The Bay Village Foundation kicks off Legacy Society

The Bay Village Foundation President Al Paulus and his wife, Julie, hosted a gathering of current and former board members, community leaders and others on Sept. 24 at their home in Huntington Woods. Their primary objective was fellowship, but also to provide an update on the activities of The Bay Village Foundation and kick off the Legacy Society.

Mayor Paul Koomar and City Council President Dwight Clark, among others, were in attendance to talk about ideas for a next project, coordinating the Foundation's activities with the city and potentially taking on something included in the city's new Master Plan.

The Foundation was formed in 1995 as a fundraising vehicle for the original construction of Play-in-Bay. It is run exclusively by volunteer directors representing a diversity of professional backgrounds and experiences. Now, 22 years later, it has come a long way. The Bay Village Foundation has assets of over $400,000 – almost quadrupling in the last 10 years. Revenues totaled over $130,000 in 2016 and grants totaled almost $40,000, both nearly seven times where they were just a decade ago. Most of the difference between revenues of $130,000 and the grants of $40,000 was spent on the Play-in-Bay renovation in 2017.

"We realize that we must do more to ensure that the Foundation is around for many, many years to continue to assist in making improvements to our city," explains Paulus. "With that in mind, we are reinvigorating our Legacy Society to recognize those who have included the Foundation in their estate plans, and to encourage more of our Bay residents to consider doing so. These legacy gifts can live on in perpetuity, making an indelible mark on Bay Village for years and years."

Throughout its history, The Bay Village Foundation has made grants to many great Bay Village organizations including the Village Project, BAYarts, Village Bicycle Cooperative, Bay Village Community Band, Knickerbocker, Bay Village Green Team, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, Bay Village Historical Society, Bay Schools, Huntington Playhouse, Bay Village Police Department, Family Haven and Bay Village Community Theater. 

In addition to the grants, the Foundation awards three $2,000 scholarships to Bay High seniors. Since starting this program, they have awarded almost $61,000 in college scholarships to over 30 Bay High graduates. 

“We give annually to the Bay Village Foundation,” remarked trustee Mindy Stroh, “because we see the immediate impact it makes in our community.”

The Bay Village Foundation has been instrumental in the effort to keep the 4th of July fireworks funded, helped to fix the city hall clock and assisted with fundraising for the skate park and the fitness trail exercise stations. In 2017, thanks to the generosity of over 350 donors, the Foundation completed the $100,000 project to refurbish and expand Play-in-Bay.

These efforts are funded through the Foundation’s annual fund drive (with a mailing to all Bay Village households in December), the annual Heritage Run (taking place this year on Oct. 21) and gifts for the bronze plaques installed on the T. Richard Martin Footbridge overlooking the lake in Cahoon Memorial Park. However, each year the requests for grants exceeds the funds available for such purposes.

The Legacy Society celebrates donors who have remembered the Bay Village Foundation in their financial and estate plans. They are simple to create as part of a will or living trust and can be added as a codicil to an existing will or as an amendment to a living trust. Cash contributions can also be made using a secure internet credit card payment system through The Cleveland Foundation's website or by a check made payable to The Bay Village Foundation. All gifts are appreciated and acknowledged for tax purposes.

Elizabeth Milli

Board of Trustees for The Bay Village Foundation

Community Outreach Committee

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Volume 9, Issue 20, Posted 9:59 AM, 10.17.2017