The Muncie-based Ball Brothers Foundation has announced recipients of its second grant cycle for the year. They include funds to support an Indiana Historical Society exhibition celebrating Ball Brothers Co. contributions to food preservation, improvements at a Muncie park and Energize-ECI Inc. regional development initiatives. November 6, 2014

News Release

MUNCIE, Ind. – Projects marking Muncie's sesquicentennial and Indiana's bicentennial received major funding boosts this week from Ball Brothers Foundation (BBF). The city of Muncie will use its $63,000 BBF grant to add sidewalks, landscaping and lighting to Gateway Park, currently under construction at a key intersection leading into the downtown district. A $90,700 grant to the Indiana Historical Society will support an exhibition called “You are There 1948: Communities Can!” that celebrates contributions by Ball Brothers Company to the food preservation tradition.

“The Gateway Park project will ultimately turn what once was an eyesore within our community into a beautiful outdoor space,” said Harvey Wright, superintendent of the Muncie Parks Department, in requesting the grant. “Our objective is for travelers on East Main Street to see the park and get a positive first impression of Muncie's downtown. It will welcome incoming visitors as well as residents.” The site, located on the southwest corner of Madison and Main streets, is scheduled for completion by July 2015, in time for Muncie’s 150th anniversary celebration.

The “Communities Can!” interactive exhibition will open in March 2016 as part of Indiana’s bicentennial observance. Similar to other Indiana Historical Society displays, the exhibit will invite visitors to step back in time and experience a moment in the state's history. A 1948 photograph, borrowed from the Minnetrista Cultural Center archives, provided the model for the “You Are There” depiction. The photo shows a group of women gathered around a preparation table in the Ball Brothers Company Community Canning Center on Macedonia Avenue in Muncie. The date of the picture is significant because Ball Brothers began offering expert canning services to its employees and Muncie housewives in 1948. Actors will portray the women as they learn to preserve fruits and vegetables for their families.

“Both these projects commemorate important anniversaries in creative ways,” said Jud Fisher, president and chief operating officer of BBF. “Gateway Park will remain a permanent reminder of Muncie's sesquicentennial, and 'Communities Can!' will give Hoosiers the opportunity to witness history and interact with a past generation.” The Historical Society's exhibit will continue through 2017 and later will travel to venues throughout the state.

Other organizations approved for funding in BBF's second grant-making cycle are: Cardinal Greenway, Inc., White River Greenway Phase 5 ($25,000); Delaware County Emergency Medical Service, MedStat Off-Road Ambulance ($65,000); Energize-ECI, Inc., Regional Development ($100,000); Huffer Memorial Children's Center, Inc., Equipment and Professional Development ($40,000); Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc., Ball Venture Fund 2014-2015 ($75,000); Ivy Tech Community College, Step Up College Preparation 2015 ($50,000); Minnetrista Cultural Foundation, 2015 Operating and Capital Support ($2,570,000); Muncie Action Plan, MAP2 ($17,800); Muncie Symphony Orchestra, Together in Music ($70,000); Red-tail Land Conservancy, Inc., Capacity Expansion Initiative ($42,500); Transition Resources Corporation—Head Start, Nature Playscape ($75,000); United Way of Delaware County, Community Solutions Investment Program ($90,000).

Additional awards approved through separate programs outside the Foundation’s general grant cycle include: Ball State University, Natural Growth Data Collection for Outdoor Learning ($4,820); Ball State University, Town and Gown Conversations ($500); Ball State University, Indiana Public Radio Support ($5,000); Cardinal Greenway, Inc., White River Greenway Phase 5 ($5,000); Cornerstone Center for the Arts, Parking Lot Project ($4,969); Delaware Advancement Corporation, FAFSA Workshops ($5,000); Delaware County Emergency Medical Service, Automated External Defibrillators ($5,000); Delaware County Soil & Water Conservation, Prairie Creek Reservoir Trail Enhancement ($5,000); Greater Muncie Habitat for Humanity, Fisher Governance Award Organizational Recipient ($10,000); Historic Farmland USA, Community Center Repairs ($5,000); Huffer Memorial Children’s Center, Inc., Summer Palooza Professional Development ($750); Huffer Memorial Children’s Center, Inc., Summer Enrichment Opportunities ($2,600); Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, Statewide Conference ($5,000); Jay School Corporation, East Jay Heart Monitors ($4,850); Kidz Korner Child Care Center, Safe and Healthy Kids-Capital Improvements ($5,000); LEAD-ECI Inc., Converge 2014 ($1,000); LEAD-ECI Inc., Financial Capacity Building ($7,500); Minnetrista Cultural Foundation, Remembering Ball Stores ($5,000); Muncie Civic Theatre, Support for Discovery New Music ($2,000); Muncie Civic Theatre, Restroom Remodel ($5,000); Muncie Community Schools, Tri-Cycles for Students with Special Needs ($4,259); Smart Living Project, Inc., 2014 Living Lightly Fair ($1,500); Women in Business Unlimited, WIBU Catalyst for Empowering Women ($1,000); Youth Opportunity Center, Inc., Air Conditioning Compressors ($5,000); Youth Opportunity Center, Inc., Transforming YOC Training ($7,500).

With assets exceeding $160 million, Ball Brothers Foundation annually makes grants in support of arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services and public affairs. The Muncie-based foundation gives priority to projects and programs that improve the quality of life in BBF’s home city, county and state.

Source: Ball Brothers Foundation

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