Community Foundation Adds $7.5M Fund

By Shari Harrell, president
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – While the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley has steadily matured over its 20-year life, the past 12 months marked some of the biggest changes in the organization’s history. From an office expansion and staff addition to community leadership efforts and a history-making gift, 2018 was truly transformative.

The addition of Sarah Lowry to the staff in February was the first major change.

As director of the Healthy Community Partnership, Lowry is responsible for the cross-sector collaborative and its work to create a healthier Mahoning Valley by addressing the region’s poor health outcomes.

The partnership is driven by commitments from the three foundations affiliated with CFMV: Trumbull Memorial Health Foundation, Western Reserve Health Foundation and the William Swanston Charitable Fund.

The foundations granted more than $250,000 for eight collaborative, resident-driven projects coming from the Healthy Community Partnership’s action teams in 2018. Plans to overhaul Lincoln Knolls Community Park on Youngstown’s east side and support of a Healthy Retail Food Access Coordinator Fellowship in Trumbull County were among the projects funded.

To accommodate the growing staff and community leadership efforts, a major office expansion became necessary. Renovations wrapped up in November and almost doubled CFMV’s space, with the addition of new staff offices, a second conference room and the J. Ford Crandall Community Room.

Fourteen component funds were added in 2018, the second-largest number in organization history. Nontraditional, however, was the estate gift of more than $7.5 million that created the Arnett Family Fund in September. Now the foundation’s largest, this new fund will solidify the Arnett family’s legacy with its future grants.

The foundation is again looking to expand its workforce with a new employee early in the year and plans are in the works to increase the foundation’s grantmaking and deepen its commitment to community leadership. The Healthy Community Partnership, too, will continue evolving in 2019 as a vehicle for both examining the community’s needs and collectively creating solutions to address them.

The CFMV’s staff and board of directors are looking forward to another year of making the Mahoning Valley a better place to live, learn, work and play – for all.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.