Centre Outdoors gets $100,000 Centre Inspires Grant

BELLEFONTE — With a packed room of the community’s top philanthropists, Centre Foundation announced the $100,000 Centre Inspires grant recipient this year as Centre Outdoors, proposed by ClearWater Conservancy.

“This year, the Centre Inspires granting cycle was focused on community engagement through the environment around us,” explained Molly Kunkel, executive director at Centre Foundation. “This program encourages collaboration among different sectors in Centre County in an effort to transform an element of our area.”

Centre Outdoors will launch summer 2017 with the Centre Outdoors Challenge, a family fitness challenge promoting exploration at eight destinations in each region of the county.

Another component will be the Prescription PaRx program, in partnership with the Mount Nittany Health system and the Centre Moves program, in which physicians write scripts for “time outdoors” at some of the eight exploration destinations.

“Centre Outdoors is designed to engage people in our natural world through guided family-friendly outings at some of Centre County’s most beautiful destinations,” said Deb Nardone, executive director of ClearWater Conser-vancy. “This collaborative effort with the Mount Nittany Health System, Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, Penn’s Valley Conservation Association, Mount Nittany Conser-vancy and Millbrook Marsh Nature Center is a triple win for our community — promoting a healthier community and environment while strengthening the impact of local non-profits.”

On hand to congratulate ClearWater Conservancy was last year’s grant recipient, “Food Centres.” Located in Spring Mills, the Food Centre is a shipping container that has been retrofitted with refrigeration units to provide increased storage capacity for fresh produce to share with neighbors in need. To date, the Food Centre has been able to provide 4,500 pounds of free, fresh produce to local families by working with food pantries throughout Centre County.

In addition to providing fresh and nutritional produce, the Food Centre has also hosted educational events that teach children and families how to incorporate whole foods into their diets with fun and flavorful recipes. Many volunteers have helped make Food Centres a successful program, from painting the structure to building and planting the raised beds, gleaning the bountiful harvests and distributing the produce across the county.

Another strong supporter of Centre County was recognized last night with Centre Foundation’s annual Oak Tree Award. This year’s award was presented to Richard and Sally Kalin, long-time residents of State College who are committed to the borough’s long-term success and have a history of great philanthropy.

In addition to their engagement with Centre Foundation, they have both served on many local boards and been active in many local projects.  They are particular fans of libraries, both Schlow and Penn State’s, and have been generous with both their time and gifts to make sure area libraries thrive.

They have also been very generous in their support of local arts programs, as well as programs that support State College such as the Downtown Improvement District and various borough committees.

The evening also featured remarks from Michael DelGrosso, a local philanthropist and vice president of Global Sales and Marketing for DelGrosso Foods. He shared with the audience how his family has been able to make a philanthropic impact in the community through the success of their pasta sauces, which are manufactured in Tipton. He also emphasized the importance of using fresh ingredients instead of dehydrated ones, whole tomatoes instead of tomato paste, and removing additives, preservatives, and additional sugars.

“Michael and his family understand the importance of fresh ingredients, which underscores what the Food Centres program has been doing all year,” noted Kunkel.

More than 200 community members attended the dinner, which is thrown each year in appreciation of donors who have utilized Centre Foundation as a way to make an impact in the area by establishing non-profit organizational endowment funds.

Donors can also be engaged and make an impact through the Foundation’s Giving Circle, Centre Gives, Centre PACT (Philanthropic Actions Created by Teens), or by joining the Campbell Legacy Society for future gifts.

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For more information or to get involved with Centre Foundation, contact Irene Miller at irene@centre-foundation.org or 814-237-6229.

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