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Nonprofit Matters – November

October a million dollar month for area charities Five local grants and gifts, each totaling $1 million or more, were made during the month of October to assist a diversity of programs and services, from troubled Tarrant County teens to the expansion of bus services for low-income residents and a historic coastal conservation initiative in South Texas.

The Sid W. Richardson Foundation of Fort Worth gave a $1 million grant to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation for the ongoing maintenance of the recently reopened Cedar Bayou in Aransas County, Texas, which reconnects the Aransas and Mesquite Bays and Vinson Slough to the Gulf of Mexico. A public-private partnership led by Aransas County, the nearly $9.4 million conservation project was funded by state, local and private resources. The Sid W. Richardson Foundation was established by Richardson in 1947 to support organizations that serve the people of Texas. Directors of the foundation are Chairman Edward P. Bass, Sid R. Bass and Lee M. Bass, who are grandnephews of Sid Richardson. Their late father, Perry R. Bass, was Richardson’s nephew.

“The Gulf of Mexico and Aransas County hold a special place in the hearts of the Bass family,” said Pete Geren, president and CEO of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation. “The Cedar Bayou grant is an extension of the Bass family’s commitment to the health of the marine life of the gulf, its bays and estuaries, which was instilled in them by Perry Bass.” Perry Bass helped to establish the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation in 1991. MHMR of Tarrant County received a $1 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to implement its System of Care program for transition-age youth called, “Paving the Way: Successful Transitions to Adulthood.” “MHMR of Tarrant County has done excellent work assisting those with mental health issues and severe emotional disorders throughout North Texas,” said Congressman Marc Veasey, D-TX, who helped support the funding. “This grant will help MHMR serve a population that too often becomes lost while transitioning from youth services to adult services.”

MHMRTC is the second largest in a network of community mental health centers in the state, serving 24 counties in North Texas. A three-year, $1 million grant from the Office of Justice Programs was awarded to Family Pathfinders of Tarrant County for the 2014 Second Chance Act Comprehensive Community-Based Adult Reentry Program Utilizing Mentors. The program’s goal is to reduce recidivism and facilitate the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals as they return to their communities. The grant is one of seven grants awarded across the nation and the only one in Texas. Thanks to a $1.1 million grant awarded to the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) by the Federal Transit Administration, transportation services provided in Tarrant County by Catholic Charities Fort Worth will be expanded and enhanced with current technology. The T applied for the FTA Ladders of Opportunity grant on behalf of the county and Catholic Charities and was among 24 transit agencies in 19 states to receive a grant. The funding will allow The T to purchase up to 19 new vehicles for Catholic Charities, which provides transportation services for Tarrant residents who travel beyond The T’s service area. Through contracts with The T, Catholic Charities provided limited Mobility Impaired Transportation Service and operates Tarrant County Transportation Service and North East Transportation Service. “With our goal to end poverty, upgrading our transportation fleet, software, efficiency and reliability ensures that we are supporting those people who are desperately trying to get to doctor’s appointments, jobs and benefits offices,” said Catholic Charities CEO Heather Reynolds.

Business leader, Weatherford native and Southern Methodist University alumnus Jack D. Knox made a $1.5 million gift to establish the Jack Knox Chair in the Rights and Protection of Children at SMU Dedman School of Law. The endowed professorship will support teaching, researching and publishing on legal issues related to protecting the welfare and legal rights of children. Knox received his bachelor’s degree in English from SMU in 1960 and his law degree from SMU Dedman School of Law in 1963. “It’s an honor to help my alma mater empower the next generation of legal professionals by providing them with a strong understanding of what the issues are and the knowledge and drive to develop better laws and policies to protect children’s welfare and rights,” Knox said.

Lundquist to be honored The Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation will honor longtime CBS sports announcer Verne Lundquist at the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award Gala on Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. at the Renaissance Worthington Fort Worth Hotel. Lundquist is the lead play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports’ coverage of college football. He also is one of the network’s main voices for coverage of NCAA Basketball, and he provides commentary for the Masters Golf Tournament. Lundquist has been at CBS Sports since 1982. He is also known for his award-winning work at WFAA-TV in Dallas in the 1970s and ‘80s and also for his position as the radio voice for the Dallas Cowboys from 1972 to 1984. Brad Sham, the current radio voice of the Cowboys, will interview Lundquist on stage during the gala. Tickets are available for $250 each. To order tickets, contact Janet Cooper at 817-870-2300 or janet@bobbybragan.org.

Grants available for arts programs Arts Council Northeast, in partnership with Texas Commission on the Arts, is offering grants for arts-related programs to schools and school districts, nonprofits, cities and individuals. This includes those located in Tarrant and Denton counties whose projects serve residents of Bedford, Colleyville, Euless, Grapevine, Haltom City, Haslet, Hurst, Keller, North Richland Hills, Richland Hills, Roanoke, Saginaw, Southlake, Trophy Club, Watauga and Westlake. Online grant applications are available at www.artscouncilnortheast.org/grants.aspx. The submission deadline is Dec. 1. Grants will be awarded in the first quarter of 2015.

StoryCorps to record North Texans StoryCorps, a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving and sharing the stories of Americans, will stop in Dallas Nov. 20 to Dec. 20 as part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour. The recording studio, an outfitted Airstream trailer, will be located in Sammons Park at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Reservations will be available at 10 a.m. on Nov. 6 at 800-850-4406 or at storycorps.org. Additional appointments will be available on Nov. 21. StoryCorps will partner with KERA FM, which will air a selection of the local oral histories recorded in the MobileBooth. Segments of select interviews may air nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition.

And the funds go to… Corporate partners of the Texas Rangers have made donations of nearly $75,000 to the team’s Baseball Foundation during the 2014 season. The foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children in need within the community. Participating corporate sponsors include: Albertson’s, Captain Morgan, Champion Home Exteriors, Kellogg’s, Mission, Mrs Baird’s, Papa John’s, Smile Generation, Southwest Airlines and Southwest Kia….The Cowtown presented $200,000 to the Cowtown C.A.L.F. program, providing grants and running shoes to local school children as they train for The Cowtown’s Cook Children’s 5K Run in February 2015….American Aero FTW presented a $10,000 donation to the Navy SEAL Foundation, which provides support to soldiers and veterans during times of illness, injury and loss….Arlington-based Ascension Group Architects raised more than $14,000 for Youth World Dallas Learning Center during its annual golf tournament at Tierra Verde Golf Club….Meador Chrysler-Plymouth Inc. helped raise $1,130 for Souder Elementary School in Fort Worth through Chrysler’s Drive for the Kids program.

Send nonprofit news to Betty Dillard at bdillard@bizpress.net  

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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