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Thursday, Apr 25, 2019
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Community Foundation gives Family Y a forever gift

Thanks to a matching grant endowment from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, the Family Y at Big Bend Road has received a gift that will pay out forever.

“We wanted to help the YMCA but we typically don’t do brick and mortar (projects),” said Rick Rios, chairman of the foundation’s South Shore Council. “So what we decided to do was give a matching grant that will match dollar-for-dollar (the money being raised in the Y’s current capital building campaign) up to $100,000 to be used for educational programs for underprivileged children. It’s the first time the foundation has done this.”

By investing monies in the endowment, which is named for the Family Y at Big Bend, the South Shore area will benefit in perpetuity, Rios said.

The funds came from the Harold W. Corrigan Fund, a field of interest trust set up by its namesake before he died in 2005. Corrigan created the fund through a series of contributions he made while living in Sun City Center, and then fully funded it to a confidential, seven-figure sum at the time of his death. The former physical education teacher specified that grants from his fund had to specifically go toward leadership programs and educational initiatives.

“If I could change things,” he once said, “I would wish that the good things in life would be more abundant for all people.”

Cindy Sofarelli, senior group vice president for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, reached out to Rios and made a presentation to the foundation as to the types of programs the YMCA is currently doing, which could be offered at the Family Y at Big Bend Road, depending on the needs of the community. She was delighted when word came of the award.

“This grant is all about educational programs and character development and that’s a large part of what we do,” she said. “The Y is doing a lot to promote both.”

In addition to the wide array of physical activities the Y offers, it has programs to prepare kids for kindergarten, to help school-age children get to a third-grade reading level, to help teens develop foundational life skills and more.

“This incredible grant provides opportunities to folks in communities of need and ensures that all children have the chance to participate in our programs,” Sofarelli said. “It means we’re able to offer those opportunities to kids who may not have the home support they need or the financial resources.”

The YMCA grant is the largest ever given to a nonprofit group specifically benefiting the South Shore area but it is by no means the only one. During the 2014-15 fiscal year, its South Shore Council funds generated $850,000 in interest to be awarded in grants to local nonprofit groups promoting literacy in area elementary schools, helping seniors in Sun City Center, addressing women’s needs and benefiting the arts, animals and environment.

Anyone can contribute.

“You don’t have to have millions of dollars in order to invest in your community,” said Wilma Norton, the foundation’s director of marketing and communications. “You can donate any amount to more than 150 funds at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay that benefit local nonprofits or give to the foundation’s Community Impact Fund, which makes grants to meet pressing community needs.”

To see the list of those funds and make a donation, visit www.cftampa bay.org/donate.

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