WADSWORTH — After five years, it’s almost time for the Wadsworth Grizzlies Community Foundation to hand out money to district teachers.
“Even though the foundation has been in place for several years, this is the first year that it has actually picked up really good momentum, and for the first time we are able to offer grants,” foundation President Kristy Hayduk said Monday.
Hayduk said the foundation is planning to award $10,000 in grants to Wadsworth educators during a reverse raffle and benefit dinner May 17. Two kinds of grants, valued at $1,000 and $5,000, will be awarded then.
According to a statement from the foundation, the $1,000 classroom innovation grant is designed to “encourage creative and innovative teaching and learning initiatives consistent with the district’s goals.”
The $5,000 foundation project grant is designed to serve a larger number of students, such as an entire department, grade level or school.
Superintendent Andrew Hill said previously that the grants will be used to fund projects that go beyond regular classroom instruction.
Applications will be reviewed by a grant committee, with winners determined by merit, Hayduk said.
“It may be four of one, two of another,” she said. “It could be any combination (of grants).”
The grants are being funded in part by an anonymous $12,500 donation to the foundation in January. The foundation also received 33 percent of proceeds in January during a special night at Chipotle.
The May event is the foundation’s first large-scale fundraising effort. The evening also will include $2,000 in reverse raffle prizes, dancing, a 50/50 raffle and a cash bar.
Foundation treasurer Chris Roberts said that while a marketing firm donated its services to help the foundation calculate a ballpark sum it could expect to raise based on the raffle and ticket sales, there is no hard and fast financial goal for the evening.
“Obviously, the goal is to raise as much as we can, that we can then turn around and use to award grants, which is the mission of our foundation,” Roberts said Monday.
Roberts said prior to a marketing push that began last October, the organization was one of those nonprofits that some people had heard about but few knew exactly what purpose it served.
“One of our big priorities was just to get our name out there to the community so we would be a more- recognized organization,” Roberts said Monday.
Hayduk said the foundation partnered with Howard Hanna Real Estate for the upcoming event.
“They had really good success with hosting fundraisers of this nature in the past with other nonprofits, and they actually wanted to partner with us on this particular fundraiser,” she said.
Tickets are available for those wishing to attend the fundraiser dinner set for 6-11 p.m. Friday, May 17, at The Galaxy Restaurant and Banquet Center, 201 Park Center Drive, Wadsworth.
Tickets cost $100, and include dinner for two and one raffle ticket.
Instructions for grant applications and tickets for the fundraiser dinner are available at www.wadsworthfoundation.com. Wadsworth teachers can submit grant applications until Wednesday, May 1.