Bexley will soon have a citizen police academy, a honeybee farm, a Kids Fit and Fun Expo, the Youth Triathlon and large banners that will promote such events -- all thanks to grants from the Bexley Community Foundation.
This month, the foundation awarded two small grants totaling $9,450 and three Youth and Recreation Fund grants totaling $8,613.
"We see all the projects that were chosen as something that can really contribute to the good of the community in very different ways in years to come," said Judy Brachman, the foundation's program and grants committee chairwoman. "We are always looking for something that will provide an extra benefit for the community beyond what is either ongoing or is something that takes us an extra step upward."
The Bexley Police Department will use its $5,000 grant to host a citizen police academy that invites a select number of pre-screened residents to discover the inner workings of the department and what a day in the life of a police officer is really like.
"We're really excited about this one because the police feel very strongly that it's important for a group of select citizens to be educated in what they do," Brachman said. "Since the technology at the department has changed so much in recent years and so often, what people think they know about police methods are not up to date; this is an opportunity to show citizens exactly what the police do and have hands-on experience."
The foundation's second small grant was awarded jointly to the city Recreation and Parks department and the Bexley Celebrations Association in the amount of $4,450. That money will be used to design and print banners that will be displayed at places such as City Hall, Drexel Circle and Jeffrey Mansion.
The 10-by-5-foot banners will promote 22 different community events throughout the year, including Fourth of July festivities, the Harvest Festival, Shop Hop and the annual Christmas tree lighting. The city has banners to promote events, but Mayor Ben Kessler said they are worn and in need of replacing.
"Even with all the emphasis we place on web communications such as Bexley Blast, one of the most effective forms of communication we have is visual and it's important for us that we have large communication pieces like this," he said.
Because the foundation could award only two small grants, Brachman said some of the applications were considered by the foundation's Youth and Recreation Fund committee.
Those grants were awarded to the Bexley Health and Wellness Committee, which will use its funds to host the Bexley Kids Fit and Fun Expo and to the Bexley Recreation and Parks Department so it can hold a Bexley Youth Triathlon on Aug. 17.
Another youth grant was awarded to Cub Scout Pack 166 to establish five beehives at the Bexley Community Garden. The bees will pollinate the garden's flowers and the scouts will collect the bees' honey.
Brachman said the profits from the honey will pay off the protective gear that was purchased and allow the pack to purchase new beehives next year.
Brachman said the foundation still has $120,000 to award in 2013. Those funds will be used to fulfill major grants, for which the foundation is accepting applications until May 23. These grants are awarded to groups whose proposed projects will cost more than $5,000. To learn more about the application process, visit bexleycommunityfoundation.org.