The Legacy Foundation recently released its 2019 Annual Report.

And, as it has in past years, the Foundation under the leadership of Board Chair Brian Barkdull and CEO Margaret Hepburn demonstrated its concern and financial support for communities in Cochise and Santa Cruz counties. In FY 2019, the Foundation’s financial support was spread across seven categories: Community Education $29,775; Strategic Grants $121,803; Innovative Grants $441,333; Responsive Grants $59,548; Discretionary Grants $59,363; Sponsorships $49,800; and Fast Pitch Grants $35,209.

The Fast Pitch grant is a unique program designed to help fund educational development opportunities for non-profit organizations. An individual or a team of individuals from the requesting organization simply explains, “the amount requested, the purpose and impact of the grant, how the organization’s mission is aligned with the Legacy Foundation mission, and a clear statement about why the organization should be awarded the grant”. The decision to award a $2500 grant is made and commun-icated on the presentation day.

In addition to its 2019 monetary support, the Foundation also provided educational programs, networking experiences , and convening opportunities to address important community issues such as mental health. The Legacy Foundation held seventeen workshops which 368 individuals from 132 different community agencies attended

A major grant undertaking was Building Healthy Communities (BHC) conducted through the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension program. A focus of the program is to develop healthy eating habits such as increased hydration and decreased sugary drinks in our communities. In Patagonia one major focus is the establishment of mobile food distribution, Produce on Wheels With Out Waste (POWWOW).

A component of the BHC project is the Cochise Leadership Academy. This is an eight week program from which eighteen community leaders graduated in 2019 and who will now go on to help create cohesive, healthy communities. In addition they will mentor a new group to help carry on similar activities. Graduates were from Benson, Bisbee, Bowie, Douglas, Hereford, Huachuca City, Sierra Vista and Willcox.

The Salvation Army was also a grant recipient in 2019 and early 2020. An after school program as well as a Mobile Food Outreach program providing hot prepared meals for seniors, veterans, and students is supported by grants from the Foundation.

One major undertaking by the Foundation was convening mental health crisis services. A major community need, these services are sorely absent for our needy citizens. CEO Margaret Hepburn took the initiative to get various organizations together to address this problem. The challenge to address the problem of mental health has now been accepted by Carrie Langley, Cochise County Health Director.

The recipients of the FY 2020 Innovative Grants were also released recently.

Innovative grants, which carry a significant amount of money with them, included support for the Boys & Girls Club of Sierra Vista which was awarded $75,000 for a satellite Boys & Girls Club at Carmichael Elementary School; Premier Alliances, Inc which received $50,000 for a Founders Garden in the Bisbee/Naco area. The garden is a therapeutic garden providing services for both mental health therapy and physical therapy.

Additional innovative grants included Family Health Care Amigos which received $25,000 for Eastern Santa Cruz county. The project rehabilitates a historic building which will be the home of a new Lending Shed for Durable Medical Equipment as well as a new thrift shop.

The Warrior Healing Center in Sierra Vista, which houses a multitude of Veteran support organizations , was awarded $50,000 for county-wide veteran services.

These grants will be presented on January 29th at Cochise College.

A major accomplishment which also was announced is the Foundation’s Resource Guide ,developed by staff member Susan Richards.

One of the real challenges in the social service environment is to find help when the need arises. Through Susan’s efforts a Resource Guide, now available on the Foundation’s website, is being extended through iPad and iPhones apps.

Searchable by topic and community, twenty-one topics are available and include Veterans, Seniors, Transportation, Medical & Physical Health, Food Clothing & Utility Assistance, and Disabilities.

If you’d like to learn more about the Legacy Foundation, its website is lfsaz.org. The Foundation has come a long way in seven years!

Lanny A. Kope, EdD has been a hospital trustee for over forty years, serving on urban and rural hospital boards. He is the past Board Chair of Sierra Vista Regional Health Center and has had a national responsibility as Chair of the American Hospital Association’s Committee on Governance. Dr. Kope is also a University of Phoenix faculty member in Health Care.

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