CLEVELAND – Dominion East Ohio today presented $110,000 in grants to 12 winning community organizations in its 18th annual Community Impact Awards competition, co-sponsored with Inside Business Magazine.
A panel of community judges chose the winners from among 90 entries, submitted by organizations throughout northeast Ohio. The award recognizes cities or organizations that have made an impact in the community. The Dominion Foundation, the 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 that Dominion companies serve.
“Dominion is proud to support these outstanding organizations and recognize the valuable contributions they have made to their communities,” says Scott Miller, Dominion East Ohio vice president and general manager. “We hope that these award-winning projects would inspire and empower other organizations throughout our service area to pursue their own projects to revitalize local communities.”
Since 1996, Dominion East Ohio has distributed more than $1.1 million in Community Impact Awards to organizations throughout its service area.
This year’s Community Impact Award winners are:
- The Rid-All Foundation received $15,000 for its Rid-All Green Partnership, which transformed a former dumpsite on Cleveland’s East Side into a thriving urban farm. The farm stands on a 1.3-acre site, once known as the “Forgotten Triangle,” Cleveland’s most notorious illegal dumping zone. The site, located near the intersection of East 82nd Street and Kinsman Avenue, now contains two greenhouses and aquaculture facilities that have produced more than 3,000 farm-raised tilapia fish.
- The Cleveland Playhouse Foundation received $15,000 for its Power of Three project, collaborating with Cleveland State University and PlayhouseSquare to design and construct three state-of-the art- theater venues. The project moved the Cleveland Playhouse downtown and providing a new home for CSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance. The $32 million joint effort has attracted nearly 75,000 new visitors to the area and generated $14 million in economic impact.
- Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition received $10,000 as winner of the inaugural special Environmental Award. Founded in 1989, the coalition has worked to preserve, develop and interpret recreational resources, while revitalizing the once-neglected Ohio & Erie Canal. The Coalition has developed 86 miles of the 101-mile Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, with the remaining 15 miles in the planning and development process. In 2012, Summit County became the first county to complete all the miles of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail (41) within its boundaries. The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail serves 2.5 million hikers, bicyclists and equestrians annually through Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark and Tuscarawas counties
- Youngstown Business Incubator received $10,000 in recognition of its client companies generating a combined $76 million in economic impact within the Mahoning Valley in 2012. YBI companies generated $41 million in salaries and area expenditures, along with $2.2 million in local tax payments. YBI companies created 610 jobs, 407 of which are located in downtown Youngtown, at an average salary of $52,000.
- Cleveland Zoological Society received $10,000 in honor of the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo’s $25 million African Elephant Crossing exhibit, which has attracted more than 2.5 million visitors since its 2011 opening. African Elephant Crossing, a world-class elephant care and conservation center, houses one bull and four female elephants. The elephants share the exhibit with an African rock python, naked mole rats and a variety of African birds.
- The Akron Marathon Charitable Foundation received $10,000 in recognition of attracting 15,000 participants from 43 states in 2012 to its various events, including its signature, 26.2-mile race, half marathon, five-member team relay and Kids Fun Race. A pre-race Health Fitness Expo attracted 20,000 attendees. The 3,000 thousand volunteers contributed 10,000 hours of service to conduct the event, which attracted 120,000 spectators.
- Arts in Stark received $10,000 for its SmArts Program, which integrates arts and academics as a way of improving participating students’ test scores. SmArts has borne fruit in participating districts. For example, in Massillon City Schools, SmArt participating students achieved 100 percent passing rates in both reading and math.
- Downtown Cleveland Alliance received $10,000 for SEEDS, a program that provides specialized landscaping and planter maintenance training for men working to transition from homelessness. The organization worked in partnership with Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries (LMM) to develop the program. An initial group of 14 men participated in a six-month pilot program, working up to 24 hours per week and earning minimum wage, while learning marketable gardening and landscaping skills.
- Cleveland’s Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. (BBC) received $5,000 for its Market, Café & Community Kitchen Healthy Food Access Initiative. BBC built an oasis of healthy food options in the midst of Cleveland’s Kinsman neighborhood, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture had labeled a “food desert,” because it was underserved by a full-service supermarket. To remedy the situation, BBC built, at a local shopping plaza, Bridgeport Café, which features a restaurant and indoor market focusing on healthy food retail.
- Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation received $5,000 for its Paint Youngstown program, which has helped increase homeowner investment and improved the appearance of local neighborhoods. Paint Youngstown performed 60 limited repair projects and 14 full home rehabilitations on properties owned by low-income city residents who were in danger of code violations. These repairs affected 193 individuals in 74 households. These 74 repaired and rehabbed homes have improved surrounding property values and influenced future growth in these neighborhoods.
- Greater Cleveland Film Commission received $5,000 for its work promoting northeast Ohio as a major motion picture production location. CGFC attracted six major film productions to northeast Ohio in 2011-2012 alone, including the blockbuster, The Avengers. GFC spearheaded the 2009 passage of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit, which helped attract 27 film productions to Ohio, including 16 to northeast Ohio. Since 2009, those productions have generated an estimated 901 full-time equivalent jobs for the region, producing a total economic impact of $113 million in direct filmmaker spending statewide, including $87 million in northeast Ohio.
- Youngstown CityScape, Inc. received $5,000 for spearheading revitalization of Wick Park, the centerpiece of an historic neighborhood on the city’s North Side. Meanwhile, $32.8 million of investment in the vicinity of the 34-acre park, including a new CVS Pharmacy and the Flats at Wick student housing project, are helping to strengthen the neighborhood.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,400 megawatts of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,300 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
For further information: Media: Neil Durbin +1-216-736-6239, Neil.J.Durbin@dom.com; In Lima, Peggy Ehora +1-419-226-4866, Peggy.A.Ehora@dom.com