With strong recent fundraising, Takoma Foundation doubles size of fall grant cycle

By Kevin Adler

The Takoma Foundation is preparing for its fall grant cycle by engaging in several fundraising activities that will increase the amount of money available to local organizations. Since 1989, the Foundation has been supporting a wide variety of projects for youth, adult education and job training, the arts, and the environment–using funds raised from individual donors and area businesses.

The Foundation’s fall 2010 grant cycle will be open from September 13
through October 29. Total funding for community grants will be $15,000
(maximum single grant of $2,500). “This is more than double the amount
we were able to award last fall. We’re delighted,” said Foundation
President Kathy Porter. Grants information can be found at

“We are able to increase our granting–at a time of great need in the
community–because people in the community have been so supportive this
year,” Porter added. “The Foundation had a great turnout at the Azalea
Awards in May, where we raised a record amount. We also had Takoma
Foundation Night at a Takoma Thunderbolts baseball game in July, and
many people responded to our summer donations mailing.”

The Foundation’s next fundraiser is the 2nd annual Beer Tasting on
Saturday, October 16. “We sold out last year, and excitement about the
event is even stronger this year,” said Peter Feiden, who is coordinator
of the event. “We are recruiting more brewers, and we have additional
entertainment and activities planned.” Individual tickets for the Beer
Tasting are $35, which will include samplings of locally brewed craft
beers and light snacks supplied by local restaurants.
“The beer is one attraction, of course, but our experience last year was
that it was far more than just that,” said Feiden. “People enjoyed
listening to live music, and they visited with their friends and
neighbors. Plus, the Foundation’s Board members had a chance to explain
to people what we’re doing in the community.”

Tickets are now available for sale in several Old Town Takoma retail
businesses and can be obtained at the Takoma Foundation’s booth at the
Folk Festival on September 12 and the StreetFest on October 3. For more
information, visit the Foundation’s website at www.takomafoundation.org
(tickets cannot be purchased online).

Grantee update: Hillwood Manor

Often, people ask how their financial support of the Foundation is utilized in the community. A recent update by the Hillwood Manor Neighborhood Association (HMNA) provides a look at how one organization leveraged the Foundation’s money to develop new green spaces for everyone to enjoy.

With a grant of $1,000 in 2009, HMNA was able to move forward on a project to build a retaining wall for a community garden. “Once we had your grant in hand, the city of Takoma Park agreed to fund additional expenses,” wrote Pamela Sparr, chair of the HMNA Community Garden, in her summary report. “We now have a lovely retaining wall, supporting a new, thriving gateway garden, which not only beautifies the entrance to our neighborhood but also increases pedestrian safety.”

The garden on Erskine Street is complemented by four beds planted along a path known as Sligo Creek Garden Trail. At one of the locations on the trail, county staff removed a chain-link fence, and City of Takoma Park staff installed two benches, from which visitors can enjoy “large decorative rocks, along with grasses and winterberries as part of the Living River bed,” wrote Sparr.

HMNA’s garden projects brought together more than 30 neighborhood volunteers over the course of a year for planning and implementation, noted Franca Brilliant, Foundation Grants Committee chair. “We’re delighted that our grant could help to build such social capital, because we know that folks who get involved tend to continue with other projects,” she said.

Information about the September grants cycle will be posted on the Foundation’s website, www.takomafoundation.org.

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