Rotary Heritage Fund needs donations to restore matching grants
NEW PHILADELPHIA – With the community emerging from 15-months of pandemic restrictions, the leadership of the Rotary Heritage Fund is looking to jump-start fundraising efforts and resume matching grants to upgrade the face of downtown New Philadelphia.
The Heritage Fund was created in 2015 by the Rotary Club of New Philadelphia as a nonprofit organization to receive donations and make matching grants to downtown property owners who were improving the outside appearance of their buildings.
Rick Pipes, a founder and board member of the Heritage Fund, says their largest fundraiser, the Classic Film Festival at the Quaker Theater, was canceled the past two years when the theater was closed by the pandemic.
“The film festival was our major fundraising event,” Pipes said. “Missing that opportunity for the past two years means our funding ability has been depleted and needs an influx of new donations to restore our momentum.”
Pipes said the Heritage Fund was created after the Rotary Club of New Philadelphia helped fund the restoration of the Quaker Theater marquee in 2014.
“That was a huge success and helped us all to see the possibility of matching grants to help other business owners make similar investments in their downtown properties,” Pipes said.
Since then, the Rotary Heritage Fund has made 12 matching grants to a variety of downtown New Philadelphia businesses totaling $44,818. Two more grants are awaiting final approval by the Heritage Fund board.
“The Heritage Fund makes grants specifically for facades of buildings,” Pipes said. “It’s not for major construction or inside improvements. If we can raise the funds, we will do as much as we can, within reason.
“We’re proud to have been a part of some beautiful downtown area improvements such as Coffman Optical, the Tuscarawas County Visitors and Convention Bureau, Alley Cats, Miller Clothing and McCleery Law Firm, just to name a few. But for us to continue, the Heritage Fund needs financial support in the form of donations to make up for the loss of our last two big fundraisers.”
For information about making a donation or to apply for a matching grant, contact Rick Pipes at Pipes Insurance, 330-339-6413 or Heritage Fund board member Dee Grossman at the Visitors and Convention Bureau, 330-602-2420.
The Rotary Heritage Fund is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization.