OCCF Grants Program Accepting 2023 Applications

The Ottawa County Community Foundation (OCCF) is now accepting grant and scholarship applications for 2023-24. Last year, the Foundation provided more than $82,000 in grants to 35 local nonprofit organizations and more than $152,000 in scholarships to 121 deserving area students seeking further education.

“In this environment and economy, there is a greater need to help those who are struggling to make ends meet,” said OCCF Grants Chair Mary Coffee. “OCCF looks forward to partnering with our county nonprofit agencies in 2023, to address this need as well as others in our communities.”

The Foundation awards community grants in the fields of education, health and social services, economic development, natural resources, and the arts. Nonprofit organizations located in or serving Ottawa County are invited to submit a request for grant funding to support their unique needs.

Twin brothers, Cade and Connor McCarthy from Danbury High School, received multiple OCCF scholarships in 2022 – Coffin Memorial Scholarship, Doris E. Stamm Scholarship, and Blair Scholarship.

Julene Market shows off the new honeybee exhibit at Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center on Put-in-Bay. The educational display was created with the assistance of a grant from OCCF.

OCCF Community Grant applications will be accepted via the online application portal until the deadline of March 1, 2023. Alternatively, applicants may also download the guidelines and forms and submit a written application by mail. To access the application portal, as well as “Guidelines for Grant Seekers” and a training video, visit www.ottawaccf.org/grants.

In addition to grants, the Foundation also annually distributes scholarships to students interested in furthering their career and academic goals.
“We rely on the guidance department staff to help connect students with the many scholarships that are available to those seeking further education,” said OCCF Scholarship Chair Dave Slosser, who partners with local guidance counselors at each of the county high schools. Slosser adds, “Counselors are invaluable in helping us throughout the scholarship selection process.”

It is anticipated that more than 125 individual scholarships (ranging from $400 to $3,500) will be awarded in 2023. Each scholarship has its own set of unique requirements established by the fund donor’s wishes.  “It’s important for high school seniors to finish and submit their scholarship applications now to meet the March deadlines determined by their high school guidance department. Students are encouraged to work closely with their school guidance office,” said Slosser.

While the majority of OCCF scholarships are for graduating high school seniors, there are several scholarships available for non-traditional students, college students seeking to study abroad, and students at a specific college. The range of scholarships is available at www.ottawaccf.org/scholarships.
Questions about applying for OCCF grants or scholarships and/or establishing a fund may be directed to 419-635-7750 or ottawaccf “at” gmail.com. Interested parties may also visit the Foundation office, 306 Madison Street, Port Clinton, noon — 3 p.m., any Wednesday.

Serving all of Ottawa County, the Ottawa County Community Foundation is a public charitable organization created in 1999, by the citizens of its community, to improve the quality of life for those who live and work in the Ottawa County area. OCCF has distributed more than $6 million in community grants and scholarships since its establishment. Current assets are $12 million.

For more information, email ottawaccf “at” gmail.com, visit www.ottawaccf.org, or call 419-635-7750. The OCCF office, 306 Madison Street, Port Clinton, is open from noon—3pm, every Wednesday. Donations may be made online or sent to the Ottawa County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 36, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452.

OCCF Awards Grants; Presents Little Tiger Award

The Ottawa County Community Foundation (OCCF) awarded $79,350 in community grants and special awards at its annual Awards Presentation on June 15. Thirty-three local nonprofit organizations received funding in addition to the second annual presentation of the Joy Roth Little Tiger award.

“We are pleased to partner with these fine organizations to enable the remarkable services they provide to the people of Ottawa County. We congratulate them!” remarked OCCF Executive Director Shea McGrew.

The 2022 grant recipients honored include:

Arc of Ottawa County                                       Summer enrichment camp for students with disabilities

Cancer Services                                                Services and resources for cancer patients in Ottawa Co.

Catawba Island Historical Society                     Laser printer/portable sound system

Courageous Community Services                      Costs of camp for people with developmental disabilities

Cultivate the Clover of Ottawa County              Camp counselor expenses, supplies, training

Family & Child Abuse Prevention Center           50 Shades of Purple outdoor painted awareness mural

Firelands Symphony Orchestra                          Free concerts in Port Clinton and Marblehead

Friends of Ottawa County Parks                         Support projects to promote Catawba Islander Bike Trail

Goodwill Industries                                           Wellness program for employees with disabilities

Greater Port Clinton Area Arts Council             Construct beached fish for recycling bottles

Habitat for Humanity of Ottawa County           Home repairs and ramps for people in need

Jacob’s Joy                                                         Hospital care packages for those experiencing infant loss

Joyful Connections                                            Supplies to build and maintain a raised garden bed

Lake Erie Foundation                                        Interactive plastics and microplastics museum display

Lake Erie Islands Conservancy                          Great Lakes Island Alliance conference support

Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center       Supplies for nature camp – South Bass & Middle Bass Is.

Lakeside Heritage Society                                 Rehouse collections using preservation-quality materials

Light House Sober Living                                  Sober recreational activities and healthy living activities

Luther Home of Mercy                                      Disability-friendly book collection at Genoa Library

Marblehead Lighthouse Bicentennial Comm     Concerts as part of Bicentennial at the Lighthouse

Musical Art Series                                             Senior concerts and grandparents concerts

Oak Harbor Development Group                      “Oak Harbor Barkyard” – dog park materials

Oak House                                                        Create butterfly garden and expand existing garden

Ottawa Co. Ag. Society                                     Animal & Me Showmanship for youth with disabilities

Ottawa Co. Family Advocacy Center                 Expand community garden and construct fruit stand

Ottawa Co. Museum                                         Frame two prints and purchase printer

Ottawa Co. Transitional Housing                       Construct garden for Ruth Ann’s House families

Otterbein SeniorLife Marblehead                      Pickleball and shuffleboard courts and putting green

Port Clinton Firefighters Assoc.                         Thermal imaging camera for firefighters

Project Noelle                                                    Kids’ support group materials/training, clothing

PIB Chamber of Commerce & Tourism              Signage for new brand “An Everyday Island Getaway”

Salvation Army                                                   5-day overnight Camp NEOSA for 31 at-risk children

United Way in Ottawa County                           Dolly Parton Imagination Library for children 0-5 yrs.

Community Grant Award Recipients.  Click to enlarge.

Funding for these grants was made possible from earnings from several unrestricted Community Funds and Donor Advised Funds held by OCCF, including the Kenneth and Naomi Akins Family Fund, Bob and Grace Armbruster Fund, Beck Family Fund, Earl J. Johnson Fund, Jane Ellen Gulau Fund, Joseph and Eleanor Kokinda Fund, OCCF Fund, Lenore Peterson-Blackburn Fund, Dr. James I. and Priscilla Rhiel Fund, Paul H. Rofkar Fund, Harry Stensen Memorial Fund and Dave and Jeanne Thierwechter Fund.

Numerous 2022 donations also supported the community grants program assisting a variety of county efforts in the fields of health, safety, human services, education, the environment and the arts.

Kathy Barbee accepts the Joy Roth Little Tiger Award from Jeff Roth

In addition to distributing the annual community grant awards, OCCF presented the Little Tiger Award to Christy’s Corner Café in Elmore to honor the legacy of Joy Roth, founder and long-time President of OCCF. Joy passed away unexpectedly in July 2020, and the OCCF Board sought to establish a special recognition in her memory.

According to OCCF Past President Jan Preston, “Joy was an avid fan of the Auburn University Tigers football team, and she was known by her family and friends to be somewhat of a “little tiger” herself.  Thus, the Joy Roth Little Tiger Award was created to recognize similar champions who go above and beyond to give back to the community.”

Christy’s Corner Café helps pave the way to long-term employment through job training while inspiring a culture of acceptance and awareness within the community. Kathy Barbee, the founder of Engaging Opportunities Foundation which operates the café, accepted the award on behalf of the nonprofit organization.

“Joy loved to visit Christy’s Corner Café and wanted to see them succeed. We often would take a trip to Elmore for coffee or breakfast and to see how they were doing,” said Mr. Jeff Roth, Joy’s husband and the donor of the $500 cash award given to an honored nonprofit annually.

Established in 1999, Ottawa County Community Foundation is a public charitable organization created to enrich the quality of life throughout Ottawa County. With more than 100 funds and assets of more than $12 million, the Foundation provides annual community grants and scholarships, while offering philanthropic services for individuals, businesses and organizations.


First Responders, OCCF Support Lifesaving Training

In an emergency, saving a life may come down to understanding how. Thanks to a Port Clinton Firefighters Association grant from the Ottawa County Community Foundation (OCCF), and additional support through the Dr. Derrill Hablitzel Family Fund, first responders from Port Clinton Fire & Rescue are increasing the community’s lifesaving knowledge.

CPR – or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation – is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. In 2021, OCCF provided a grant utilized by Port Clinton Fire & Rescue to purchase top-quality CPR training equipment, including mannequins with electronic sensors used while instructing proper technique for administering chest compressions to a victim.

EMT Amber Ramos provides infant CPR training to OCCF Trustees Tina Hablitzel and Paul Druckenmiller.

“OCCF and the Hablitzel Family paid for all equipment and training needed to fund our American Heart Association program,” said EMS Captain Brian Gutman. “Since its inception in November 2021, we have certified 109 individuals in CPR. Our goal is to reach out to local businesses and groups to help saturate the community in bystander CPR training.”

According to the American Heart Association, in a single year, approximately 475,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest. CPR, especially if administered immediately after an incident, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. OCCF administrators and trustees recently experienced the impact of their own organization’s grant-giving during a CPR training session with Captain Gutman and fellow EMTs Amber Ramos, Rebekah Huskey and Jodie Brown.

Mary Coffee and John Madison learn the proper technique to do chest compressions during training by Port Clinton Fire & Rescue EMTs Amber Ramos (left) and Rebekah Huskey.

“The Hablitzel Family felt this was a very worthwhile project for all of Ottawa County,” said Tina Hablitzel, an OCCF Trustee who took the CPR training. “It was so rewarding to take part in this. The new interactive equipment actually gives you feedback to let you know you are doing the compressions correctly. This is a wonderful service our first responders offer to our community.”

Port Clinton Fire & Rescue answers emergency calls for fires, motor vehicle accidents, confined space rescues, high angle rescues, hazmat calls, ice rescues and water rescues, among others. Having already conducted several other CPR training sessions at the fire station, Captain Gutman indicated that first responders will offer the course to interested businesses and area senior centers. Going forward, the Port Clinton High School Senior Class will also be offered CPR training each year.

OCCF Executive Director Shea McGrew noted that OCCF gave more than $136,500 in community grants to organizations and community projects across the county, in 2021, and the recent CPR training was a rare opportunity to experience, firsthand, the power of OCCF’s grantmaking.

“We each came away with an important lifesaving skill, of course, but also with a lasting impression of the dedication of our first responders,” concluded McGrew. “It’s a fine example of an OCCF grant having a multiplier effect. This enables the delivery of a valuable service to increasing numbers of citizens … well into the future. May we continue to harness our collective efforts to touch the community in such meaningful ways.”

Groups interested in receiving CPR training may contact EMS Captain Brian Gutman, pcems@portclinton-oh.gov, or the fire station, 419-734-3430. Classes are held at the fire station, or training may also be conducted onsite at a business or organization. EMTs are certified to instruct CPR (adult, pediatric, infant), AED, First Aid, ACLS and PALS.

OCCF offers a variety of giving options for supporting the needs of the community and furthering its goal of Doing Good. Forever. For more information or to support future OCCF grant opportunities, visit ottawaccf.org, email ottawaccf@gmail.com, or call 419-635-7750Established in 1999, Ottawa County Community Foundation is a public charitable organization created to enrich the quality of life throughout Ottawa County. With more than 100 funds and assets of more than $12 million, the Foundation provides annual community grants and scholarships, while offering philanthropic services for individuals, businesses, and organizations.

Information: ottawaccf “at”gmail.com, www.ottawaccf.org, 419-635-7750
Office: 306 Madison Street, Port Clinton, open noon – 3 p.m., every Wednesday.
Donations: Make online with credit card or mail check to Ottawa County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 36, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452.

Ottawa County Health Department Hosts Upcoming Open House

Click to enlarge!

The Ottawa County Health Department is excited to announce we will be hosting an open house on May 18, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. We are located at 1856 E. Perry Street in Port Clinton, Ohio. All members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend. The event will feature tours from inside the Health Department, information about programs and services that are offered, and individuals will have the opportunity to ask questions and schedule appointments.

There will be raffle prizes, light refreshments, give-away items, and more. We are very excited for this opportunity to showcase all that we offer to our community, and hope to see you all in attendance.