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'Over the Edge' fundraiser for Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters

LG Searcey begins his descent from the roof of the downtown Holiday Inn with a smile at an “Over the Edge” rappelling fundraiser for Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters. The local nonprofit HBBBS has been approved to receive additional funding, a $40,000 grant from the local Woods Charitable Fund, to help support one-to-one mentoring relationships for at-risk children.

Woods Charitable Fund’s board of directors has approved grants totaling $736,300 to 24 tax-exempt organizations.

Granted funding includes $120,000 over two years to support the Community Learning Centers at Lincoln Public Schools, which coordinate programs to benefit students, families and their neighborhoods using schools as service hubs. Community Learning Centers provide safe, supervised before- and after-school programming in 26 Lincoln Public Schools, weekend and summer enrichment programs and other supports.

The largest percentage of the granted funding – 40 percent – will support human service agencies serving Lincoln. Additionally, 24 percent benefits education programs, and another 16 percent funds arts and culture organizations. About 15 percent supports civic and community organizations, with 5 percent of funds benefiting organizations outside these classifications.

In 2017, Woods Charitable Fund awarded grants totaling $2.4 million. The Fund has granted over $98 million since its inception in 1941.

Approved for funding by Woods Charitable Fund

Bridges to Hope ($5,000) – Support for a strategic plan for this organization that operates a warehouse of furniture, clothing and goods for people recently released from prison.

Camp Summergold ($7,500) – To fund counselor and staff expenses for this summer camp that provides an arts and science curriculum for girls ages 11-17.

CEDARS Youth Services ($40,000) – Two-year support of a pilot project to integrate prevention, intervention and therapeutic services to families served by its two early-childhood development centers.

Center for Rural Affairs ($15,000) – Toward advocacy and policy work on topics to benefit low- and moderate-income Nebraskans.

City of Lincoln ($75,000) – Three-year support for the Lincoln Police Department’s human trafficking prevention and deterrence efforts.

Disability Rights Nebraska ($100,000) – Three-year support of the Inclusive Education Lay Advocacy Program to advocate for and encourage inclusive education for students with special-education needs.

Hear Nebraska ($15,000) – A general-operations grant to this organization supporting live music and culture in Lincoln and across Nebraska.

Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters ($40,000) – A program-related investment for this agency that coordinates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships for at-risk children.

Lied Center for Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln ($10,000) – Toward educational outreach at Lincoln Public Schools with the spring 2018 presentation of “Seedfolks,” a play about an urban garden and its community.

Lincoln Community Learning Centers ($120,000) – Two-year support of this collaborative program providing services for LPS students, their families and neighborhoods.

Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music ($7,000) – Support for educational outreach and audience development for this group that provides chamber concerts.

Lincoln-Lancaster County Human Services Federation ($10,000) – General-operating support to this organization providing education, networking and collective action for Lincoln nonprofits.

Lux Center for the Arts ($15,000) – Toward its Artist-in-Residency program.

Malone Community Center ($25,000) – For educational programming and general-operating support that honors and strengthens the African-American community in Lincoln through educational, cultural and advocacy programs for all people.

Nebraska Association for the Education of Young Children ($16,800) – To develop a Leadership Academy providing continuing education for early childhood education program directors in Lincoln.

Nebraska Brass ($5,000) – To support operating expenses for this organization that provides brass concerts and educational outreach across the state.

Nebraska Repertory Theater at UNL ($15,000) – To fund general operating expenses during the 2017-18 season for this equity theater company.

Nebraska Writers Collective ($10,000) – To support the “Louder Than A Bomb” performance poetry program offered at 10 Lincoln/Lancaster County public schools.

Nonprofit Hub Foundation ($40,000) – To develop a Nonprofit Resource Center offering legal, financial management, marketing and advertising support for Lincoln nonprofit organizations.

St. Monica’s Home ($20,000) – General-operating support for this behavioral health treatment center in Lincoln that serves women with substance abuse and/or co-existing mental health issues.

South of Downtown Community Development Organization ($90,000) – Three-year support of general operations working to develop collaborations, create opportunities and engage residents in the Near South and Everett neighborhoods.

Vision Maker Media ($30,000) – Two-year staffing support for the Vision Maker Film Festivals in 2018 and 2020, which showcase stories of Native people and provide related educational resources for teachers, students and the community.

Youth Actors Academy of Lincoln ($10,000) – Staffing support for this educational theater program for children and teens.

YWCA of Lincoln ($15,000) – Continued support for general operations and social-justice initiatives for this organization working to eliminate racism and empower women.

For details on funding guidelines, call (402) 436-5971, visit or write to Nicole Juranek, Kathy Steinauer Smith or Tom Woods at 1248 O St., Suite 1130, Lincoln, NE 68508, or at

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