CLEVELAND, March 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion East Ohio today presented $110,000 in grants to 12 winning community organizations in its 20th annual Community Impact Awards competition, co-sponsored with Inside Business Magazine.
A panel of community judges chose the winners from among more than 50 entries submitted by organizations throughout the region. The award recognizes cities or organizations that have made an impact in the community. The Dominion Foundation, philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources Inc., Dominion East Ohio's parent company, funds the Community Impact grants. The Dominion Foundation is dedicated to the economic, physical and social health of the communities the company serves.
"This year's award-winning organizations developed and carried out some very ambitious and creative projects that really impressed our panel of judges," said Jeff Murphy, Dominion East Ohio vice president. "These projects demonstrate the major role that our region's non-profit and economic development agencies play in improving their local communities."
Since 1996, Dominion East Ohio has distributed more than $1.3 million in Community Impact Awards to organizations throughout its service area.
This year's Community Impact Award winners are:
- Brite Cleveland received $15,000 for its Brite Winter Festival, an outdoor winter arts and music event that annually attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the city. Brite Winter Festival visitors generated $650,000 in purchases with local businesses in 2014.
- Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., received $15,000 for its Cuyahoga EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) Coalition program, in which trained volunteers provide free federal income tax preparation. During the past seven years, 2,000 volunteers helped more than 70,000 clients receive more than $90 million in refunds.
- Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) received $12,500 for its REVITALIZE program, which brought together 600 residents with city officials to identify top neighborhood improvement priorities in strategic neighborhoods. For example, over the past five years, YNDC-city cooperation in the South Side Idora neighborhood has helped increase building occupancy rates, reduced reported crime rates by 40-percent and helped increase home sales and prices.
- ArtsinStark in Canton received $12,500 for its launch of The ELEVEN, a $2.2 million tourism project celebrating the 11 greatest moments in professional football history. The project is designed to attract Pro Football Hall of Fame visitors to make the two-mile trip to downtown Canton. After completion, the project goal is to attract 50,000 new downtown visitors annually.
- Ohio City Incorporated of Cleveland received $10,000 for its Ohio City Home Safety Program, administered in partnership with Cleveland Division of Police Second District. The program, open to all residents of the near West Side neighborhood, features a personal home safety audit conducted by a uniformed Second District police officer. Participating residents may apply for up to $250 in matching funds to make recommended safety improvements.
- Canton Symphony Orchestra received $7,500 for its Zimmerman Symphony Center Project, a renovation and expansion of Umstattd Performing Arts Hall within McKinley High School. The project included new ergonomic seating and digital projection system, lobby upgrades and expanded restrooms. The project also included new orchestra administrative offices, multi-purpose reception hall, public meeting rooms and music library.
- Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation received $7,500. In 2014 alone, the organization's signature event attracted a record 15,000 runners, generating more than $6 million dollars in local economic impact. The race also served as fundraiser for local charities, who collectively raised more than $100,000.
- Cleveland's Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation (HWDDC) received $5,000 for its Small Box in the Warehouse District program. The project involves using recycled shipping containers and converting them to small retail stores. In 2014 HWDDC, in partnership with Cleveland Container Structures Inc., announced its first three tenants – The Official Team Shop of the Cleveland Browns, Banyan Box and The Wardrobe, which opened in the fall.
- Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership received $5,000 for its "Garden District" revitalization of Warren's Central City neighborhood. The project has involved demolition of 70 blighted structures, conversion of many of those properties into community gardens, construction of stone walls, using salvaged stone from neighborhood demolitions. A recent addition to the program is an "Adopt-a-House program," which provides private capital to fund neighborhood housing renovations.
- LAND studio in Cleveland received $5,000 for its AHA! Program, a downtown summer festival of lights. LAND – Landscape, Art, Neighborhood and Design – was formed by the 2011 merger of ParkWorks and Cleveland Public Arts. AHA! has attracted an estimated 8,000 visitors from northeast Ohio and beyond.
- Youngstown's Advanced Methods in Innovation received $5,000 for its INVENTORcloud course for area K-12 and post secondary schools. Students use INVENTORcloud's 3-D printer, solid modeling programs and software applications, along with innovation, communication, collaboration and critical thinking to solve real-world challenges.
- Cleveland's Neighborhood Solutions Inc., received $10,000 as winner of the third annual Community Impact special Environmental Award for its Vineyards and BioCellar of Chateau Hough project. The BioCellar is an experimental facility featuring a passive solar greenhouse envelope built above an existing basement on vacated land. The BioCellar can be used for year-round cultivation of vegetables, fruits herbs and wine grapes, along with providing water purification, soil detoxification, nutrients cycling and pollination, aquaponics and cool storage.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 24,600 megawatts of generation, 12,400 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,455 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 949 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 12 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
SOURCE Dominion East Ohio