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Nonprofit Matters: Work begins on new YMCA in southeast Fort Worth

Work begins on new YMCA in southeast Fort Worth

Construction has begun on a $13 million facility that the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth plans next door to Mitchell Boulevard Elementary School in southeast Fort Worth.

The Y was awarded $3 million in new market tax credit funding for the project, which translates to more than 95 percent of the funding necessary to begin construction. Ground was broken Dec. 15 on the project located at 3601 Mitchell Blvd.

Funding includes $2.3 million the city of Fort Worth to provide a community pool as part of the organization’s aquatics master plan.

Major donors to the project include the Sid Richardson, Amon G. Carter, Morris and Mabee foundations. Donor support also has come from corporations and individuals.

Continuing and expanding programs and services for Southeast Fort Worth has been a priority of YMCA for years, according to Tony Shuman, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth.

“Thanks to the new market tax credit award, along with valuable community partners like the city of Fort Worth and the generosity of many donors, we can now begin construction to accomplish our vision,” Shuman said.

The 35,000-square-foot building will feature a pre-school, dedicated youth space and full gymnasium with walking track plus a fitness center and demonstration kitchen.

The facility is expected to open in late spring 2018.

The architect is Huitt-Zollars Inc. and general contractor is W.B. Kibler Construction.

A $100,000 community campaign is underway, including a brick campaign. To make a donation or for more information, visit



An unprecedented endowment from the Walton Family Foundation has been awarded to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

The museum will receive $20 million over five years. The gift honors the late Ruth Carter Stevenson, the museum’s longtime president of the board, who died in 2013. The gift is the largest in the museum’s history and establishes an endowment to support future exhibition and education initiatives.

Patron of the arts and philanthropist Alice Walton served on the Amon Carter’s board from 2004-2015. She is chairman of the board of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, and is on the board of the Walton Family Foundation.

“Mother and Alice were great friends and shared an extraordinary love and knowledge of art – visionaries both,” said Karen Hixon, Amon Carter board president and Stevenson’s daughter. “Alice has been an important part of the Amon Carter and its board for many years. I am thankful for all she has taught me, and words cannot express my gratitude for this gift from the Walton Family Foundation in mother’s honor.”



The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT), Tarleton State University and the Texas Department of Transportation are partnering to find and protect rare plant species along TxDOT rights-of-way in 23 counties in the Waco and Austin districts of Central Texas.

Through a TxDOT grant, Tarleton and Fort Worth-based BRIT will research and build habitat maps for 57 of the 81 rare plant species of the Edwards Plateau. The work includes identifying, documenting and mapping areas where these rare species most likely occur. TxDOT will use these maps to improve the department’s ability to protect the rare species that grow along Texas highways.

For several of these species, roadsides represent a significant portion of the known populations. Conserving them in their roadside habitat is critical to their survival.

BRIT researchers will examine specimens of these plants on file in BRIT’s herbarium, noting species “habitat” and the geographical locations where the plants were found.

A Tarleton Geographic Information System specialist then will take the data and map and highlight potential locations where these plants most likely occur.

The research, including site visits, is expected to be completed by August.



The Amon G. Carter Foundation awarded Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences (TABS) a $95,000 grant to start a senior capstone program at the academy to ensure that graduates are prepared for postsecondary education. TABS is a partnership between Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus and the Fort Worth Independent School District.

The new program includes a forum for collaboration with Wake Forest University. This is a project-based learning program and an application of skills learned in earlier courses as well as applied STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math).

“This biomedical science-focused capstone course gives seniors the opportunity to engage in creative problem-solving related to authentic and timely issues in their local community,” said Jay Kurima, TABS science department chairman and primary instructor for the course. “Students will utilize and develop their ‘maker mindset’ by using cutting-edge technology such as 3-D printers and laser cutters to design and fabricate physical solutions to those issues.”

TABS is one of three Fort Worth ISD schools to earn the high-progress Title I designation for 2015-2016, according to the Texas Education Agency. A high-progress school is identified as a Title I school in the top 25 percent in annual improvement and/or a school in the top 25 percent of those demonstrating ability to close performance gaps based on system safeguards. At the high school level, a reward school is a Title I school with the highest graduation rates. Overall, the TEA has identified 300 campuses statewide as high-performing and/or high-progress Title I Schools for 2015-2016.



Partners for Sacred Places and the National Trust for Historic Preservation recently established a $14 million National Fund for Sacred Places.

The fund, a program of Partners for Sacred Places, is supported by an advisory committee and brings together faith leaders, architects and philanthropists from across the country to inform the grant-making process. The fund will provide up to $250,000 in capital grants to at least 50 congregations of various faiths over four years.

Century-old Divine Redeemer Presbyterian Church in San Antonio is the first fund recipient from Texas.



NBC 5/KXAS and Telemundo 39/KXTX, in partnership with NBCUniversal Foundation, awarded 21st Century Solution grants totaling $100,000 to three local nonprofits.

Girls Inc. of Tarrant County’s Real Life Experiences for Girls received $50,000 to support its goal of encouraging girls ages 8-16 to choose STEM education.

Heart of a Champion’s One Heart Project Texas Mentoring Initiative was awarded $25,000 to help 250 juvenile offenders through an intervention program that combines social and emotional intelligence education with workforce development, job acquisition and microfinancing.

VolunteerNow’s Enhancing to Expand and Strengthen the Collective Impact of Volunteers on the DFW/North Texas Community program was awarded $25,000 to continue program enhancements, maintenance and promotion of technology.



The Cowtown’s C.A.L.F. (Children’s Activities for Life and Fitness) program will award grants this year to more than 5,800 qualifying North Texas children.

Each child will receive a pair of new running shows and financial assistance to go toward the entry fee for the 2017 Cowtown event. The number of awards has increased by 2,500 since 2014.

The C.A.L.F. program teaches children proper running form, training techniques and healthy nutrition in preparation for participating in The Cowtown, the largest multi-event road race in North Texas. The 2017 Cowtown is slated for Feb.24-26 at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth.

AND MORE FUNDING GOES TO … Lockheed Martin presented a $315,000 donation to the United Way of Tarrant County’s Veterans Fund as part of Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Week in December. The funds provide community-based services needed most by military members transitioning to civilian life in Tarrant County. … Women’s Policy Forum Foundation selected the Tarrant County College Foundation Scholarship Fund to receive its 2016 Outstanding Service Award of $5,000 in memory of the late TCC Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley. The scholarship awards $500 per semester to a student enrolled in the Winning in New Roles program at TCC. … The Texas Bar Foundation awarded a grant of $10,000 to The Women’s Center of Tarrant County to expand its Play it Safe! child sexual abuse prevention program. This program increases awareness and prevents sexual abuse by teaching children from pre-kindergarden through 12th grade to identify sexually abusive behavior. … Speedway Children’s Charities ushered in the 2016 holiday season with the lighting of the “biggest living Christmas tree in Texas” and the distribution of more than $200,000 in grants to North Texas charities, including the $125,000 Founder’s Grant to The Parenting Center. … The Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan New Car Dealers Association donated four Chevy Tahoe full-size SUVs to the Fort Worth Police Department in December. The Tahoes will be assigned to the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit. … More than 200 toys and 75 bicycles were collected at the fourth annual luncheon and toy drive hosted by American Aero FTW. The event benefits the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. … Texas Trust Credit Union was a lead participant in the Mansfield Toys for Tots Toy Drive in December. The credit union presented a check for $5,000 and delivered a busload of toys in a restored 1956 Chevrolet school bus.

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