YMCA of Central Ohio

Kiwanis Club of Columbus announces YMCA of Central Ohio as grant recipient

Kiwanis Club of Columbus Celebrates Centennial

with $100,000 Community Investment

Columbus, OH - -Four local agencies will benefit from the investment of a local service organization this year. The Kiwanis Club of Columbus has chosen four organizations, Boys & Girls Club of Columbus, Columbus Children’s Choir, Kaleidoscope Youth Center, and the YMCA of Central Ohio, to receive grants totaling $100,000.  The group marks its 100th Anniversary in 2016 and chose to celebrate by investing in the community’s future.

“Kiwanis Club of Columbus is all about giving back and working to change our community for the better,” said Centennial Celebration chairperson and club Past-President Kathleen Roberts.  “Every year our club invests over $80,000 in the community but this year we wanted to make an even bigger impact by sharing an additional $100,000.  We couldn’t be more thrilled about the projects we are supporting.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus was the recipient of a $30,000 grant. BGCC’s mission is to empower the youth who need its services and programs most to fulfill their potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens.  The grant supports the Growth for Great Futures Initiative, a strategy that will put the Clubs on track to serve 10,000 of Columbus’ most at-risk youth by 2020.  Funding from the Kiwanis Clubs of Columbus’ Centennial Grant will be used to underwrite costs associated with relocation of the Westside Club to the Hilltop neighborhood.  A library in the new center will be named in Kiwanis’ honor.
The Columbus Children’s Choir received a $20,000 grant to establish the CCC Summer Singers sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Columbus. Columbus Children’s Choir serves central Ohio with educational offerings including workshops, festivals, community engagement programs, and its longstanding programs for children in kindergarten through twelfth grade—all with the mission of fostering the personal growth of children through meaningful experiences in music education and vocal performance. With the support of Kiwanis Club of Columbus’ Centennial Award, Columbus Children’s Choir will offer summer music classes for the first time.
Kaleidoscope Youth Center will use its $20,000 Centennial grant to support new programming in their new location. Kaleidoscope Youth Center has been serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Ally youth in Central Ohio since 1994.  Young people ages 12-20 are able to access peer support, mentorship, hot meals, recreation, leadership opportunities, health and wellness education, life-skills development and arts programming five days per week in a space that is fun, safe and affirming of their identities.   The grant supports the Operation: Home Is Where the Heart Is campaign to help underwrite Kaleidoscope’s first move in over ten years. The new space at 603 East Town Street will accommodate current programming with room for growth, and is twice the square footage as before.  A community conference room in the new center will bear the Kiwanis Club of Columbus name.
The YMCA of Central Ohio is the largest provider of day camp in the Columbus area and will use its $30,000 Centennial grant to upgrade its lodge and renovate its high and low ropes courses. Located at the Hoover YMCA Park, the lodge is a 2,500-square-foot building which is only able to be used for six months of the year because of the lack of heating and air conditioning.  This grant will add heating and cooling equipment to this structure to allow the Y to have a greater impact on the youth in the community by extending the use of this performance space for teen bands and youth theatre. In addition, on rainy days at camp, the children will have a safe haven from the elements. The Adventure Area will be renovated in order to continue to draw people to the Park for team-building and teen camp. This grant will be used for capital improvements that will serve more than 2,000 children each year at Hoover. The Y will recognize the adventure area as the Hoover Y - Kiwanis Club of Columbus Adventure Area.

Kiwanis Club of Columbus is a 150-member service organization dedicated to changing the world, one community and one child at a time.  Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 and Kiwanis Club of Columbus, the fifth oldest club in the world, was founded in 1916.  The club and its foundation, Columbus Kiwanis Foundation, have been supporting worthy causes focusing on youth in the Columbus community throughout its history.  In fact, Kiwanis Club of Columbus is credited with helping to found two well-known organizations in its early years: the Ohio Highway Patrol and the American BoyChoir (which began in Columbus and moved to Princeton, NJ). 

Currently, through its foundation, Kiwanis Club of Columbus awards approximately $80,000 a year, including $20,000 in scholarships to deserving Columbus City Schools students, provides significant sponsorship funding for the Columbus Metropolitan Library Summer Reading Program, and supports many other organizations with volunteer and grant support.