The Bexley Community Foundation celebrated its sixth annual gathering and six years of grant making with over 200 donors, volunteers, grantees and friends on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at The Wells Barn at Franklin Park Conservatory. The evening focused on community projects and programs funded by the Foundation and the theme Because it’s Bexley!
Highlights from the evening included a performance by The Capitones, an acapella group from Capital University and the announcement of two new funds at the Foundation. The Anne and Sam Powers Fund has been established to promote positive sports experiences for children and youth who participate in school, recreational and other sports programs serving the Bexley community. Also, the establishment of the Bexley Public Library Community Author Series Fund of the Bexley Community Foundation will support an annual Bexley Community Author Series which is an event that brings authors of significance to Bexley to discuss their works and engage our community. In announcing the new funds, Board Chair Paul Lacroix stated, “It’s exciting to announce two new funds in 2016. This demonstrates our growing awareness in the community to bring supplemental benefits to those people that live, work, learn and play in Bexley.”
The Foundation also announced a grant of $40,000 to the City of Bexley for a new community garden in North Bexley and reviewed other grants funded by the Foundation in 2016 including the 4th of July Celebration, restoration of the Drexel Theatre’s historic marquee, beautification projects and the new Alum Creek Park Athletic Fields.
Since 2011 the Foundation has invested over $848,000 in the Bexley community through 90 grants to local public entities and nonprofit organizations. “These grants are made possible by our donors. Every gift counts, and annually over half of our gifts are in the amount of $100 or less,” said Jim Gross, Past Chair. The Foundation’s goal is to reach over $1 million in grants by 2017.
Dr. Elizabeth Paul, Capital University President, and her husband, Dr. Bill Ball were the honorary chairs of the event. Dr. Paul became the University’s 16th President on July 1st and she and Bill reside in Bexley with their two daughters, Martha, a sophomore at George Washington University, and Sophie, a senior at Bexley High School.
The Cornerstone Award for Philanthropy and Service is given each year to honor current or former Bexley residents who inspire and challenge us by their examples of exceptional service and giving to Bexley and the greater community. This year’s recipients were Peter and Janet Halliday. Pete and Janet were instrumental in starting the Bexley Community Foundation and its predecessor, the Bexley Heritage Fund. Pete served as the Foundation’s first Board Chair and continues as a member of the Board. Janet has been a member of the Grants Committee of the Foundation since its inception until 2015.