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Grizzlies foundation seeks jump-start

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WADSWORTH — Efforts are underway to make the Wadsworth Grizzlies Community Foundation a household name, said Julie Batey, foundation vice president.

While the foundation was established in 2014 as a nonprofit organization with the goal of helping Wadsworth teachers apply for grants for classroom activities, it has had some trouble gaining steam. Now, with two meetings under its belt since the beginning of the school year, Batey said that the hope is to change that.

“They started the community foundation and there weren’t too many members that came to the meetings,” Batey said Monday. “So what was decided, under (Superintendent Andrew Hill’s) guidance, was that the first task to revitalize the foundation was to educate our community about the foundation’s purpose.”

Foundation officers have been elected to fill the role of president, vice president, secretary and treasurer, Batey said.

A marketing committee headed by Wadsworth Area Chamber of Commerce Director Janie Parish was established.

Parish said Monday that a big marketing push will be made in November so all the foundation’s information will be out and available in the community.

“We want to get it out all at once so that people understand it,” Parish said. “That it is not just money going into a kitty to help the schools. That is the big thing, this is going in directly to help the teachers be able to do those special projects that normally wouldn’t be funded.”

Batey said the idea for the foundation originated with Valley View Elementary Principal Chris Roberts.

“Chris had brought the idea of the Wadsworth Grizzlies Community Foundation with him from the Highland School district because they have a very mature and a very successful community foundation,” said Batey, who is a school board member.

Both Batey and Parish believe that once Wadsworth community members are aware of the foundation and its goals that both monetary donations and volunteers will come forward.

“It is a very worthy cause, it is something that really needs to be put into place and this community is so giving and so involved here in Wadsworth that I can’t imagine once people are educated on what the foundation’s purpose is that more people won’t come and support it,” Batey said.

The next meeting of the Wadsworth Grizzlies Foundation will be 5 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Charles R. Parsons Administration Building, 524 Broad St., Wadsworth.

For information, email wgcfboard@gmail.com.

Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at (330) 721-4050 or nhavenner@medina-gazette.com.


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