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GAR awards $1 million to regional economic development fund

By Katie Byard
Beacon Journal business writer

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Akron-headquartered GAR Foundation has awarded $1 million to a group that gives money to a host of programs focused on boosting the region’s economy.

The Fund for Our Economic Future will receive the money over three years.

“We have a strong belief that philanthropy can play an important role in sustaining a globally competitive Northeast Ohio,” GAR President Christine Amer Mayer said in a news statement issued Monday.

The $1 million award was the largest among 15 grants, totaling almost $1.5 million, that GAR’s distribution committee approved at its February meeting.

The foundation’s second largest award was $135,000 to the Akron Art Museum for general operations. Akron Community Health Resources will receive $60,000 to provide medical and dental care to people who struggle financially.

GAR, the 11th largest grant-making foundation in Northeast Ohio, has made several sizeable gifts to the Fund for Our Economic Future, a collaboration of 53 public and private organizations across 16 counties.

The fund’s grants include those to JumpStart Inc., which mentors and invests in early-stage companies in the region, and Team NEO, the regional job-attraction group that is a joint venture of chambers of commerce.

Other GAR awards were:

• Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio, $25,000 for Summit County Hope Prep scholars.

• Christ Child Society of Akron Inc., $30,000 for its clothing center (over two years).

• College Now Greater Cleveland, $20,000 for a program involving students at Akron’s Buchtel High School.

• Community Legal Aid Service Inc., $10,000 for legal support for Families with Children program.

• East Akron Neighborhood Development Corp., $20,000 for emergency home repair efforts.

• Hiram College, $20,000 for Summit County student scholarships.

• International Institute of Akron, $25,000 for a resource case manager.

• International Soap Box Derby, $20,000 for operations.

• Kent State University Foundation, $50,000 for the Last Opportunity Scholarship Fund.

• Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education, $25,000 for development of 50 internships in Summit county.

• United Way of Portage County Inc., $25,000 toward its 2013-2014 campaign.

• WKSU (89.7-FM), $20,000 toward its spring fund drive.

GAR is a private, independent foundation established in 1967 as a charitable trust by Galen J. Roush, co-founder and chief executive officer of Roadway Express, and his wife, Ruth. For more information, go to www.garfoundation.
org.

For more information about the Fund for Our Economic Future, go to www.futurefund
neo.org.

Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or kbyard@thebeaconjournal.com.