Ariel Foundation is proud to support the people and projects whose missions are to improve the quality of life in the Mount Vernon, Ohio area. Click the panels below for more detailed information on some of the notable gifts the Foundation has given.
Enrichment Programs 2015
This is an umbrella grant that funds or partially funds four different enrichment programs for students in the five city and county school districts. The programs are the Speech Contest/Debate Contest, the All County Honors Band Concert, the Mentorship for Leadership Program and the Summer Institute Program.
The Debate (fall) teams and Speech (spring) teams from the city and county schools compete each year for all the county honors. These academic experiences provide good opportunities for high school students to compete against one another in the speech and debate arenas.
The All County Honors Band Concert held in April consists of 140 top-notch band students from middle schools and high schools in the city and county districts. The selected students spend time at their school practiciing in small groups with their band director, and also a 2 hour evening session for all. The final practice is held on the day of the concert with a guest conductor, culminating in an evening concert for the public free of charge at the Memorial Theater.
The Mentorship for Leaership program served 15 juniors and seniors in all five city and county schools with a mentorship program throughout the school year. Students worked 20 hours with mentors in the community at careers they were interested in pursuing along with 10 hours of seminars provided by the ESC.
The Summer Institute Program is a great experience to help students decide on future career choices. The program is held at Ohio Northern University, and it will help 29 gifted high school students in all of the city and county schools spend a week at college exploring career fields with other gifted students. This outstanding program includes an on campus experience with college classes which provides some with a clearer picture of their life direction and all with rich memories of their week at ONU.
Chase Your Dreams Operating Budget
Mary Poppins’ reminder to “Chase your dreams, you won’t regret it; anything can happen if you let it,” has become our theme for 2015. MTVarts is in its 9th year of chasing dreams and making them reality. The $5,000 grant received from The Ariel Foundation is an investment in making a good organization even better and will strengthen our infrastructure to ensure stability and sustainability.
The money will be applied to our general management and operating budget which funds our warehouse, community ticketing, resident theatre and partnership support, marketing, and strategic planning.
Our warehouse gives us that crucial element of a brick and mortar home-of-our-own. A unifying space where our volunteers network, our assets coalesce, our identity and brand can be cemented, and our community can physically see the vibrant growth of MTVarts and performing arts.
For MTVarts, 2015 will be a year of strategic planning. We are assessing our infrastructure, preparing a project plan for continued warehouse renovation, as well as planning programming. We are networking with our established resources, supporters, advisors, and community leaders as well as listening to our volunteers and audience to better fulfill our mission: We will inspire our community to dream, give them the courage to pursue those dreams, and instill the confidence that comes from acquiring the necessary skills to fulfill their dreams.
Ariel Engineering Education Scholarships
Mount Vernon Nazarene University is grateful for support from the Ariel Foundation in the launch of a new Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree, with concentrations in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. A grant from the Ariel Foundation provided seven scholarships for students enrolled in the program. To best serve the local, national, and international communities, MVNU is committed to addressing the recognized need for professionals in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). MVNU has built strong academic programs in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and information technology. To further enhance STEM programs, the University launched its engineering program.Engineering is a rewarding discipline with a variety of exciting occupational possibilities. It is also among the highest paying career fields. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Electrical Engineers earn a median salary of more than $84,000 and Mechanical Engineers earn more than $78,000. In fact, engineering median salaries are more than twice as much as the national average for all occupations (Source: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/).Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church.
Ariel Nurse Education Scholarships
The Ariel Foundation has generously supported Knox County residents by helping provide scholarships for local students pursuing a degree in nursing at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Two college juniors and three seniors are selected by a scholarship committee through a University application process each academic year. Mount Vernon Nazarene University offers a Bachelor of Science program with a nursing major. Students learn in a state-of-the-art Clinical Learning Laboratory and through classroom instruction and one-on-one mentoring withe expert faculty. A wide range of clinical practice opportunities completes the experience, as students gain exposure to a variety of health care organizations. MVNU is committed to the highest standards of excellence, integrating knowledge from natural and social sciences and the liberal arts with best practices in nursing science. Our integrated approach prepares graduates to meet the challenges in today’s rapidly changing health care environment.The nursing program continues to grow and scholarships like this one from the Ariel Foundation are vital in providing financial assistance to those wishing to change the world around them through the health care field. Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church.
Esther Buchwald Art & Design Scholarship
Every February, Mount Vernon Nazarene University Art and Design students compete for an Esther Buchwald Art and Design Scholarship and Awards. Faculty and staff members from the department gather to assess student portfolios; after careful review, the strongest portfolios from each class are identified, one from among fine art majors and one from graphic design. The winning students are each awarded a scholarship or award of between $1,250 and $5,000 for the following semester.These scholarships and awards are made possible by an annual $20,000 donation from the Ariel Foundation. The scholarships encourage art and design majors to excel in their studio practice at the Buchwald Center, MVNU’s beautiful downtown art and design facility. The Buchwald Center houses a graphic design lab as well as studio space for a variety of art medias, including painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and printmaking. Fine art majors begin their academic program with foundational courses in art history and in a range of medias in the studio. During their junior year, they focus their attention on a specific subject and prepare for their senior project. In their final year, each art student is given their own studio to complete their senior project. The project culminates with a student show in MVNU’s Schnormeier Gallery, a public exhibition space located in the Buchwald Center.Graphic design students choose either a visual art or communication track, and participate in a variety of design courses throughout their academic career. The courses teach students to communicate visual messages in a client or audience setting. Like fine art majors, design students complete a senior project that culminates with an exhibition in the Schnormeier Gallery.
Fast ForWord Intervention
St. Vincent De Paul School will implement a computer-based intervention strategy to support students’ reading, language, and listening skills. The Fast ForWard LANGUAGE series program develops listening accuracy, phonological awareness, and language structures. The program is designed to measure student progress in these three areas, enabling classroom teachers and intervention support staff to create appropriate intervention strategies for at-risk students in Kindergarten through Eighth grade. Grant money provided covers the licenses for student use and the expertise and monitoring of Speech Therapist Theresa Farnham.
5th Grade Transitions Outdoor School
In the fall of 2016, all fifth grade Mount Vernon City School students will enjoy a three day, two night outdoor transition program during the 2015-16 academic year in preparation for the students coming together as sixth graders the following year. The students will participate in experiential learning activities that will foster leadership and working together as our six elementary schools converge together at the Mount Vernon Middle School. Fifth and Sixth grade staff members from the Mount Vernon City Schools will work alongside the students in this important transitional piece.
The LUCAS chest compression system is designed to deliver uninterrupted compressions at a consistent rate and depth to facilitate the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). It is designed to deliver automated compressions from initial patient contact, through ambulance transport, and throughout hospital care. It truly can be a lifesaver.
2015 Swimming Lessons
The YMCA of Mount Vernon offers progressive swimming lessons to the Knox County community. Progressive swimming lessons allow swimmers to develop new skills at their own pace, while they become proficient at each new level. The YMCA of Mount Vernon serves the youth of our community in this critical lifesaving skill and in 2014, over 290 children took swimming lessons through the Y.
The YMCA swimming lessons program offers a variety of class groupings geared towards all ages and skill levels. These include: Shrimp and Perch(ages 6 months - 3 years), Pike, Eel, Ray and Starfish(ages 3 – 6), Polliwog, Guppy, Minnow, Fish and Flying Fish(ages 7 – 15).
Through the generous donation of the Ariel Foundation, the Y is able to hire, and train quality staff as well as purchase the necessary equipment to offer the best possible aquatics program for our community.
Central Ohio School of Youth Mime
Right Brain Productions is part of the “Arts” family of Knox County. We thrive on developing unique and different forms of artistic entertainment in the Knox County area. With the help of the Ariel Foundation, we were able to kick-off our 11th season of our School of Youth Mime summer program. The $2500 grant enabled us to cover the cost of lodging and the teaching skills of our professional mime instructor, Mr. Stephen Chipps. It is our goal to develop not only a local youth mime program but to eventually reestablish the national and international hub for adult mime workshops that once called Knox County their home. It is with a sincere thank you to the Ariel Foundation for their support in the local arts and our specific vision of unique cultural experiences for North Central Ohio.
Imagination Library Free Books for Knox County Kids
Every child must be prepared to start school on track for a lifetime of success. United Way’s Imagination Library Program is part of Knox County’s Early Learning Initiative. All children under the age of five are eligible to receive one free, developmentally appropriate book each month until they turn five and graduate from the program. Since the program began in 2010, more than 62,000 books have been mailed to the homes of Knox County children. Thanks to many local sponsors, including Ariel Foundation, approximately 1,600 children receive a book every month at no cost to parents. To register a child call United Way at 740.397.5721 or visit uwayknox.org.
SPI Continuing Support
The SPI Continuing Support Grant supports our space at 227 S. Main St. for its last year in that space before SPI moves to the Buckeye Candy building. SPI, the Science Play-Space Initiative, began four years ago and currently operates a discovery space, SPI Spot, where children ages 0-11 come with a caregiver to explore their world through free play with educational toys and scientific equipment. We are now open 5 days a week and feature a new science activity each week.
Our space supports community building with its informal atmosphere and repeat visitors who often come weekly or biweekly. In addition to free open house at every downtown First Friday event and winter Second Saturdays, we also make a presence other community events such as the Earth day Festival and the Dan Emmett festival.
In addition to normal open hours, we host field trips serving local preschools, daycares, playgroups, elementary schools, and adults. Our programming space next door is used for spring break activities such as NanoDays, larger field trips, and special events such as Pi Day, and summer camps. Additionally the Knox County 4-H Stem-Robotics club meets in that space.
In the summer SPI offers several summer camps including Camp Invention (at Twin Oak School), Lego and coding camps, as well as a Nature Camp in collaboration with Brown Family Environmental Center. In 2015 we offer weekly activities at Riverside and Hiawatha Park to complement the school districts free lunch program and the city parks program at Hiawatha. Our weekly activities this year are also offered at Ariel-Foundation Park one day a week, and are part of a weekly program at the Salvation Army summer camp and feeding program.
Boots and Bindings Club
Boots and Bindings Club members (formerly Club Ski) once again enjoyed a successful season playing in the snow. While over 100 memberships to Snow Trails were purchased through the club, 53 Mount Vernon Middle School and Mount Vernon High School students committed to traveling together seven times in January and February on a charter bus provided through Ariel Foundation. Over the last few years, the club has grown in popularity, and Ariel Foundation proves a key factor in that growing interest. Winter sports are a great way to engage students in activity and socialization; thank you Ariel Foundation for making that a possibility.
Small Box Truck Purchase
Interchurch Social Services has provided emergency assistance and a Christian presence to thousands in need in the Knox County area since 1968. With offices located in Centerburg, Danville, Fredericktown, and Mount Vernon, assistance is easily accessed and those wishing to make a contribution need look no further than their own community. Services include clothing assistance, food pantry, financial aid and financial literacy education, and Turn the Tide, a Christmas assistance program.
Throughout our history, we have depended on volunteers. We value their service and could not do all that we do without them. However, as we and the community have grown over the years, the number of trips made to pick-up donated food products from local vendors has increased. The purchase of a small box truck, with the support of The Ariel Foundation, has allowed us to hire a part-time pick-up and delivery person which has made it possible to consolidate trips and insure pick-up in a timely fashion. It has also allowed us to make trips to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank located in Grove City to pick-up additional fresh produce and other food to pass on to families using the pantry. These additions to our pantry staples have increased the nutritional value of the foods offered.
Interchurch Social Services - a Christian faith-based ministry, uniting community resources to meet the needs of those in crisis!
Step It Up 2015
What do rolling tool boxes, rear projectors, sewing machines, Ellipsoidal lights, nuts & bolts and propane heaters have in common? They are all part of a generous grant from Ariel Foundation to strengthen the mobile theater of Orange Barrel Production Company. Founded over 14 years ago, OBPC, a self-sustaining, non-profit theater group, provides family friendly theater and other programming to the tri-county area. With the awarding of the Step-It-Up grant, The Ariel Foundation has made it possible for Orange Barrel to ease the burden of our all volunteer cast and crew when creating our theater for performances. By enhancing our lighting and backdrop options, we are now able to offer our patrons a more rewarding theatrical experience that they are not soon to forgot. We are blessed to have the Ariel Corporation and Foundation in our community. Thank you…thank you for your support.
Jacket Football Big Brothers Little Brothers
Senior players from the 2015 Mount Vernon High School football team participated in a mentorship program called Big Brothers/Little Brothers. Fifteen senior athletes were paired with sixth grade boys who needed extra support to achieve success on the middle school level. The heart of the program took place each week when the seniors visited the sixth graders during the school day to engage in conversation about struggles and successes. Additionally, the little brothers were introduced in a matching jersey before a home game and participated in a team meal mid-way through the season. Snow Trails in Mansfield played host for the culminating activity where all participants enjoyed an afternoon of tubing, food, and fellowship. Hopefully all invested were able to embrace the philosophy behind the program: Looking beyond ourselves and our own experience will make us better people. However, looking to seek opportunities of service and following through with commitment will make us a better community.
Summer Music Garden
This year is the fourth year of the Summer Music Garden Concert Series. Located in the Children’s Garden at the Knox County Career Center, these events include music and activities for all ages. Held in the beautifully landscaped Children’s Garden, attendees are encouraged to enjoy the outdoors and nature, have a picnic, and listen to live music. This year’s concerts will occur on three Sundays - June 26, July 24 and August 21 - and run from 4-6 pm. Also included is a science activity presented by SPI, the Science Play-space Initiative, and this year we are partnering with MTV Arts and previewing the summer musical at the June 26 concert.
Restoration of the Former Hannah Browning Home
The Restoration of the Former Hannah Browning Home grant is helping to preserve one of Mount Vernon’s beautiful pre-Civil War buildings. The home was purchased in the 1860’s by Henry L. Curtis from its original owner. Henry L. was the son of a very wealthy lawyer and businessman Henry B. Curtis. Most of the home’s elaborate features date from Henry L.’s ownership.
In 1906 the building was called the Home for the Aged. Hannah J. Browning, born February 10, 1838, was instrumental in its founding and served as matron for the first two years after the home was established. She was a kind and generous woman with a mission to serve others. The sole purpose of the Home for the Aged, later named the Hannah Browning Home was to shelter and care for elderly women who had no families and no means of support. We can only imagine the love that filled the many rooms of this special home.
Christian Star Academy, established in 1981, purchased the building as its second home on July 3, 1996, after the last resident of the Hannah Browning Home was transferred to another facility. The building was in dire need of repairs and updating. With the help of many dedicated volunteers, the rooms of this special home were once again filled with love and laughter. This time it is of children growing academically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
It is the desire of the staff, students, parents, and Board of CSA to continue to restore and maintain this bit of history for many more years to come and to prevent yet another Mount Vernon historical building from being torn down. The former Hannah Browning Home is a most important part of the area’s cultural fabric.
MVHS Robotics Club/Techno Jackets
The 20152016 MVHS robotics team saw its first state tournament placement. Students designed and built highpowered metallic robots to compete against teams from across the state in a simulated disaster response scenario. About 20 students throughout the fall and winter were excited to come back to school at 7:30 at night to build and program their robots.
The MVHS team competes in the “FIRST Tech Challenge” league, which features a different engineering challenge for students to overcome each
year. This year’s challenge involved clearing an area of debris, rescuing stranded climbers, and ascending a simulated mountain. In previous years,
funding has been a major limiting factor in accomplishing the more rigorous challenges offered. This year we have been able to make our most
complex robots yet due to Ariel Foundation’s generous donation.
One of the hallmarks of the FIRST Tech Challenge program is student mentoring by engineers. Through regular contact with those who design and
create real world devices, students can see a direct path forward into an engineering career. We have had several students in the past chose to go
into engineering, and our current students are the most excited about the field that we have ever seen.
Enhancements for Camp Hope, We Honor Veterans, Bereavement Services, and Bereavement education programs
Hospice of Knox County (HKC) is a non-profit organization that has provided hospice and bereavement services to Mount Vernon and Knox County for over 30 years. In addition to providing outstanding hospice care and comfort to patients, HKC offers a variety of programs and services to hospice families and all members of our community. This enhancement grant funds or partially funds these programs and services.
Camp Hope is a four-day camp for children and teens who have experienced the death of a loved one. One of the enhancements provided by the grant will provide more scholarships to children in need so they may attend the camp. The grant also allows us to take the campers to the Columbus Zoo as a special event after the camp ends.
The We Honor Veterans program pays tribute to veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. The grant money will be used to build a volunteer training program to enhance the community pinning ceremonies in which local veterans are thanked and honored.
HKC offers Bereavement Service to people of all ages in the community in need of our specialized bereavement services. The grant is helping us expand our resources for those that attend any of our specialized groups. It will also enhance the arts and crafts projects that we provide for the children and young teen groups.
Bereavement Education is an enhancement grant that will allow members of our Bereavement Team to attend a four-day specialized training at The Center for Loss and Life Transition with Dr. Alan Wolfet in Colorado. Staff members attending the training will receive certificates of completion from Colorado State University, Division of Outreach.
The entire staff at Hospice of Knox Count is honored to be able to share these enhancements with our friends and neighbors in the community.
Knox Learning Center West Side School Project
The Knox Learning Center is a school for students with special needs located at 900 West Vine Street in Mount Vernon, operated by the Knox Educational Service Center. Because all costs associated with the Knox Learning Center are shared on a per-pupil basis by the participating school districts, and because facility restoration costs are outside the capacity of school district resources, the Ariel Foundation is one of several community partners committed to ensuring a safe and cheerful leaning environment in this historic 100-year-old building.
Knox County Courthouse Security Improvements
The Knox County Courthouse Security Improvement Grant enabled the Knox County Commissioners to replace 10 security cameras and walk-through metal detector located in the Knox County Courthouse. This equipment provides much needed security at the Courthouse for both the employees the general public. The Knox County Commissioners sincerely thank the Ariel Foundation for their support of local government projects.
Red Cross FAST (First Aid Service Team)
The American Red Cross Knox County FAST team is comprised of community volunteers who provide first aid stations at public events throughout the county. Volunteers trained in CPR/AED and First Aid skills provide immediate first aid coverage and intermediate care in the event of an emergency requiring EMS response. FAST teams do not provide advanced medical care or patient transport to hospitals. The American Red Cross FAST Team supports events such as Knox County Fair, Dan Emmett Festival, The Tomato Show, Park After Dark, and others throughout the year.
“It’s reassuring to know Red Cross is there for us when my family goes to the County Fair just in case something was to happen.” - Evan D.
KCCC Preschool Playground Renovation
On May 20, 2016, the Knox County Career Center Children's Garden dedicated their new playground. This project was made possible by the generous donations from Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County, Ariel Foundation, and the Richard I. and Arlene J. Landers Foundation. The new equipment will provide a fun, safe environment for the preschool children to play. Without the generous donations from these organizations, this project could not have been completed.
The Main Place is a consumer operated mental health recovery center located in downtown Mt. Vernon that serves over 250 adults per year in Knox County who experience severe and persistent mental illness. Our consumers are members of the organization and are offered self-help recovery opportunities such as peer support, staff and consumer led group meetings, wellness activities, behavioral health counseling, mental health assessment, case management, and housing supportive services. As a consumer operated service, mental health consumers are also active in the operation of the agency at all levels of the organization, whether as a volunteer, an employee, or a Board of Directors member. The agency plays a vital role in the community to help those who experience severe and persistent mental illness build meaningful lives despite the continued presence of their illness.
St. Vincent de Paul School Addition
St. Vincent de Paul School was able to build a school office to support preschool through eighth grade students’ and staff’s safety and security. The ground floor construction allows St. Vincent de Paul School office staff and administration the chance to view and greet all visitors to the school before allowing entry. A small lobby between the main entry and school entry allows for ease of deliveries and other outside guests without risk of direct exposure to students. Guest and visitor entries and exits are able to be logged and tracked by office staff to ensure an accurate accounting of building occupation. A central entry that includes administrative offices in close proximity is also ideal for law enforcement and other emergency responders seeking to disperse information and communication throughout the school in emergency situations. Grant money provided covers the office construction including security technology.
The Buchwald Family Scholarship
In partnership with The Ohio State University, The Ariel Foundation has established The Buchwald Family Endowed Scholarship Fund available to students from Knox County, Ohio or graduates of a high school in Knox County, Ohio. To be eligible, students must have a minimum 2.5 grade point average and demonstrate financial need. It is Ariel Foundation’s intent to provide scholarships that are at least one-fourth the cost of tuition, to support the pursuit of higher education at The Ohio State University campuses.
Your Family. Your Health. Your Hospital.
The Foundation for Knox Community Hospital is pleased to announce that we exceeded our goal for 2015 and are well on our way toward the 2-year goal of raising $1,000,000 by the end of 2016. With this campaign, The Foundation will underwrite the purchase of two new pieces of breast imaging equipment for KCH’s Center for Cancer Care and solidify its position as a regional leader in detecting, diagnosing and treating breast cancer. The first piece of equipment, a digital 3D mammography unit, was purchased with funds raised in 2015 and was installed earlier this year. Thank you to the more than 400 individuals and corporations who donated to The Foundation in 2015!
2015 Annual Campaign
In 2015, the YMCA of Mount Vernon was able to grant over 197 scholarships totaling just under $50,000. This program makes a positive impact on over 400 individuals as the majority of the scholarships that are awarded are done so in the family category. We also offer assistance with our programs so that community members can afford to send their children to program such as preschool without significant financial burden. The YMCA of Mount Vernon never turns anyone away due to an inability to pay so offering financial assistance to those in need is critical to our cause of strengthening the community. We would like to thank the Ariel Foundation for their generous ongoing support of this Annual Campaign and for their direct involvement in positively impacting the lives of Knox County residents.
Knox County Memorial Building Accessibility Improvements
The Knox County Memorial Building Accessibility Improvements enabled the Knox County Commissioners to complete handicap accessibility improvements to the historic Knox County Memorial Theater. The Improvements included the installation of an elevator to provide handicap accessibility to all floors of the building. In addition, handicap restrooms were installed or existing restrooms remodeled to allow for handicap accessibility. The Knox County Commissioners thank the Ariel Foundation for their support of this important local government project.
The Knox County Service Center Security Upgrades enabled the Knox County Commissioners to complete the first-year of a five-year improvement plan relative to building security at the Knox County Service Center. The funds were used to purchase a new ID card system, installation of exterior and interior access control points and cameras. The Knox County Commissioners appreciates the Ariel Foundation for their support of this five-year local government project.
Sugar Street Parking Lot Annex
Through the support of the Ariel Foundation, the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County was able to finish its Sugar Street Parking Lot Annex Project and turn a safety hazard and community eyesore into a beautiful, functioning space that also provided additional parking for staff and patrons at our main library. By removing a neighborhood “flop house”, vandalism and other illegal activities in the neighborhood have significantly decreased, while the new parking lot project has brought safe, level sidewalks and a view of the beautifully restored historical brick home hidden next door to the new lot. The new space is used by staff to free up parking spaces in our main lot for patrons to use during library hours and by the public after hours when community events are held within walking distance to Main Street and downtown. Other plans for the new lot include using it as the site of a special community outdoor event in August 2016 in honor of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Knox County Chamber of Commerce.
South Gay Street Mural
In the summer of 2015, the Mount Vernon Mural Committee transformed the east side of the Flowers For You building with a representation of Main Street circa 1910. Local artist, David Stowell, spent about a month prepping, projecting, tracing and painting the final design. Mr. Stowell spent a few weeks preparing the building by patching holes and applying a base layer. He then enlarged a photograph and projected it onto the side of the building in 20 pieces and traced the major outlines. The projector showed up best at night so he often worked late into the evening. He then filled in the details by hand drawing before applying the final details with paint, including a streetcar that used to run down Main Street. Mr. Stowell used a technique called trompe l'oeil to make the 2 dimensional wall appear like a 3 dimensional object. Also, the viewer's eye is drawn in to the picture by the perpendicular nature of Main Street which provides more depth and perspective. To truly appreciate the detail and artist technique, the mural is best viewed from across Gay Street. The Mural Committee and Ariel Foundation are excited to bring such a historical and artistically significant addition to downtown Mount Vernon.
Main Street Christmas Light Update
Heritage Centre Association began a Christmas lighting project to support the beautification of downtown Mount Vernon. This year we wanted to support our Annual Christmas Walk with décor befitting our historic and beautiful downtown. Lights were chosen and baskets were designed. Tru Cut Landscaping’s Andy Durbin with the help of Drew Schwamburger lit our trees. Lori Amstutz of Williams Flowers designed lighted hanging baskets that fit on our street lamp fixtures. Our goal was to beautify downtown and the chorus of awestruck gasps as the lights came on in concert during the Christmas walk event was the confirmation that we had the impact we had hoped. Our holiday lighting project welcomed guests to our downtown and greeted our familiar friends with a spark of joy. This was an amazing project we are thankful to have partnered with Ariel Foundation to make it happen.
Snow Removal Grant
The downtown area has many concerns in the winter. One particular concern that is integral to businesses and their consumers is clear sidewalks. This is an issue of providing safe streets and walking areas for the people who live, work, and play in the heart of our city. A safe sidewalk is both necessary and beneficial to everyone who comes to our downtown. The Heritage Centre Association partnered with Tru Cut to create a snow and ice removal area that encompassed the central business district. This benefited our downtown financially as well as promoted the downtown as a place that is welcoming, safe, and convenient. Tru Cut's strategy last year included removal of snow after 2 inches of snowfall, working before 8:30 am to have sidewalks ready for business hours Monday through Saturday, and working with the City of Mount Vernon for removal of excess snow.
Mount Vernon and Ancient Rome: An Intersection of Civilizations
In colonial education, our forefathers took cultural comparisons of Ancient Rome structure and modern Mount Vernon. A class of 19 Latin students were able to do the same thing in June of 2015. These students traveled to Rome, Italy and were able to compare ancient architecture with our own colonial town. Some of the comparisons were Circus Maximus and the Mount Vernon High School Stadium, Temple in Rome with a local church, Roman Forum with the Farmer's Market on the Mount Vernon Square, the Colosseum with the Mount Vernon YMCA. This bridge to the past bring relevancy to colonial cities in the United States.
A grant for Camp Invention- Knox County Ohio subsidized the national 2015 Camp Invention program themed “Illuminate TM” that was held locally at Twin Oak School for the third year. The camp was directed and run by local teachers, and served 65 children from all over Knox County who attended the week long full day camp. “Illuminate TM” was developed by experienced educators, Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and members of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. IlluminateTM encouraged children to explore their inventiveness and problem solving skills with experiences that harness their curiosity, inspire creativity and evoke a sense of accomplishment. Children had a chance to imagine, tinker and invent prototypes that they can took home with them. The IlluminateTM curriculum features five energetic and fun-filled modules that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities, empowering creative thinkers and further inspiring them to innovate and solve problems.
The YMCA of Mount Vernon is pleased to announce the completion of our Childcare room renovation. This substantial renovation was made possible through the generosity of the Ariel Foundation. In early June of 2016, Modern Builders began a renovation in this area that would bring 30% more space for the children as well as a private bathroom. Also, included within the project were ceiling, lighting and flooring upgrades. This room has a service capacity of 16 full time participants ages 3 to 5 years. This $64,000 renovation also attached a new donor through a Department of Job and Family Services grant. This grant allowed our organization to add an additional $6,000 worth of programming equipment and furniture to the space. Most importantly our kids now have a space that is larger, safer, and this allows us to put the focus where it should be: on them.