By: Jud Fisher—
Muncie, IN—Ball Brothers Foundation, one of the state’s oldest and largest private foundations, awarded over $80,000 during the late spring and summer to support a variety of efforts aimed at improving Muncie, Delaware County, and the surrounding region. The grants were made as part of the foundation’s Rapid Grant program which allows the foundation to respond quickly to community needs.
In keeping with the foundation’s long-standing interest in supporting children and youth, several grants were awarded to expand opportunities and experiences for preschool and school-age students. A $5,000 grant to Crossroads of America Council will allow the local Boy Scout organization to provide scouting opportunities to children from low-income families. BBF support will assist with offsetting the costs of uniforms, program supplies, summer camp, and other expenses. Another $5,000 grant will allow Huffer Memorial Children’s Center to replace playground surfacing and install a garden at their facility located on Muncie’s eastside.
Children on the city’s southside will benefit from a new program initiated with $5,000 in support from a BBF Rapid Grant awarded to the Youth Symphony Orchestras of East Central Indiana. The Youth Symphony will partner with the Ross Community Center to offer twice-weekly instruction in viola and cello to elementary children through a combination of group classes, private, and semi-private lessons. “Learning to play a musical instrument can bring joy and delight to a child and can build self-esteem and confidence,” shared Youth Symphony Executive Director Tiffany Janney Arnold. “The Ross Center’s dedicated staff, location, and mission to reach the community make it an ideal location for our efforts.” The program will be directed by a Ball State University graduate student who will oversee two assistant directors, both of whom are Ball State University music education majors.
Other Rapid Grants awarded by Ball Brothers Foundation were made in alignment with the foundation’s interest in the environment and conservation. Delaware County’s Purdue Extension office will use a $3,400 grant to purchase a “multispectoral sensor” for the organization’s precision agriculture programming. The sensor will be used on a drone that the Extension office uses to educate farmers in Delaware County and surrounding areas about cutting edge technology that can improve agricultural practices. Local farmers can utilize the drone and sensor to create maps that allow for more effective field scouting practices that can lead to more precise application of fertilizer, pesticides, and other treatments. Ultimately, these efforts are designed to reduce over-application of chemicals and reduce the amount of pesticides, nitrates, and phosphates that pollute surface and ground water.
Local farming practices will also be supported through a $5,000 grant awarded to the Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District. Heavy rainfall during the spring’s prime planting season left thousands of acres of farmland unplanted while planted crops sustained damage. In addition to economic hardship, BBF is mindful of the impact of “prevented planting” on soil health. In many cases, fields that are left bare suffer nutrient loss and soil erosion. To combat this, Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District used BBF funding to offer a cover-crop “cost-share” to farmers in Delaware and Blackford Counties.
Other organizations benefitting from recent Rapid Grants included the following:
- Cowan Community School Corporation: 7thGrade Challenge Education at Camp Adventure, $1,660
- Daleville Community Schools: High School Media Equipment, $4,999
- Delaware Advancement Corporation: Preparation of Materials for State of Indiana’s Next Level Trails Program, $5,000
- Delaware County Sheriff’s Office: Sheriff’s 2019 Summer Kids Camp, $4,355
- Gaston Fire Department: Rapid Intervention Team Equipment, $4,023
- Minnetrista Cultural Foundation: Preparation of Materials for State of Indiana’s Next Level Trails Program, $5,000
- Middletown Parks Board: Honey Creek Trail Trestle Guardrails, $5,000
- Muncie Mission Ministries: Information Technology Upgrades, $5,000
- Muncie Sunrise Rotary: Toolshed Improvements at Mike Ellis Rotary Park, $3,000
- Pathstone Corporation: Implementation of a Rental Advocacy Program to Help Tenants and Landlords, $5,000
- The Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County: BBF Contribution to Funders Forum Collaborative, $5,000
- The Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County: Piloting a Fundraising Training Program in Cooperation with United Way of Delaware & Henry Counties, $5,000
- United Way of Delaware & Henry Counties: Hosting Community Conversations on the Future of Muncie Community Schools, $2,500
- United Way of Delaware & Henry Counties: Piloting a Fundraising Training Program in Cooperation with The Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County, $5,000
- Whitely Community Council: Funding to Assist with Securing Office & Meeting Space, $3,400
“We are pleased to continue to support a wide variety of projects that make our community a safer, healthier, and better place to live and work,” shared Jud Fisher, president and chief operating officer of Ball Brothers Foundation. “Our Rapid Grant program allows us to be responsive to needs that arise in the community as well as to help organizations pilot new efforts and continue important, long-standing programs as well.”
For information about the foundation’s grant deadlines, giving priorities, and grantmaking process, visit www.ballfdn.org.
About Ball Brothers Foundation
Established in 1926, Ball Brothers Foundation awards approximately $7 million annually in grants supporting arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services, and public affairs. The Muncie-based private foundation gives priority to projects and programs that improve the quality of life in BBF’s home city, county, and state.