Friends of Fusion grants

Friends of Fusion Foundation President Jeffrey Leggett (holding check) presents grants to representatives of several local organizations.

Six local organizations received much-needed financial assistance from the Friends of Fusion Foundation on Saturday.

The organization doled out $10,000 in grants to nonprofits that help children or first responders.

“The applications we received included requests totaling $42,000, which is over four times the amount we are able to grant at this time,” said Jeffrey Leggett, president of the Foundation. “This shows the need for assistance is out there, and we’re thrilled that we have the resources to help. It was surely a tough process selecting the recipients from all the applicants, but we’re very excited to work with these meaningful and beneficial organizations.”

Nic DeCaire created Friends of Fusion in 2019 to continue the charitable work he started while running Fusion Racing and the now-closed Fusion Fitness gym.

The money for the organization comes from the dozens of 5Ks and other races organized by Fusion Racing, as well as donations.

“We had a very good year, even with everything going on,” Leggett said. “People were very generous.”

The organization hopes to do another round of grants in the fall.

The grants recipients Saturday included:

Delaware KIDS Fund: In 2018, the Delaware KIDS Fund (Kids In Distressed Situations) launched a mission to open five food pantries at five local elementary schools in five years. The grant money will be used to launch and stock the group’s third pantry.

Supporting Kidds: This organization’s mission is to create a compassionate pathway to healing for grieving children and their families and empower the community to support them in the grieving process. The grant money will be used to purchase books and support its upcoming six-week bereavement group for children ages 5-18. The group’s executive director is Louise Cummings, the widow of slain Delaware State Trooper Cpl. Stephen Ballard.

Newark Police Athletic League: The Newark PAL recently acquired a large trailer that will serve as the PAL’s main base of operations within the community. The PAL trailer is a plain silver structure that is not suitable for kid-friendly events. The grant will assist in purchasing the trailer’s exterior wrap, which will be colorful, dynamic and engaging for kids and community members.

The Newark Partnership: The Newark Partnership’s Newark School Supply Drive is a coordinated effort between churches, businesses, nonprofits and residents to generate school supplies at the beginning of each school year. The effort focuses on supplies that local teachers need and ask for, as well as lesser-known needed items, such as changes of clothes, hygiene kits and art or extracurricular supplies.

I Can Do 26.2: This organization’s mission is to provide access to non-competitive, structured physical activities for children from communities with health disparities. Grant money will assist in purchasing athletic equipment and supplies for a six-week running program for children ages 4-12, during which participants work with volunteer coaches to walk or run the equivalent of a marathon.

Keene Elementary PTO: Grant money will be used to assist in providing a summer skills bag to each of the school’s 500 students. The bags will supply students with summer materials to help prevent summer learning loss and to help fill in gaps created by the pandemic.

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