Featured Grant Recipients Eau Claire Children's Theatre Bringing Theatre to Our Community The Eau Claire Children’s Theatre is a non-profit, volunteer-driven community theatre providing quality theatrical and educational experiences for western Wisconsin residents of all ages. Founded in 1989 ECCT provides opportunities for young people as on stage performers and family audience members through mainstage productions, school matinees, touring shows and summer classes. During 2020 ECCT was fortunate to receive support from the Eau Claire Community Foundation through two different grants. The first, through the Lois and Arnold Domer Fund, allowed ECCT to upgrade the computer systems used by staff and volunteers to Windows 10 as the older computer systems were no longer being supported by Microsoft. The upgrade ensured our patrons that our communications with them would remain effective and efficient. ECCT also received a Response and Recovery Grant. Like many area arts businesses in 2020, ECCT was faced with closures, cancelled productions and shows with reduced seating capacity. Programs like school matinees and touring shows have been shut down since the spring of 2020 (and will remain offline until the spring of 2022), resulting in the loss of over $50,000 in revenue each year. Grant funds from the Foundation helped to cover essential operational costs like mortgage, utilities and staffing during this period. ECCT invites the public to get involved, whether it’s on stage, behind the scenes, or as an audience member. Volunteer opportunities are available in many areas by contacting ECCT at firstname.lastname@example.org. With a 16 show season there’s something for everyone coming up this year and ECCT looks forward to seeing you around the theatre. To learn more, you can visit the ECCT website- www.ecct.org. Fierce Freedom Exposing Modern Day Slavery and Exploitation in Our Hometowns Fierce Freedom is a nonprofit organization in the Chippewa Valley that has been educating about the realities of human trafficking and exploitation since 2012. Since its inception, the org has worked to empower thousands to recognize the signs of trafficking, including law enforcement, medical professionals, the academic community, schools, civic groups and more. Their passion to inform the public stems from the belief that education is the key before progress can be made in the fight against human trafficking. Out of a desire to reach more people, Fierce Freedom has worked hard in the last few years to grow other platforms to educate including their podcast, which aims to shine light on all aspects of modern-day slavery by sharing compelling conversations with individuals who are using their passions and talents to fight human trafficking and exploitation, and to date has nearly 5,700 downloads. Fierce Freedom has also expanded its reach through video production, including its Safety at Home Series, a collection of free videos that help parents discuss online gaming, app usage, and online grooming with their children to help protect them in the wake of the pandemic. These videos garnered nearly 2,500 views on their Youtube page in 2020. Through 40 podcast episodes, virtual speaking events, education videos, and social media, Fierce Freedom reached over 9,000 people about trafficking and exploitation in 2020. In 2021, Fierce Freedom was awarded a grant from the John and Betsy Kell Family Fund, Daniel F. and Margaret J. Brown Memorial Fund, and the Lois and Arnold Domer Fund to continue its expansion of video and podcast production, including its new annual subscription service, Fierce Parenting, consisting of brief weekly videos that deliver timely and pertinent information that will equip parents to learn about the biggest threats facing their families today. To learn more about Fierce Freedom, please visit their website at fiercefreedom.org. Special Olympics Wisconsin Providing Athletic Opportunities for All Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities (ID), giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy while participating in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, Special Olympics athletes and the community. Special Olympics is the world’s largest public health organization for individuals with ID, providing access to free health services for a population with significant, unmet health needs. In addition to sports training and athletic competition, SOWI offers free health screenings including eye exams, dental exams, hearing screenings, and podiatric screenings. Staff, local programs and volunteers work together to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports, free health screenings, unified experiences and community events to support child and adults with ID. Special Olympics Wisconsin serves approximately 9,000 athletes across the state. In the Eau Claire area, we serve 217 athletes. Our vision is that sport will open hearts and minds towards people with intellectual disabilities and create inclusive communities across Wisconsin. Globally, we strive to end discrimination against people with ID. Join Special Olympics Wisconsin for their annual Buckshot Run! This 2 mile run/walk in and around beautiful Carson Park in Eau Claire draws more than 1,000 runners and walkers and is ranked one of the top 10 races in Wisconsin! Help us grow this year’s event by inviting family and friends to join you. The 2021 Buckshot Run takes place on Tuesday, Aug. 31, at 6:00 pm. 100% of the money raised stays locally to support the over 9,000 Special Olympic Wisconsin athletes train and compete in sports year-round. To learn more about Special Olympics, please visit their website at Specialolympics.org. L.E. Phillips Senior Center Supporting our Community's Seniors Whether you look at national, state or local predictive demographic data, it is clear that society is aging. Updated US census statistics state that by 2034, there will be more “seniors” than children 18 and younger in America. That has never happened in our nation’s history, and communities everywhere, including Eau Claire, will be looking for ways to effectively and efficiently engage with the growing number of aging adults. The L.E. Phillips Senior Center has been and will continue to be a valuable community asset that provides significant benefit to older adults and their families. We recognize that today’s older population is significantly different than the older adult population of yesterday and of tomorrow. Our vision and mission statements reflect a focus on improving one’s overall health, and for the past 30 plus years, the L.E. Phillips Senior Center has developed programming that mirrors our commitment to be a leader in serving the community’s actively aging adults. Stop in and speak to any one of the area Medicare providers. They are available to answer questions on Medicare plans. Understand the four elements of Medicare: Part A - Hospital, Part B-Medical, Part C-Medicare Advantage & Part D- Prescription. Each are offered monthly at the Center. Join in on the Stretch & Balance Class. This class is designed for all levels of fitness to challenge and train balance and flexibility, thus reducing falls and keeping you mobile and active. Keep your Brain challenged by joining in on any of our 15 varieties of card games. Whether it is 500, Mah-Jongg or Bridge, a card game is a great way to work out the Brain. We are all aware that this population has made a significant impact on our community in the past and the present, and will continue to do so in the future, as long as we support the active aging process. It is through strong community partnerships, such as ours with the Eau Claire Community Foundation, that we look forward to making a difference for our community elders for decades to come. To learn more, visit the L.E. Phillips Senior Center website at Lephillipsseniorcenter.com.