Portage Foundation Awards $133,000 in Grants

The Board of Trustees of the Portage Foundation recently awarded over $133,000 in grants to 23 area non-profit organizations. The awards reflected the foundation’s key funding priority areas and included support to existing programs and newly started organizations.  

“The Portage Foundation began to award grants in 2000,” noted Janice Simmon-Mortimer, Executive Director, “and since that time the impact of our grants to the over 100 programs serving our residents has been exponential. Through services to the very young, the elderly, and all ages in between, the foundation continues to engage with organizations who are building a better future for our community.”  

Kamelia Fisher, Board President, added “The Portage Foundation is committed to serving the needs and priorities of Portage County. We are grateful to our donors who share the same goal.” 

Several grants were given to programs supporting educational programs for children. These programs included:  

  • Aurora Schools Foundation for the development of an adaptive playground at Leighton Elementary School, allowing for all children to play together 
  • Do It for James Foundation for sextortion prevention education for families and children throughout the area 
  • Family and Community Services (F&CS): King Kennedy Community Center for educational opportunities and after-school tutoring support  
  • Friends of Pierce Streetsboro Library toward the development of a StoryWalk Trail 
  • Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio to support financial literacy and entrepreneurial programming for Portage County students  
  • KSS Robotics to provide safe and engaging space for children to explore robotics  

Food insecurity impacts families and seniors throughout Portage County and organizations addressing those needs received grant awards:  

  • Aurora Community Relief for nutritional and educational support, and financial assistance for residents in norther Portage County  
  • Ben Curtis Foundation to address food insecurity of students through the Birdie Bag program in area schools  
  • F&CS: AxessPointe Community Health Centers for standing grocery carts for in-need individuals to assist in bringing items from pantry sites to their homes  

Grant awards for health programs responding to needs of community members of all ages included:  

  • Autism Society of Greater Akron for inclusive events for families living with developmental disabilities  
  • Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron to prevent injuries of infants and young children through distribution of babywearing devices to caregivers 
  • Maggie’s & M.O.R.E. to support the social and emotional development of differently-abled individuals through events and programs 
  • YMCA of Greater Cleveland towards securing volleyball equipment to further build capacity and health programs at the Garrettsville YMCA 

Human services were also supported through grant funding, including: 

  • F&CS: Freedom House to increase accessibility to the building for wounded veterans 
  • The Friends of CASA of Portage County for volunteer training and funds for youth direct services  
  • Hattie Larlham Foundation for safety training at the facility which provides residential and day care services to disabled individuals 
  • Hope Town, Inc. to support transportation needs for residents going through addiction recovery programs 
  • Hospice of the Western Reserve for in-home palliative care for Portage County residents  
  • Players Philanthropy Fund dba The Kolya Project to help resettle six Ukrainian war refugees in the Kent/Akron area 

Additional grant funds were given to support area arts programs, civic organizations, environmental, and economic development. These included:  

  • Haymaker Farmers’ Market for the Music at the Market concert series  
  • League of Women Voters of Kent to support voter education through printed voter guides in the General Election 
  • Portage Development Board to support the Stay and Grow workshops  
  • Western Reserve Land Conservancy for the protection and restoration of Portage Meadows Park 


The Portage Foundation awards grants once a year through a competitive application and review process. Contact the foundation at 330-470-8950 or visit their website at www.portagefoundation.org for information on contributing to or applying for a grant. The Portage Foundation has non-profit status as a 501(c) 3 organization, and gifts are tax deductible.