Youth programs get $200,000 boost from the Portage Foundation

The Portage Foundation has awarded more than $200,000 in grant money to local nonprofits that support programs for area youth.

The grants, announced by the foundation’s board of trustees Feb. 2, stem from a special grant cycle from the George L. and Genevieve D. Moore Trust at the foundation.

Recipients of the grants include a pair of local food pantries, the Aurora Community Relief Program and Crestwood 4Cs; youth recreational programs, such as Girls on the Run and Great Lakes Council of Boy Scouts of America; and a nature organization, the Moebius Nature Center.

Area youth arts programs, including the Aurora Community Theater, Crestwood Band Boosters, Main Street Ravenna’s Winter Writing Festival, and Standing Rock Cultural Arts, also received funding for their children’s programs.

The foundation also awarded grants to programs working with at-risk youth and families, including those supporting foster children and early childhood literacy.

“This is a significant investment into the programs that directly impact area children,” Portage Foundation Executive Director Scott Taylor said in a statement. “We were thrilled with the number of organizations that submitted applications, which included some who have worked with the foundation previously and many who submitted grants for the first time. Each is doing great work on a very local level to build and support youth in our community.

“Working closely with the advisors to the Moore Trust, distributing at this level allowed the opportunity to make a transformative difference to our area, with reverberations that we hope will be evident for years to come.”

The Moore family, which lived on a farm on Bissell Road in Aurora, was well known within the Aurora area for its support of educational programs, particularly those related to youth and nature.

“George and Genevieve Moore believed in hard work and community,” Portage Foundation Grants Committee Chair Angela DeJulius said. “They created their fund with the hopes of supporting local organizations connecting with local youth while also valuing self-sufficiency and effort. The programs selected for awards reflect the Moores’ mission when they created their trust.”

The Portage Foundation was created 25 years ago to oversee funds endowed through donations from individuals and organizations. The foundation has more than $8 million in assets under management and regularly awards over $100,000 in grants and $40,000 in scholarships annually.

The foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the Thrive at 25! Raffle. Tickets for the raffle cost $25 and can be purchased via the foundation’s website,, or at the foundation’s office at 6693 N. Chestnut St., Ste. 268-B, in Ravenna.

Additional information about the Portage Foundation, including current scholarship applications, future grant cycles and how to start an endowed fund, can also be found on the website.

+ posts

Tom Hardesty is a Portager sports columnist. He was formerly assistant sports editor at the Record-Courier and author of the book Glimpses of Heaven.