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Three-mendous! ‘Head, Heart and Hands’ helps nonprofits

Cathy De Schouwer, Jim Weiss, Deb Lockwood and Elizabeth Thomason

Indian River Club residents use their heads, hearts and hands to effect change in our community through charitable giving and works, paying it forward to those less fortunate. At a poolside Grant Award Ceremony last Friday afternoon, the Indian River Club Foundation extended a helping hand to 15 community nonprofit agencies through its Head, Heart and Hands Community Outreach Program, formed by residents in 2013.

“We have an outstanding speaker series and that’s the head,” said Marybeth Cunningham, board chairman.  “We have a fabulous foundation and that’s our heart, and we have an amazing group of people that volunteer; that’s our hands.”

The Indian River Community Foundation assisted their grant review committee to develop the proposal request, process the applications and evaluate the submissions. The proposal request was sent out to more than 100 local nonprofits, and of the more than 30 applications they received, 15 earned grants this year. The nine-member grant review team reviewed all the proposals and made site visits to ensure the investments being made on behalf of the residents had merit.

Grant recipients run the gamut and included giving educational support to young children, helping seniors living in low-income housing, children needing physical therapy to overcome physical, occupational and speech difficulties, providing at-risk teens an opportunity to learn responsibility through sports, and assisting the unemployed and homeless obtain employment through job training and placement programs.

“These 15 organizations have an opportunity to grow, expand and serve our community even better with these grants. There are only two sources of money that come into our grant program: individual donations and our golf outing charity event,” explained Ed Perry, grant review facilitator.

The Indian River Club has distributed roughly $350,000 in grants since its inception, increasing its funding from an inaugural $40,000 to more than $133,000 this year.

“You are the human foundation for Indian River County. What you do goes above and beyond the expectations of any community I’ve ever been in,” said Perry, speaking to the agency representatives.

As the representatives each gave a brief presentation to outline their organizations’ mission and share details about the programs the grants will fund, their appreciation for the support was effusive. Likewise, one grant committee member after another offered thanks to the nonprofit representatives for the work done on behalf of others.

“If you look at all of the organizations that we have donated to today and all of the organizations that are serving this community, I think we can be comfortable that tomorrow is going to be better than it was yesterday,” said Perry.  “These organizations really deserve our support and our thanks.”

Photos by: Denise Ritchie
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