Happy Fall! This week we enjoyed our monthly team outing, walking through the Metro Parks and assisting researchers by tagging Monarch butterflies to aid in monitoring and supporting their migratory journeys. How wonderful that we have this array of recreational sites to enjoy in so many ways and in so many places around our county. The Lorain County Metro Parks Endowment Fund was established over twenty years ago, ensuring the parks will be a supported part of Lorain County forever. We are indeed fortunate to have such wonderful community assets as the Metro Parks.
Another priceless community resource is our collection of libraries. In his recently published book “Palaces for the People” author Eric Klinenberg recognizes the value of public spaces such as parks and libraries, which improve civic life not just through books and fresh air, but by increasing engagement and thereby helping to fight inequality and polarization. The recent passing of Lorain native and iconic American author Toni Morrison has drawn many of us to local libraries, including the Toni Morrison reading room in the Lorain Public Library. The parks and libraries in our communities and neighborhoods continue to ground us and bring us together. Enjoying open spaces leads to some of the simple yet satisfying pleasures of neighbors waving and saying hello as we walk our dogs and ask seniors about their day. Parks, libraries, and neighborhoods yield wonderful opportunities to engage with many different backgrounds and perspectives.
Speaking of new perspectives, I want to publicly welcome Jamie Simoneau, our newest staff addition at your Community Foundation. Jamie will help make our programs and those we support through grants more impactful by engaging with programs and diving into program data to study, measure, evaluate, and improve program effectiveness and outcomes. We are delighted to have Jamie on the team.
I would like to draw your interest to our Hispanic Fund. It is one of our Affiliate Funds and is looking for new members. Please visit our website for the Hispanic Fund application if you would like to join the advisory board. The application serves as an invitation to join the next Hispanic Fund meeting on Wednesday evening, October 16th. Last year the Hispanic Fund distributed over twenty four thousand dollars in grants and scholarships to Lorain County nonprofit organizations that assist our community.
One other upcoming event is the Women’s Leadercast event on October 24th. Sponsored by the Women’s Fund, this event last year drew over 200 folks to this important community conversation. The event is a dynamic gathering where we will hear from four female healthcare executives serving Lorain County and a reminder to be proactive in our health awareness.
Finally, I want to remind you that we welcome your feedback. Our Role of the Board event a couple weeks back was attended by over 90 individuals representing 40-plus Lorain County nonprofit organizations. The purpose of the session was to share optimal strategies and best practices for Boards of Trustees at nonprofits. What other plans or events would you like to see from your Community Foundation for 2020? Please share with us any comments, suggestions, and feedback as we continue to develop ways to support all of our partners here in our community.