The community gathered on Feb. 13, 2013 to kick off the 22nd Harvest for Hunger campaign at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, one of the largest food and funds drives in the country. With the need for food now greater than ever before, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is encouraging community participation to help reach its local goal of $1 million for the 2013 campaign.
The energy in the room was contagious. Volunteers formed a line, and clapped for more than 100 community members walking in to the 85,000 sq. ft. warehouse to celebrate the beginning of Harvest for Hunger. The crowd was seated in a circle, and Dan Flowers, President and CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, stood in the middle motivating the audience to make this the most successful Harvest for Hunger campaign in history.
"Let's declare our hope and faith in the goodness that we can create," said Dan Flowers. "Let's
create more light and drive back more darkness because that's the kind of community we want
to live in— A community where our love for humanity compels us to act with unrelenting
goodness. That's what this campaign is. That what you represent."
A series of training seminars will help local nonprofits diversify their revenue streams and strengthen their fundraising plans in the new year. The six-month series will be offered at no charge through a partnership among Akron Community Foundation, Akron-Summit County Public Library, BVU: The Center for Nonprofit Excellence and the Foundation Center.
"Attendees will learn effective measurement tools for what works – and what doesn't – in donor development," said Laura Fink, director of development at Akron Community Foundation. "Part of the community foundation's mission is to help nonprofits do good forever through their endowment fund. This series will give all nonprofits the tools they need to become financially secure and continue their missions in perpetuity."
Monthly seminars begin in January at the main branch of the Akron-Summit County Public Library, where field experts will speak on subjects ranging from online grant resources to the basics of budgeting. Presenters include David Holmes, regional training coordinator for the Foundation Center; Dr. Suzanne Allen, president of Philanthropy Ohio; and representatives from local foundations.
Local social service organizations are provided the opportunity to distribute free admission buttons for First Night® Akron to their low income, elderly and disabled clients. Now in its 16th year, Downtown Akron Partnership's (DAP) Community Outreach Program provides a night of entertainment to residents who may not otherwise be able to afford a New Year's Eve celebration.
"First Night Community Outreach gives individuals and families faced with daily challenges, the opportunity to experience an evening of diverse arts entertainment," said Suzie Graham, DAP president.
First Night Akron is a New Year's Eve celebration unlike any other. This family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration of the arts brings the community together to experience music, theater, dance, and visual/interactive performances. The 17th annual event is Monday, Dec. 31 from 6 p.m. to midnight.
The Vernon L. Odom Fund of Akron Community Foundation is seeking grant proposals from local nonprofit organizations. Funding will support programs that promote racial harmony or improve the quality of life within Summit County's minority communities.
For more information or to receive a hard copy of the grant application, contact John Garofalo, vice president of community investment, at 330-436-5624. Or, to make a gift to the Vernon L. Odom Fund, visit www.akroncf.org/givenow.
With the delineation of the economic classes, it may be a safe bet to assume those in poverty rarely mingle with the wealthy, and that the middle class may or may not have contact with either. More times than not folks tend to socialize and do business with those of their own ilk. But thanks to "Bridges Out of Poverty" that's beginning to change.
Bridges is an initiative that brings together and educates businesses and organizations to help them better understand those in poverty and poverty itself. An employer, for example, would learn more valuable and desirable ways to communicate with and retain employees who may be on the lower end of the economic scale. The objective is to create a "Bridges Community," where folks from all walks of life work collaboratively to build a more secure, accepting and prosperous Summit County for all socioeconomic backgrounds.
The Akron Symphony Orchestra continues the Classics Series with Rhapsody in Blue, featuring popular favorites by American classical music masters Bernstein, Barber and Gershwin. Led by Maestro Christopher Wilkins and featuring a piano solo by Levi Hammer, Rhapsody in Blue takes place at 8 pm on Saturday, October 13th at The University of Akron’s EJ Thomas Performing Arts Hall.
“George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue is rightly considered a keystone of American music. Its marriage of popular and serious styles is by now part of the signature American sound,” said Maestro Wilkins. “Gershwin’s uncanny gift for combining unforgettable melodies and vibrant rhythms has made the work a modern icon. It will be a thrill for the audience to hear our own Levi Hammer perform it.”