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WAF now accepting grant applications

WORTHINGTON -- Worthington Area Foundation (WAF) owes it roots to former Worthington mayor Robert J. Demuth Sr., who initiated it as an avenue for individuals or organizations to make contributions to the city through a unique foundation.

Twenty years later, WAF has established itself in the community, providing grants to various entities and supporting numerous causes.

"We like to give grants for special things that make Worthington special," said WAF secretary Beve Vajgrt of the purpose of WAF grants -- to kickstart or enhance areas unique to Worthington.

Grant monies awarded are from a percentage of interest gained from the Worthington Area Foundation Grant Endowment Fund. The remainder of the interest earned is reinvested to fuel further fund growth.

Applications for grants that address the areas of arts and humanities, environment, youth development, education, economic development and housing are given priority by board members in determining awards.

The foundation this year has $10,000 to be awarded, which is the most money that it has been able to disburse. WAF has given out more than $32,000 in grants since its inception in 1991.

Past grant recipients include Lake Okabena Improvement Association, Friends of the Auditorium, Independent School District 518 and Southwest Crisis Center.

WAF chairman Sharon Johnson stressed the importance of noting the difference between WAF and United Way.

"We're very much local and our program is to fund more one-time applications," she said.

WAF is currently on its annual grant cycle. Applications are available at the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, and the deadline for this year is Oct. 15. Grants will be awarded during Community Mixer, an event the foundation will be organizing in collaboration with the Chamber Nov. 21 at the Worthington Country Club.

For further information on grant applications, please call Beve Vajgrt, 376-5794

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