Womens Giving Fund announces 2016 grant recipient | ParkRecord.com

Womens Giving Fund announces 2016 grant recipient

Grace Schulz

Park Record Intern

Representatives from the Summit County Childrens Justice Center receive the Womens Giving Fund grant for 2016. Pictured left to right: Susan Richer, Harry Kirschner, Christina Sally, Kacey Bates, Melissa McKain, Amy Meisner, Kimberley Labertew.
(Photo by Jon Scarlet)

The Park City Women’s Giving Fund awarded its second annual high impact grant to the Summit County Children’s Justice Center on Tuesday night.

In a celebration at the Silver Lake Lodge in Deer Valley, leaders of the group, which is part of the Park City Community Foundation, announced the Children’s Justice Center would receive a $30,000 grant to help fund upgrades to its center and provide more services for victims of child abuse. Director Melissa McKain said the grant comes at a critical time for the center, after its caseload doubled last year.

“I am just thrilled that we are going to implement some of these programs that we absolutely need right away,” she said. “As a non-profit we are still in our infancy stage so for us to receive this grant, it’s really going to change the way we provide service immediately and it’s going to impact us greatly.”

The Summit County Children’s Justice Center opened its doors in 2012 as a one-stop location for victims of child abuse and their families to get the services they need.

McKain said the center will be using the grant to sound-proof its interview rooms to provide more victim privacy, apply for accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance and hire an on-location Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner so victims do not have to travel to Salt Lake.

“The whole idea behind the center is that it is supposed to be a comfortable place, that children, when they walk through the door, they see toys, they see that it’s an inviting environment, that it’s not a clinical setting, they feel comfortable right away and that hopefully we can get to the bottom of what happened to them,” she said.

The Children’s Justice Center was one of three local nonprofit organizations chosen as finalists for the award, along with Peace House and Holy Cross Ministries. According to Park City Community Foundation Programs Director Ollie Wilder, 12 nonprofits applied for the grant, all of whom were aimed at benefiting women and/or children in Summit County.

Of those, six were selected by the nine-member Women’s Giving Fund Grant Committee for site visits. The committee chose the three finalists and then opened the voting to all Women’s Giving Fund members.

Before revealing the winner, Giving Fund Co-Chair and Grant Committee Member Susan Richer said there was no bad choice.

“I know that whoever receives this grant money will make a significant impact in our community,” she said. They will touch the lives of women and children in our community, and I know it will happen. I don’t hope it will happen, I know it will.”

The grant for this year was expected to be $25,000, but Wilder said a group of Giving Fund members who wanted to boost the total initiated an additional $10,000 matching-grant challenge.

“This celebration that we are having tonight and the announcement of the grant is a great way to remind the members of the Women’s Giving Fund what a great thing they did by joining this and how they’ve created this permanent fund that every year will allow us to make a high impact grant of this kind to benefit women and/or children,” Wilder said.

The Women’s Giving Fund was established in 2014 with the intention of creating a sustainable financial resource to benefit women and children in Summit County. The inaugural campaign sought to raise 1,000 donations of $1,000 each in order to create a $1 million endowment.

The group has now grown to over 1,200 members and Richer said Summit County is fortunate to have the fund.

“I think it is one of the greatest things this community has to offer and we are blessed in this community to have so many people who are willing to see a need and reach out, both in their time and their money, to make a greater impact,” she said.

The Park City Community Foundation is located at 1690 Sidewinder Drive and more information can be found at http://parkcitycf.org/.

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