Ball Brothers Foundation Grants Expand Opportunities for Children and Families

Ball Associates Building Mural at 222 S. Mulberry Street. Photo by Mike RhodesBall Associates Building Mural at 222 S. Mulberry Street. Photo by Mike Rhodes

By: Jud Fisher—

Muncie, IN—A summer concert series, children’s bicycle safety program, an art immersion experience, and two outdoors-oriented summer programs all received support through Ball Brothers Foundation Rapid Grants. Over $100,000 has been distributed to local organizations since February through the grantmaking program.

“During their lifetimes, the five Ball brothers were committed to enhancing the community where they lived and worked. Today, as a private family foundation, we carry on their legacy by using our financial resources to improve the quality of life in Muncie,” shared Jud Fisher, President and COO of Ball Brothers Foundation. “Over the past decades, our community has developed tremendous amenities—the outdoor stage at Canan Commons, the state’s longest rail-trail—Cardinal Greenway, a world-class art museum, a beach and trail system at Prairie Creek Reservoir, and outstanding outdoor learning facilities at Camp Adventure, among many others. We are particularly excited that many of the Rapid Grants funded this year take advantage of these sites and will provide children and families with engaging and meaningful activities. These types of activities highlight the vibrancy of our community.”

Among the grants awarded is a $5,000 grant to help support the fifth season of the Three Trails Music Series. The series brings critically acclaimed, national recording artists to Muncie’s outdoor stage at Canan Commons for free concerts that attract residents and visitors alike. BBF funding will offset the cost of the series. The schedule of remaining concerts can be found at

The Cardinal Greenway Bike Fest, to be held July 28-30, will benefit from a $2,800 grant. BBF funding is helping event organizers to add children’s activities focused on promoting bicycle safety and healthy lifestyles to the second-year event. Activities include a professional bike stunt show interwoven with bicycle safety education, a helmet giveaway, bike safety check, and family-friendly scavenger hunt along the Cardinal Greenway.

A new pilot program developed by the David Owsley Museum of Art on Ball State University’s campus also received BBF Rapid Grant funding. Through the School Museum Art Readiness Tours (SMARTours) program, fourth graders enrolled in Muncie Community Schools will visit the museum where staff and trained docents will provide interdisciplinary tours that align with curriculum standards in art, social studies, and language arts. Outreach to students’ families will encourage future family visits to the museum and professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators will strengthen the Museum’s ties to the public school district. BBF funding for the pilot effort totals $5,000.

Two additional Rapid Grants also supported programs to broaden children’s horizons. A $2,500 grant helped to support a week-long summer camp immersing youth in law enforcement and emergency services through Delaware County Sheriff’s Kids’ Camp. Camp activities for ages 12-15 were held in June and included archery, obstacle course competitions, canine demonstrations, a firearms safety course, boating and scuba activities, and an EMS/Hazmat session, among others. Activities took place at sites across the county, including Prairie Creek Reservoir.

Another BBF Rapid Grant supported “Summer Learning Fun,” a program providing summer learning enrichment for local public and charter school students. Held at Camp Adventure, the pilot program paired Ball State University pre-service teachers with elementary students to advance academic skills throughout the summer. With an outdoor focus, Camp Adventure provided a unique backdrop for the program which encouraged future teachers to gain hands-on teaching experience in a nontraditional setting. BBF funding for the program totaled $5,000.

Other Rapid Grants awarded during the first half of the year included:

Arts and Culture

  • Indiana Humanities, Next Indiana Campfires 2017, $1,000
  • Master Works Chorale, Copier/Scanner/Printer, $3,795


  • Ball State University, Soil for Former Car Doctors Site Remediation, $5,000
  • Grant County Soil & Water Conservation District, Soil & Water Quality Education, $5,000
  • Muncie Community Schools, Camp Adventure Renovations, $2,850


  • Ball State University, Feasibility and Programming Study for Edmund F. Ball Medical Education Building Renovation, $5,000

Human Services

  • Alliance for Strategic Growth, Community Outreach Collaboration for Expanding Workforce Development Services at Sites Around the Community, $2,500
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County, Professional Development, $4,640
  • Boys and Girls Club, ICE League Year 3, $5,000
  • Delaware County CASA, Marketing Materials, $1,200
  • College Mentors for Kids, Muncie Mentoring Project, $5,000
  • Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, Integrating Philanthropy Education into Early Childhood Programs, $5,000
  • Huffer Memorial Children’s Center, Re-Accreditation Final Steps, $5,000
  • Special Olympics Indiana, 2017 State Conference in Muncie, $5,000
  • United Day Care Center of Delaware County, Dishwasher Replacement, $2,500
  • YWCA of Muncie, HVAC Improvement, $3,183

Public Society Benefit

  • Ball State University, First Responder Roundtable via Center for Organizational Resilience, $1,500
  • Ball State University, Micro Documentary Team, $5,000
  • Community Enhancement Projects, Airport Roundabout Beautification, $5,000
  • Innovation Connector, Entrepreneurship Speakers, $2,500
  • Monroe Township (Cowan) Volunteer Fire Department, Pagers and Radios, $2,500
  • Muncie Sports Commission, Sportsplex Emergency Maintenance and Project Completion, $5,000

About the Rapid Grant Program

The Rapid Grant program is designed to allow BBF to respond quickly to community needs and to allow the foundation to take advantage of unique opportunities. Organizations can submit a proposal requesting up to $5,000 and funding approval or denial is typically communicated within one week. A limited number of Rapid Grants are available each year. A full listing of grants awarded in 2017 is available at   Ball Brothers Foundation is one of the state’s oldest and largest family foundations. In 2016, Ball Brothers Foundation celebrated its 90th anniversary, awarding $7.25 million 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.

Ball Brothers Foundation

Ball Brothers Foundation