The BallenIsles Charities Foundation was established in 2011 with the goal of Making a Difference to local nonprofit organizations in areas surrounding our residential community located in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. The launch of the Foundation underscores a commitment to those civic and tax-exempt organizations that make such a difference, not only to our own residents, but to so many of our neighbors in the surrounding cities, towns and communities. Our donors recognized that by working together they could make a significant positive impact providing financial and in-kind support in these areas: Civic, Health & Human Services, Environment, and Education. In our first four years, the BallenIsles Charities Foundation, Inc. has awarded over $1,265,000 to 51 local area organizations.
The following spotlights a few of our grants:
Health & Human Services
The Arc of Palm Beach County: The Potentials Charter School at The Arc of Palm Beach County opened in 1998 as the first Charter school in Florida and, at that time, was the only school in the nation for children who are unable to walk and talk effectively. 75% of these severely disabled children are from Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach. This is our 5th year funding a Music and Art Therapy program at this amazing school. In 2016, 45 children will have the opportunity to experience the positive impacts of this program. At the Potentials Charter School, the Music & Art therapy is presented in such an entertaining way that the students enjoy the process that leads to their growth and progress in fine and gross motor coordination, sensory skills, attention span, social/interpersonal skills, self-awareness, and verbal and non-verbal communications.
Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County: Since 2011, Habitat for Humanity & the Weitz Construction Academy at Seminole Ridge High School has built one home for low income, hardworking families each school year in a warehouse facility at the school. Fully constructed in four modules, the home is then transported to its final destination site pro bono by a local company for final completion in Belle Glade in early 2017. For the 3rd year in a row, our grant will help this Habitat program not only build a house but touch, in a major way, the lives of 150 students by giving them the opportunity to learn skilled trades in the fields of construction, architecture, engineering, and project management. The Academy employs a non-traditional curriculum that combines classroom instruction with hands-on training. Some graduates have gone on to college but all have graduated with the skills to join local construction related businesses often with trade certifications earned while in school.
Busch Wildlife Sanctuary: Busch Wildlife Sanctuary is dedicated to the protection and conservation of Florida’s wildlife and natural resources primarily through environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation. They have created in Jupiter a living museum in which children and adults can learn about the natural history of Florida’s flora and fauna. Over two hundred native animals are represented at the Sanctuary: owls, eagles, herons, panthers, alligators, and more. This unique refuge combines a nature center with a comprehensive wildlife hospital. Our 2016 grant helped to fund the acquisition of a new education vehicle/van to enable the organization once again to bring environmental education opportunities to the broader community. Many residents cannot experience the vitally important world of environmental education because of the inability to travel. Senior citizens, youngsters, underprivileged, and disadvantaged alike will benefit from the environmental education opportunities that Busch Wildlife Sanctuary plans on the road again.
Palm Beach Gardens Police Department: The City of Palm Beach Gardens has many parks, canal banks, walking trails, and protected areas that are open to the public. These areas provide our residents with opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, bond with nature, and enjoy all the health benefits that being outside provides. These areas also, however, provide a potential for problems related to safety, including: missing children and adults; injured persons in remote areas; illegal activities sheltered by these concealed and remote locations. Our 2016 Grant will fund the purchase of an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) which will be used to patrol those remote properties in and around the City. The vehicle’s ability to travel in areas which are hard to reach by conventional vehicles will allow the officers to cut response time dramatically and act as a force multiplier in these remote locations. The All-Terrain Vehicle will also be available to assist in the operational needs of the City’s Fire Rescue Department, and other law enforcement agencies. This may include, but is not limited to, joint training, special events, and operations with Jupiter, Juno Beach, North Palm Beach, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Palm Beach County School District.