FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cincinnati, February 5, 2024 – Westwood Works is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2024 Mini Grant program. Every year, Westwood Works invites community members who live, work, worship, or attend a school in Westwood or East Westwood to dream up projects that will improve quality of life, specifically by connecting health, people, or place.
In 2023, the campaign was boosted by a generous matching donation from Mr. Derek Bauman, a fundraising campaign by Westwood business Fable Café, and an art partnership with James Billiter of Billiter Studio, who created a limited-edition Westwood print.
Proceeds from the sales of the posters, along with Mr. Bauman’s donation and the Fable campaign raised over $13,000. $10,000 was allocated to the 2024 projects and the remaining funds will be used toward the 2025 campaign.
On Friday, February 2nd, the (12) project winners were announced, as detailed below. These projects will take place throughout the 2024 calendar year. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to these deserving projects, and to all those who submitted their innovative ideas for consideration. The competition was fierce this year and we were inspired by the passion and dedication evident in each proposal. Without further ado, we announce the 2024 recipients, and we cannot wait to update you on the progress throughout the year!
Together we will continue to create a more vibrant Westwood and East Westwood where all neighbors can thrive!
2024 Westwood Works Mini Grant Awardees (12 Projects, $10,000)
- Dance for Everyone (Meridyth Kues): Grant provides funding for a portable tap floor to be used for CincyTap classes. The new floor will allow Ms. Kues to expand where she can teach and increase safety for the students.
- Food from the Heart (Teresa Devine): Ms. Devine will continue to offer free, healthy cooking classes to neighbors with limited incomes at My Neighbor’s Place. These classes will focus on cooking with items commonly found in local food pantries or covered by SNAP benefits. Project is co-sponsored by Westwood United Methodist Church.
- Free Book Fair (Lia Myers / Gamble Nippert YMCA): In May 2024, Gamble Nippert YMCA will host a free book fair for children enrolled in their preschool, before or after-school care programs, as a way to promote a love for reading and provide students with books at home.
- Gamble Library (Jessica Depew): Gamble Montessori Elementary is a Title I Cincinnati Public School in Westwood that does not currently have the space for a full-size library or paid librarian. Volunteers and teachers have started a Little Library area in the school for the students and are going to use the grant to supplement the existing books with graphic novels (much requested!) and decodable books for students struggling with reading.
- Gary’s Garden (Christina McDonough): In 2023, Gamble Montessori lost their beloved school pet pig, Gary, at only three years old. In honor of Gary, Gamble will create a peaceful outdoor space to be used for educational purposes and to help beautify the school grounds.
- Goltra Hiking Trail (Kyle Reiser): This grant will help Kyle Reiser, along with the East Westwood
Improvement Association and CORA, extend their work in the Goltra Nature Preserve in East Westwood. When finished, the trail will offer the respite of nature to an urban area and will connect the neighborhood with South Fairmont.
- Laundry of Love (Karen Pitz / Westwood United Methodist): This grant will help Laundry of Love continue their service to the community by providing free laundry services, food, and games for children at the Super Laundry near Harrison and McHenry. Laundry is a hardship for many Westwood neighbors. This program fosters community and promotes mental and physical well-being.
- Montessori Market (Mary Dudley): Gamble Montessori High School students will have the opportunity to continue honing their entrepreneurial skills as they learn to make and sell their own products. The group meets once weekly during the school year to learn about creating products and running an ethical business. Their work culminates in an in-person Montessori Market event where they have the chance to showcase their work and make a little money to invest in the future of their business.
- Penrose Pathway (Darla Meadors): This project will update a neglected, and thus, not frequently used, path from Penrose to Epworth and into the Westwood Town Hall Business District. Volunteers will clean up, maintain, and beautify the path.
- Protect the Garden at Roll Hill School (Kellie Gray): This project in East Westwood will help CPS Roll Hill School get their garden back up and running, teaching students the fun that comes along with growing your own food. Specifically, funds will be used to put a fence around the garden. In previous years, the success of the garden has been affected by woodland friends.
- Spring Into Mt. Airy (Lee & Jason Hamzy): Little Schoolhouse in the Woods will host a Spring Celebration in Mt. Airy Forest, providing at no cost to the Westwood community an event that includes a nature scavenger hunt, games, face painting, puppet and story time, along with snacks and time to enjoy the forest in our backyard!
- Westwood Farmers Market (Ally Larsson): This grant will help further efforts to create a weekly summer fresh food farmers market in Westwood, providing access to fresh produce, spices, and goods to the community, while supporting local farmers, producers, and small businesses.