The GAR Foundation announced a $70,000 grant to Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance (KNA) to support the ongoing cultural, recreational and business revitalization of Kenmore Boulevard. The funding will expand the Kenmore First Friday events, grow KNA's efforts to attract business and investment to the Kenmore Boulevard Historic District, and support the continuation of KNA's acquisition and rehabilitation of commercial and mixed-use properties on Kenmore Boulevard. Tina Boyes, KNA's executive director, said she is thrilled with the foundation's commitment to Kenmore and sees the grant as a testament to the community's potential and KNA's work over the past five years. "For Akron to grow, it needs strong neighborhoods," she said. "Kenmore is home to some of the most creative, hard working people. This, combined with our unique and historic business district, makes us a linchpin in the success of our city. We are thrilled that The GAR Foundation believes this, too, and is willing to invest in our future." Other neighborhood community development groups funded by foundation grants include Progressive Alliance CDC in West Akron, South Street Ministries and The Well CDC.
“We believe that neighborhood-serving organizations provide an important ‘way in’ to economic and community development,” said GAR Foundation Program Officer Bronlynn Thurman. “Our holistic support of economic development must include CDCs supporting neighborhoods, downtown development and systems work at the regional level.”