2022 marks the Ripley County Community Foundation’s 25th anniversary. In honor of that milestone, the Board of Directors will award $100,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations that serve the people and places of Ripley County. The first round of grant recipients were announced on June 21st during the Ripley County Community Foundation’s Annual Dinner, with $50,000 being awarded to 5 nonprofits.
The Ripley County Humane Society (RCHS) was awarded $5,000 to provide critical updates and repairs to its buildings. As the only animal shelter in Ripley County, RCHS eases the burden of the local municipalities who find stray, abused, and unwanted cats and dogs roaming the streets. “The Board of Directors selected RCHS for a 25th Anniversary Grant because they serve every City and Town in Ripley County and therefore it is imperative that the RCHS has the facilities needed to adequately care for our pets,” stated Amy Streator, Executive Director of the Ripley County Community Foundation.
Safe Passage was awarded a $5,000 grant to provide critical updates and repairs to its shelter. In 2021, Safe Passage provided shelter, emergency support, or counseling to over 1,300 individuals, and that number is expected to increase by 10% in 2022. Streator stated, “The services provided by Safe Passage are vital to the health and well-being of Ripley County families, making it a perfect recipient of a 25th Anniversary Grant.”
Southeastern Indiana YMCA (YMCA) shall receive a $5,000 grant to support the construction and installation of a Functional Art Wall in its outdoor complex. The YMCA is in the midst of a capital improvement campaign to add an outdoor sports complex to the facility. This outdoor space will include a shelter, seating, and a functional art wall. In collaboration with the Batesville Area Arts Council, the functional art wall will be a work of art, or will showcase local artistic talent. “Public art sparks conversation and transforms once unused spaces into gathering places, thereby making it an essential element of community development projects and fulfills the goals of our 25th Anniversary Grant opportunity,” Streator stated.
Kids Discovery Factory (KDF) received a $10,000 grant to support the expansion of their on-site play hours and the development of new programming such as mini-camps. In February, KDF launched an on-site play time for children ages 0-5 at its facility in downtown Batesville. Over 1,000 visitors have attended these sessions with an ever-increasing demand for an expansion of on-site programming. Kids Discovery Factory provides free access to camps and play hours to children of indigent families, provides mentoring and internship opportunities to high school students studying Child Development, and collaborates with local libraries to provide quality field trips to local schools. “The Board of Directors selected KDF for a 25th Anniversary grant because they appreciate KDF’s mission to provide local families with access to quality educational opportunities for our youngest learners,” commented Streator.
Main Street Versailles (MSV) received a $25,000 grant to support the development of a Pocket Park on the Courthouse Square. MSV’s project falls within all 4 of the Community Foundation’s service areas: 1) Arts & Culture, 2) Business & Entrepreneurship, 3) Education, Health, & Well-Being, and 4) Environment & Natural Resources. In 2019, MSV set out to revitalize the Courthouse Square with the development of a pocket park. Over the last 3 years, the Town purchased two blighted lots and razed a dilapidated building; Ripley Youth Outreach commissioned and installed an interactive mural; grass was planted; the community jointly raised $50,000 through the Patronicity Program for the construction of the “Holdsworth Entertainment Pavilion”; the Indiana Housing & Development Authority will match that $50,000; a walking/biking tail connecting the Versailles State Park to downtown Versailles has been constructed; the Versailles Lions Club and Tri Kappa have committed to purchasing seating; the Versailles American Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary has pledged support for the construction of the “Never Forget Garden”; and the South Ripley High School Art Club will create additional murals to finish out the space. “The key to the 25th Anniversary Grant opportunity is collaboration, and the MSV project is the epitome of what can be accomplished with community-wide collaboration,” stated Streator. Applications for the 25th Anniversary Grant opportunity are available at www.rccfonline.org and are due Friday, September 9, 2022. The second round of grant recipients will be announced on November 4th during the Ripley County Community Foundation’s Annual Day of Giving. 501(c)(3) organizations can request between $1,000 and $25,000. As a result of offering the 25th Anniversary Impact Grants, the Ripley County Community Foundation hopes to assist organizations in implementing a project or program that will: 1) create a sustainable impact amongst one or more communities, 2) establish cross-community or cross-county partnerships, and 3) closely align with at least one the four service areas.