Riley Children’s Foundation granted $8,000 Wednesday to three family-focused initiatives in the Warsaw area. Pictured (L to R) are, front row: Annie Petro, Warsaw Community High School freshman, Boomerang Backpacks; Sydney Peugh, WCHS junior, Boomerang Backpacks; District 22 State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki, Warsaw Riley Regional Leadership Committee and Riley Children’s Foundation Board of Governors member; Lois Niemier, Joe’s Kids, board member; Rebecca Bazzoni, Joe’s Kids, executive director, holding Elias Kinsey (son of Max Kinsey); Dr. Neeta Jain, Joe’s Kids, board member; Sophia Long, Joe’s Kids; back row: Will Bibler, WCHS sophomore, Boomerang Backpacks; Joelle Schram, WCHS senior, Boomerang Backpacks; Tracy Akers, Warsaw Community Schools head nurse, Boomerang Backpacks; Craig Allebach, Winona Lake, town coordinator; and Max Kinsey, Joe’s Kids board member, and child. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
Riley Children’s Foundation granted $8,000 Wednesday to three family-focused initiatives in the Warsaw area. Pictured (L to R) are, front row: Annie Petro, Warsaw Community High School freshman, Boomerang Backpacks; Sydney Peugh, WCHS junior, Boomerang Backpacks; District 22 State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki, Warsaw Riley Regional Leadership Committee and Riley Children’s Foundation Board of Governors member; Lois Niemier, Joe’s Kids, board member; Rebecca Bazzoni, Joe’s Kids, executive director, holding Elias Kinsey (son of Max Kinsey); Dr. Neeta Jain, Joe’s Kids, board member; Sophia Long, Joe’s Kids; back row: Will Bibler, WCHS sophomore, Boomerang Backpacks; Joelle Schram, WCHS senior, Boomerang Backpacks; Tracy Akers, Warsaw Community Schools head nurse, Boomerang Backpacks; Craig Allebach, Winona Lake, town coordinator; and Max Kinsey, Joe’s Kids board member, and child. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
INDIANAPOLIS – Riley Children’s Foundation, the fundraising organization supporting Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, granted $8,000 to family-focused initiatives in the Warsaw area Wednesday afternoon.
Joe’s Kids Inc. received a $3,000 grant, Boomerang Backpacks at Warsaw Community Schools received $2,500, and Town of Winona Lake Limitless Park Fund received a $2,500 grant during a check presentation led by Warsaw Riley Regional Leadership Committee and Riley Children’s Foundation Board of Governors member State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki.
“As a member of the Riley Children’s Foundation Board of Governors Grant Committee, I am pleased to represent Riley today with financial awards which will benefit the families of Kosciusko County,” Kubacki said.
“As Indiana’s only comprehensive hospital dedicated exclusively to the care of children, Riley Hospital has provided compassionate care, support and comfort to children and their families since 1924,” she continued. “Each year children from all 92 counties turn to Riley Hospital and its regional clinics throughout the state. Riley Hospital’s partnership with Indiana University of Medicine make Riley Hospital the leader in pediatric care.”
The mission of Riley Children’s Foundation is to secure the health and well-being of children everywhere. In accordance with that mission, the Community Grants Program was established to make a difference in communities throughout Indiana. This year, Riley Children’s Foundation granted $70,000 statewide to focus on initiatives that benefit children, according to a press release from the foundation.
Riley Children’s Foundation worked with the Warsaw Riley Regional Leadership Committee regarding nominations and to select the grant recipients.
For Joe’s Kids Inc., the grant will help cover the financial cost to treat children with developmental delays caused by a wide variety of diagnoses including, but not limited to, sensory processing disorder, autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, spina bifida, stroke and other genetic and developmental disabilities, ensuring they can access necessary care in their home community, the press release states.
Boomerang Backpacks’ mission is to nourish low-income elementary students on weekends by providing backpacks full of food, and to inspire high school students to experience community service through project-based learning and gain an understanding of helping others in need.
Boomerang Backpacks serves students within four Warsaw Community Schools, with a vision to add one to two additional schools, the release states.
Additional benefits of Boomerang Backpacks include improving attendance at school on Fridays when the students receive their backpacks, and improving student achievements on Mondays since the students are able to eat over the weekend.
WCS Head Nurse Tracy Akers, who also co-founded and coordinates the Backpacks program, said, “We always appreciate Riley’s support of our Boomerang Backpacks program. They started helping us two years ago.”
She said the grant will help feed children in the community.
The vision of Winona Lake Limitless Park is to create a place that embraces the natural beauty of the surrounding environment and engages everyone in “limitless” play. The master plan uses universally accessible equipment and infrastructure that goes beyond minimal ADA guidelines to create inclusive recreation for people of all abilities, the foundation’s press release states.
Winona Lake Park currently meets minimal ADA standards, but the playground is inaccessible by anyone with mobility impairments. In addition, Winona Lake has no adaptive water entry access.
Riley Children’s Foundation supports Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, Camp Riley and the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home.
“We are not interested in how you are going to pay for your child’s care, we are interested in giving your child the best possible medical attention,” Kubacki said.
For more information on Riley, visit RileyKids.org