The city of Bexley will receive $31,370 in grants from the Bexley Community Foundation for several initiatives this year, including the Movies on Main summer entertainment series, beautification projects and recreation programs.
The foundation announced the grants -- the first round it will issue this year -- at the State of the Community event at Columbus School for Girls on April 10. The city's initiatives support the foundation's goals of promoting collaboration among community organizations, said Judy Brachman, chairwoman of the foundation's Program and Grants Committee.
"We really encourage our grantees to think outside of the box and work with other organizations to elevate their project," Brachman said.
"Creative collaboration projects that will enhance the quality of life in the community are what the committee really wants to see."
The largest grant, for $18,925, will go toward equipment for the city to present the Main Event series for a second consecutive year. The event includes movie screenings on a large outdoor screen and recreational activities on Capital University's East Main Street lawn.
This year's series will kick off May 18 with a screening of The Muppet Movie, live music, food trucks and Muppet-themed activities.
"Last year, we asked the foundation to fund rental of the equipment for the year, and to consider funding equipment purchase if the event was successful," Mayor Ben Kessler said.
"We exceeded all of our expectations throughout the summer, and really believe the event provides a fun, community-focused atmosphere, and the positive feedback we've had on the event has been great."
The foundation's Bexley Beautification Fund has awarded $11,445 for flowers for East Main Street, Clifton Avenue and East Broad Street bridges.
The flowers "make such a tangible, visible difference to the quality of our streetscape," Kessler said.
The Beautification Fund grant also will allow for 20 trees to be planted on East Broad Street.
"Many trees have been lost along Broad Street near Alum Creek, and this (the grant) is funding tree planting along this stretch," Kessler said.
The foundation's Youth and Recreation Fund will award $1,000 allowing the city to hold the second annual Splish, Splash and Dash, a triathlon for elementary and middle school students.
"The Splish, Splash and Dash youth triathlon was really successful last summer, exceeding our registration expectations by 50 percent" with 157 participants, Kessler said.
The foundation also will award $900 to the city's Recreation and Parks Department for the purchase of four spring-loaded pitching machines for youth athletic programs.
"The pitching machines are going to be a great addition to our baseball and softball program and wouldn't have been a possibility without the Community Foundation's funding," Kessler said.
The foundation's next deadline for potential grantees to submit letters of intent is June 1. The foundation will then notify applicants to submit a full application, which will be due on Aug. 1.
For a full list of guidelines and information, visit bexleycommunityfoundation.org.