Lee Initiatives awards $633,204 to 58 nonprofits with a focus on health and wellness

May 3—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — With a $5,000 grant from Lee Initiatives Health and Wellness Endowment, Nick Miller can proceed offering weeklong baseball summer time camps at which kids in transient foster residence conditions are made to really feel like all-stars, he mentioned.

“Lee Initiatives has been providing for our local camps since our inception in 2013,” mentioned Miller, founder and government director of Run Home Camps.

The camp was first established in Windber and lately has turn into a mannequin for camps nationwide.

“These are kids with no opportunity to engage in organized sports,” Miller mentioned.

“There are very few activities for these kids who are in difficult family situations.

“They are sometimes transient — in and out of foster care or kinship care.”

In 2021, the organization opened its first branch camp in Phoenix, Arizona; then Tulsa, Oklahoma; then Texas and Wisconsin.

“It’s past what we might have imagined,” Miller said. “We supposed to do it regionally, however we discovered it is actually a nice mannequin for the remainder of the nation.”

Run Home Camps was one of 58 nonprofits in the Johnstown region awarded a total of $633,204 Thursday from the Lee Initiatives Health & Wellness Endowment.

The Highlands Health clinic, 315 Locust St., Johnstown, was the largest grant recipient Thursday, with an award of $50,000 to further its mission of supporting the area’s residents who are uninsured or underinsured and need the support of the clinic.

“I’m extraordinarily pleased due to the truth that we’ve got been acknowledged for all of the laborious work we do for the group,” said Rosalie Danchanko, executive director of Highlands Health. “(*58*) makes me proud.”

Representatives from the awarded nonprofits attended Lee Initiatives’ 18th annual grant award reception Thursday morning at The Boulevard Grill, 165 Southmont Blvd., Johnstown.

Lee Initiatives has provided more than $8 million to nonprofits with a focus on health and wellness since it was established 18 years ago after the sale of Lee Hospital.

The endowment fund has grown to $18 million over the years to continue the hospital’s mission of improving the health and wellness of the community, said Jodi Clark, Lee Initiatives CEO.

“All of us can attest to the truth that since COVID-19 pandemic, prices have elevated all over the place,” she said. “These organizations have to work twice as laborious. It’s so rewarding to be freely giving funds to organizations that we want locally.”

She inspired individuals to donate to the fund to assist hold grants flowing for nonprofits nicely into the longer term, and she inspired extra nonprofits to apply for grants.

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