As our community continues to face a tight economy and shrinking budgets, the Daily Record has established this page that will each week chronicle the efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Bailey Publishing & Communications invites all members of the local nonprofit community to submit news, announcements, success stories and any other information they believe would be of interest to our readers. Email to: [email protected]. We encourage our readers to become more aware of the needs of these worthy organizations as they continue to provide much-needed services with reduced resources.
Bank of America grant to improve technology
Bank of America awarded a $12,000 grant to Communities In Schools of Jacksonville to support the organization's technology upgrade initiative.
The project will streamline the organization's communication process to better serve its students and families.
The grant will provide funds to install and support required licenses for a new computer server, which will improve communication and data collection.
Jon Heymann, organization CEO, said the grant could not have come at a better time for the organization as the state of its server often limits email capability and data accessibility.
"Our staff works from within 39 schools across Duval County, which makes communication and data collection especially vital components to our organization. Because of Bank of America's generosity, we will be able to better manage our programs, and in turn, serve our students and families more effectively," said Heymann.
Martha Barrett, Bank of America vice president of market development, said the grant is an investment in the longevity and success of Communities In Schools and its programs.
The organization operates dropout prevention programs. Established in 1989, the Jacksonville affiliate annually serves more than 6,400 students in 39 schools with mentoring, literacy, enrichment and afterschool programs.
Students raise funds for Dreams Come True
With the school year over, Dreams Come True reports more than 20 schools participated in the "Kids Helping Kids" program during the 2012-13 school year.
The schools raised $55,745 and sponsored the dreams of 23 local children battling life-threatening illnesses.
Kids Helping Kids is a signature program of Dreams Come True and brings together students and young people with dream recipients. Students raise money to sponsor the dream of a child who is battling a life-threatening illness.
Fundraising projects can include car washes, bake sales, dances, talent shows, coin collections and other activities.
After the events, all raised funds directly benefit the dream fulfillment.
Each group then hosts a "Celebration of Life" dream party, which provides an opportunity for the students to meet and spend time with their sponsored recipient.
Program students experience the satisfaction that comes from helping others and the dream child meets caring students who made his or her dream come true.
Schools, youth groups, clubs or any service or religious organization interested in participating or that would like information can contact Dreams Come True at (904) 296-3030.
Founded in 1984, Dreams Come True has made dreams a reality for more than 3,000 children in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.
The nonprofit directs all donations, unless otherwise specified, to the dreams of children battling life-threatening illnesses.
'Newsroom Street Fight' supports scholarships
The second annual Newsroom Street Fight took place June 15 at the Police Athletic League in Arlington. Jacksonville Magazine, Folio Weekly, University of North Florida's Spinnaker, WJCT Ch. 7, WOKV AM 690 and FM 104.5, WTEV Ch. 30/47, WTLV Ch. 12/25 and WJXT Ch. 4 competed in a double elimination dodgeball tournament.
Proceeds support the league's college scholarship fund. Five students were awarded a scholarship to be administered by the Florida State College Foundation through the Take Stock in Children Program.
This year's recipients are Nichole Countryman, Tony Paul, Jan Michael Rivera, Lamonta Prewitt and Lonnie Thomas.
WOKV came out on top and walked away with the "Golden Trident" award for winning the tournament, in addition to the "Most Money Raised" award for raising $1,027.
UNF Spinnaker came in 2nd place and won the "Best Anchorman Theme" award.
"After a hard-fought battle and a lot of sore muscles, the team from WOKV prevailed and was awarded the coveted Golden Trident. The true winners, however, were the five children who were awarded the scholarships. This scholarship pairs each child with a mentor through middle and high school to increase their chance at a successful transition to college," said league Executive Director Lt. Mathew Nemeth.
'Ride for Justice' this Saturday
The "Celebrate America Ride for Justice" is scheduled Saturday to benefit the Justice Coalition.
The ride will begin and end at Adamec Harley-Davidson at 8909 Baymeadows Road.
For the eighth year, riders will be led by Sheriff John Rutherford on a 50-mile route across Jacksonville's bridges and roads.
After the ride, participants will have lunch provided by Buffalo Wild Wings, Carrabba's Italian Grill and Panera Bread.
Registration is $20 per biker and $10 per passenger, with registration including a T-shirt and lunch. VIP registration is $50 and allows a passenger, special VIP seating and VIP ride placement.
Lunch tickets are available for $10 for non-riders.
The ride is limited to 750 riders.
All proceeds will benefit the Justice Coalition.
Participants can register by calling (904) 783-6312 or register online at justicecoalition.org.
Tickets also are available at all Adamec Harley-Davidson locations.
Jacksonville Humane Society competing for national grant
The Jacksonville Humane Society is seeking recent pet adopters to participate in the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rachel Ray $100K Challenge photo contest.
"I have long said that our animals belong on the pages of magazines," said Jennifer Broadhurst, Jacksonville Humane Society director of shelter operations.
The contest is open to those who adopt animals from June 1-July 15.
To participate, adopters should visit to aspca.org/100k and click on the photo-contest link, then submit a photo and a short caption to be entered for a chance to win a $5,000 grant award for the society.
Deadline for submissions is midnight July 15.
In 2013, The Jacksonville Humane Society has adopted out 371 animals, a 33 percent increase over the same period last year.
"Our goal is to find 2,013 animals homes this June, July and August. We are off to a wonderful start and are grateful for the support of the Jacksonville community." said Denise Deisler, Jacksonville Humane Society executive director.
More information about the Jacksonville Humane Society is available at jaxhumane.org.