Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue Firemedic Mark Shutts shows off a new pediatric simulator to BallenIsles residents Judy and Jim Bloom at their clubhouse in Palm Beach Gardens on April 23, 2014. The simulator, bought through a donation from the BallenIsles Charities Foundation, will be used at the EMS training lab on Hood Road. (Photo: Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Posted: 12:32 p.m. Friday, April 25, 2014
By Tony Doris – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
PALM BEACH GARDENS —
The city’s fire department has a new computerized Simulator Manikin to help rescuers practice life support techniques for children. Suncoast High students have new robotic equipment for their math and science program. And 200 children whose families are in crisis at the West Palm Beach Homeless Resource Center will get school supplies, uniforms and hygiene kits.
The grants were part of $285,000 in awards distributed Wednesday by the BallenIsles Country Club’s Charities Foundation.
The luxury community established the foundation in 2011 to help local causes sometimes overlooked by larger or more established philanthropies. This year’s total, which tops the $125,650 awarded in 2012 and $160,700 in 2013, was allotted to 32 organizations that provide a range of services in the county.
“One can’t help but be inspired by the number of worthwhile programs and nonprofit organizations in Palm Beach County that accomplish great things on very limited resources,” Foundation President Fred Corrado said Tuesday. “That’s been our driver from the beginning and we really set out to try to make a difference with financial grants for these kinds of valuable local programs in the neighboring towns where we live, volunteer and use services.”
Mark Hopkinson, spokesman for the BallenIsles foundation, said committee members volunteer many hours vetting grant applications and applicants and following up to make sure the grants are used for their designated purpose.
They also held fundraising events, producing and selling a cookbook, for example, to increase the amount of money available for grants. Area businesses also helped, he said.
“We really want to have an impact in the area in which we live,” Hopkinson said.
Among the BallenIsles foundation recipients:
- Be A Star Foundation: The grant will provide 47 children undergoing chemotherapy a play therapy tool, called a Chemo Duck, to help educate both the child and their families about the various treatments the children will receive.
- Caridad Center: Dental care for 20 uninsured or underinsured children of low-income residents.
- Grandma’s Place: Items on the “wish list” for this local 24/7 shelter for abused children.
- Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County: Grant will partially support the construction costs for 150 students at Seminole Ridge Academy to build a Habitat house.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness of Palm Beach County: Money will allow this organization to produce and distribute 2,000 copies of its Resource Guide to Mental Health Services to schools, hospitals, providers and health fairs.
- Palm Beach County Food Bank: Grant will support 10-pound nutrition BackPacks for 40 students for a 9-week summer program in 2014.
- Palm Beach Gardens Elementary School: 10 iPad Minis & 15 iPods will support 80 children as part of a Lunch Bunch Book Club program.
- Urban Youth Impact: The Leadership Academy provides after school activities for children in one of the highest crime rate areas of West Palm Beach. Grant will provide financial support for two children to fully participate in all the program’s activities for a full year.
- Wilkes Honors College of FAU: Grant will provide two student internships (tuition, room & board) in the Neuroscience Program of the College; the internship will also include research at either Max Planck or Scripps Florida.