way, Shelter, Services & Support ($15,000); Ball State University Foundation, Emens Auditorium Renovations ($25,000); Delaware Advancement Corporation, Affecting Residential Choice Project ($25,000); Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District, Prairie Creek Watershed ($20,000); East Central Indiana Regional Partnership, Inc., Regional Development Marketing ($80,000); Independent Colleges of Indiana, Ball Venture Fund 2016-2017 ($80,000); Indiana Historical Society, Delaware County History Journeys ($25,000); Ivy Tech Community College, Step Up and Dual Credit ($30,000); Minnetrista Cultural Foundation, 2017 Operating and Capital Support ($2,620,000); and Second Harvest Food Bank, Building Repairs for South Wall ($50,000).
With assets of approximately $160 million, Ball Brothers Foundation annually awards approximately 100 grants. The Muncie-based foundation is one of the state’s oldest and largest foundations still led by members of its founding family. BBF gives priority to projects and programs that enhance life in BBF’s home city, county and state. 2016 marks BBF’s 90th year of grantmaking.