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MUNCIE, Ind. — The Ball Brothers Foundation has awarded $6.5 million in grants for its second round of funding for 2021, for projects such as bolstering local healthcare organizations and supporting schools in the wake of the pandemic.

As part of the healthcare support, Ball Brothers Foundation awarded six grants of $40,000 each to partners in Optimus Primary, a strategic, collaborative partnership to strengthen the pipeline of medical professionals training in Muncie. The grants were awarded to:

  • Ivy Tech Foundation for the continuation of its new sonography certificate program.

  • Ball State University for expanded programming at the Healthy Lifestyle Centers and for further developing a live-learn community at the Village Promenade for IU School of Medicine-Muncie students.

  • IU School of Medicine-Muncie to establish a dedicated property manager at Village Promenade Learning Laboratory for medical students, to enhance its point-of-care ultrasound program, and to further bolster the Muncie campus’s reputation for excellence in preparing medical students to address health promotion and disease prevention.

  • IU Health Foundation to enhance its internal medicine residency programs.

  • Meridian Health Services for the creation of an innovative education program to help physicians in training and mid-level providers practicing in Delaware County to better recognize and provide care to patients who are experiencing trauma, mental health challenges, substance abuse issues, and more.

  • Open Door Health Services for the purchase of two point-of-care ultrasound machines that will allow Open Door to provide expanded imaging capabilities on site and will provide enhanced training opportunities for local medical students.

Funding to local schools included $425,000 to Muncie Community Schools for PreK–12 recovery, rebuilding and innovation. The funds will be used to support a wide range of projects, including WiFi hotspots for students in need, a college and career preparation summer camp for middle and high schools students, a monarch butterfly waystation, kayaking supplies, extra-curricular and sports enhancements, upgraded playground equipment, and more.

A $175,000 grant to Ball State University will support Burris Laboratory School in a similar capacity, allowing the school to invest in new extra-curricular programs, learning opportunities outside of the classroom, specialized technology and more, according to a release.

Additional education grants were awarded to Inspire Academy to bridge access between the school’s Outdoor Learning Lab and the Cardinal Greenway, as well as to Ball State University for continued management and enhancements to the Education Support Hub, a website that provides up-to-date information related to student mental and physical health, educational technology, and school policies.

“We have long been dedicated to providing focused support where the community needs it most, and as the world continues to transition into post-pandemic life, it is evident that much of our community is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, especially within the healthcare and education sectors,” Jud Fisher, president and CEO of Ball Brothers Foundation, said in the release.

The foundation awarded a number of grants dedicated to the categories of arts, culture, and humanities; education; health; human services; and public society benefit, including:

Arts, culture and humanities

  • Cornerstone Center for the Arts: $25,000 for operating support.

  • Minnetrista: $2,750,000 for 2022 operating and capital support.

  • Muncie Arts and Culture Council: $35,000 for operating support for the PlySpace residency program, which brings artists from around the world to Muncie.

  • Muncie Symphony Orchestra: $62,000 for operating support, branding, and community expansion.

Education

  • Ball State University: $100,000 for the hiring of an additional Family-School-Community Coordinator at Longfellow Elementary School.

  • Independent Colleges of Indiana: $105,000 for the 2022 Ball Venture Fund, which provides seed funding for innovative projects at private colleges throughout Indiana.

  • Indiana Historical Society: $50,000 for “The Best We’ve Got: The Carl Erskine Story,” a feature-length documentary on Erskine’s life-long impact on race relations and the treatment of those with intellectual disabilities.

  • Precious Hearts Development Center: $51,000 for upgraded playground facilities.

  • Purdue Polytechnic Institute: $30,000 for Future of Work initiatives, including expanding robotics activities for youth, creating new workforce development training opportunities for local teachers in collaboration with advanced manufacturing partners, and offering credit/non-credit courses for adults seeking to bolster their skillsets.

  • TeenWorks: $40,000 for the TeenWorks local summer program.

Human services

  • ecoREHAB: $75,000 for general operating support and staff expansions.

  • Greater Muncie, IN Habitat for Humanity: $225,000 for a campaign to renovate the organization’s new office/warehouse space and for future planning for the 8twelve Coalition.

  • Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana: $40,000 for Operation Full Pack (intended to reach military personnel, veterans, and their families) and van distribution programs.

  • YMCA of Muncie: $1,500,000 to support the construction of a new facility on Muncie Central High School’s campus.

Public society benefit

  • Community Enhancement Projects: $8,000 for enhancements to the Martin Street/White River Greenway ramp.

  • Delaware Advancement Corporation: $350,000 for vision planning and implementation.

  • East Central Indiana Regional Partnership: $90,000 for 2022 regional marketing.

  • Innovation Connector: $50,000 for operating support.

  • Muncie Land Bank: $40,000 for strategic growth and development funding.

With this second round of grants, Ball Brothers Foundation will have provided $8.6 million in funding to organizations in 2021, a record payout in the foundation’s 95 years of grantmaking.

Preliminary applications for the foundation’s next round of General Grants (to be awarded in the spring) will open on Jan. 1, 2022, and are due by 4 p.m. Feb. 15. The foundation also regularly accepts applications for Rapid Grants from February through November of each year. For more information on Ball Brothers Foundation grants, visit ballfdn.org/grants.

The Ball Brothers Foundation is one of the state’s oldest and largest family foundations. Annually, the foundation makes approximately $8 million in grants to support 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 the foundation’s home city, county and state.

This article originally appeared on Muncie Star Press: Ball Brothers Foundation awards more than $6.5 million in grants

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