Announces Grant Awards of $2.6 million to Organizations and Innovative Initiatives Benefiting Western South Dakota

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Rapid City, SD – The John T. Vucurevich Foundation awarded over $2.6 million in grants for the third and fourth quarter of 2010. "The John T. Vucurevich Foundation honors and builds on the personal legacy of giving of John T. Vucurevich by facilitating solutions to key challenges facing South Dakota and the Black Hills Region in the areas of arts, education and health & human services, says Executive Director, Sandy Diegel." "JTVF provides funding and human resources to make a greater impact on the community through a collaborative approach that creates a sense of shared responsibility among partners and promotes long-term change." "The Board made a deliberate effort this year in awarding more matching grants to encourage diverse community funding participation, as well as deploying Foundation staff to provide strategic leadership in priority areas." said Diegel. The $2.6 million in awards brings the total grants awarded in 2010 to over $4.2 million. Since becoming fully funded in 2007 following the passing of founder John T. Vucurevich, his Foundation has awarded over $15 million to South Dakota nonprofit organizations and innovative initiatives. Recent grant awards include: ARTS Rapid City Fine Arts Council, Rapid City - $75,000 matching grant for general operating support for The Dahl Fine Arts Center. For more information on how to participate in this matching grant please contact Pepper Massey at (605) 394-4101. Historic Homestake Opera House, Lead - $25,000 matching challenge grant to hire a part-time Executive Director. For more information on how to participate in this matching grant please contact David Scherer at 605-584-2067.   EDUCATION Starting Strong Initiative, Rapid City - $625,000, a three year matching grant for the Rapid City Starting Strong Initiative that seeks to provide a voluntary, community-based scholarship program to help 3- and 4-year-old children in poverty access quality early education in partnership with qualified program providers of the parent's choice. The program is market-based, parent-driven, voluntary, and targeted allowing low-income parents the opportunity to choose a quality early education program from among qualified providers. Research shows that poverty limits children's development. Investing in early education for disadvantaged children yields a high rate of return. According to economists, every $1 invested in quality preschool saves taxpayers up to $7 realized in improved school readiness and success in school, more educated workers and less crime. A similar pilot in Sioux Falls showed statistically significant growth in classroom quality, which research has shown leads to increased learning for children. "Children who start early, start strong." This initiative seeks to replicate these results. For more information on how to participate in this matching grant please call Early Childhood Connections at 605-342-6464, SD Voices for Children at 605-721-0699. Their website is currently under construction at Parents as Teachers - $125,000, a five year matching grant for their US Department of Education's Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund Improving Educational Outcomes for American Indian Children (BabyFace) grant. BabyFACE is a home visiting/parent education program for Native American families of children prenatal to 5 on Indian Reservations. Funds will help support implementation of the grant at six locations in South Dakota. Their match requirement has been fulfilled. If you would like to learn more about their organization, visit Authentic Youth Civic Engagement (AYCE), Rapid City - $15,000 in matching funds to hire a coordinator to continue the citywide efforts to engage youth in their schools, community and city. AYCE, a program under the Mayor's Strengthening Families Task Force, ensures that Rapid City's young people have the training, opportunity and support they need to become communitywide resources. If you would like to participate in this matching grant contact Paula Wilkinson Smith at Lifeways 605-716-6555. Presentation College, Aberdeen - $10,000 to match a challenge grant from American Indian Education Foundation, providing scholarships for Native American students at their Lakota Campus in Eagle Butte. For more information on how to participate in this matching grant please contact Julie Thorstenson at 605-964-407. Teach for America, Pierre - $10,000 for recruiting, selecting, training and supporting corps members on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations. Teach for America seeks to serve as a human capital pipeline for outstanding talent and build a movement to eradicate the problem of teacher shortage. They do so by recruiting, selecting, training and supporting outstanding recent college graduates of all academic backgrounds who commit to teach for two years in low-income communities and go on to be lifelong leaders in education reform. Hill City School District, Hill City - $2,800 for a one year subscription for Renaissance Learning Software, focusing on math and reading in the elementary school.   HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Black Hills Mental Health Substance Abuse Systems Change Collaborative, Rapid City – $500,000 matching grant to start a Crisis Care Center in Rapid City to improve access to mental health and substance abuse services. This project will improve the health care of the people in Rapid City by establishing a 24-Hour Crisis Care Center and related services which will provide assessment, referral and follow-up services to the general public as well as those leaving the local psychiatric hospital, jail, or detox. Follow-up services will include referral not only for mental health and substance abuse treatment but services needed for all life domains including medical, financial, social services, housing or transportation issues. This project will also provide crisis bed capability for those requiring less than 24-hour observation. The Crisis Care Center will target individuals who currently are being served by more intensive services than is needed, individuals who fall through the cracks and enter the corrections system or become homeless, and the general public in need of assistance finding mental health and substance abuse services. The Collaborative, formed in 2009, consists of almost 40 diverse community organizations including mental health and substance abuse providers, corrections, healthcare, education and government who have joined together to develop a Community Plan to provide solutions to mental health and substance abuse issues. For more information on how to participate on this matching grant or the Collaborative please contact the John T. Vucurevich Foundation office at 605-343-3141. Victims of Violence Intervention Program, Spearfish - $425,000 for construction to rebuild the Artemis House shelter, which provides shelter and transportation assistance for family violence and rape victims as well as resource information and education for women in Butte, Lawrence, and Harding Counties. For more information contact Teri Royer, 605-642-7825 Feeding South Dakota, Pierre - $90,000 to help establish a food bank site in Pierre. United Way of the Black Hills, Rapid City - $85,000 to benefit 49 non-profit organizations in the Black Hills. Rapid City Club for Boys, Rapid City - $85,000 for general operating support of their programs serving boys ages six to 17. Youth and Family Services, Rapid City - $85,000 for general operating support of their Girls, Inc. Program serving girls ages six to 17. Western South Dakota Senior Services, Rapid City - $75,000 for the MEALS Program in western South Dakota, providing a hot, nutritious noon meal to seniors and disabled persons in 16 communities in western South Dakota. Love Inc., Rapid City - $65,000 over three years for the expansion of the Life, Inc. Program, a long-term training and mentoring program to help people in need develop healthy life habits, with a specific focus on finances. Feeding South Dakota, Rapid City - $50,000 matching funds for the Food Backpack Program providing weekend food to needy children in the Rapid City Schools, Meade, Shannon, Lawrence, Fall River, and Butte Counties for the 2010/2011 school year. For more information on how to participate in this matching grant please call Monica Leitheiser at 605-348-2689. NVN Country Community Action Team, Belle Fourche - $50,000 to help provide the match required to build a new female veteran homeless facility in Belle Fourche, which will be the only facility serving female veterans in a seven state area. This facility will be part of the Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN) throughout the country, and funded through Veterans Administration, offering transitional housing, training, counseling, case management and job assistance. With 28 beds for homeless female veterans and 16 beds for children, this facility will serve the rising population of female homeless veterans in our area. Call Russ Surdez at 605-723-8672 for more information. Boys & Girls Club of the Black Hills, Hill City - $50,000 for youth programs in Hill City and Hot Springs. Pennington County Health & Human Services, Rapid City - $35,000 for miscellaneous expenses where no other community resources are available for clients and referrals from community agencies working with indigent and homeless people to help overcome barriers that prevent their success. Used in support of two area collaborations, New Start Housing and the Black Hills Mental Health/Substance Abuse Systems Change Collaborative. Native Youth Leadership Alliance (NYLA) - $25,000 to launch an advocacy training and leadership development program targeting Tribal College students in South Dakota. Northern Hills CASA Program, Spearfish - $21,900 to support programming for providing court appointed advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system. Center for Restorative Justice, Rapid City - $20,000 to train mediators in "Restorative Practices Training," used in large group community mediations, including schools and civic organizations that promotes healing between people separated by conflict. YMCA, Rapid City - $18,570 for youth after school programs in Edgemont and Western Resources for Dis-ABLED Independence, Rapid City - $15,000 for the Home Modification and Adaptive Devises Program. Northern Hills Training Center, Spearfish - $8,100 to purchase automatic external defibrillators (AED's) for their group homes located in Spearfish for residents who have a developmental disability. New Dawn Enterprises - $8,000 for equipment for New Dawn Center in Vale, SD, an aftercare facility for recovering alcohol and drug abuse individuals. Rushmore Consumer Credit Resource Center, Rapid City - $7,000 to promote the VITA and AARP free income tax preparation service for the 2010 tax year in Rapid City. Realtors for Kids, Spearfish - $5,000 to help with children's expenses where no other funds are available. Realtors for Kids provides financial support for the children of the Northern Black Hills communities and school districts served by the Northern Black Hills Association of Realtors including Lead, Deadwood, Spearfish, Belle Fourche, Sturgis, Newell, Nisland, Spearfish, St. Onge, Sturgis and Vale. Black Hills Ski for Light - $1,000 to support the participation of the visually impaired and physically challenged persons in outdoor activities. Rural Meade Ambulance Service - $1,000 to purchase equipment for their ambulance. While we still accept unsolicited grant applications, our priority will be to partner with area non-profits, educational institutions, government entities and other funders to facilitate solutions to area problems. Our grant application process requires a Letter of Inquiry be submitted as the initial step. For further information, please visit our website at or call the Foundation office at 605-343-3141.

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