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BLACF awards community grants

The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation recently selected 11 projects to receive a total of $191,000 in grants for 2016-17. The projects include: o $33,000 to the city of Brainerd for the Brainerd riverfront development project for third yea...

The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation recently selected 11 projects to receive a total of $191,000 in grants for 2016-17.

The projects include:

• $33,000 to the city of Brainerd for the Brainerd riverfront development project for third year funding to move from project planning toward implementation of a destination riverwalk.

• $10,000 to the Brainerd Baxter Youth Center for programming at The Shop, to support youth in transition.

• $10,000 to Salem WEST for emergency funding in response to the arson fire that destroyed its building and donated items that were ready for distribution to low-income families.

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• $7,500 to support continued expansion of the Lakes Area Music Festival's outreach program and remove barriers of access to art for the community.

• $7,500 to help businesses and organizations in the Crow Wing County area fill key professional positions through the Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corporation Key Recruitment program.

• $7,500 to offer youth entrepreneurism and workforce readiness experiential programs to area high school students in the 2017-2018 school year through Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest.

• $5,000 to the Spirit of Hope Fund to support local benevolence funding administered by the Salvation Army and Bridges of Hope.

• $5,000 to Community Action Council of Crow Wing County for the Newcomers Club, which works to create a welcoming atmosphere to individuals and families moving into the area.

• $2,500 to United Way of Crow Wing and Southern Cass Counties for an application that helps connect area residents with volunteer opportunities.

• $2,000 to FRED programming which promotes early literacy learning and healthy brain development through activities at Brainerd Public Schools.

• $1,000 to the Initiative Foundation for its nonprofit capacity building efforts in the Brainerd lakes area.

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"This year, BLACF has focused their grant-making on workforce development projects," Karl Samp, BLACF executive director, said in a news release. "We looked at supporting projects that would help develop a future workforce, especially those students who tend to stay in our community after graduation. We are also supporting efforts that attract and retain workers by creating attractive community amenities and a welcoming community."
Since BLACF was established in 1998, it has granted more than $4.1 million to organizations to benefit communities. The BLACF, in affiliation with CommunityGiving, is a public charity that attracts and administers charitable funds for the benefit of the local community. Since 1998, BLACF has grown to over $8.7 million in assets and awarded over $4.1 million in grants to local nonprofits. CommunityGiving is a collaboration of community foundations united under a single framework.

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