The Greater Escambia Community Foundation Awards $296,350 in Grants to Local Organizations to Assist


The Greater Escambia Community Foundation, Inc. awarded grants totaling $296,350 to seven area agencies on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 to support individuals and families still struggling to recover financially, emotionally and physically from the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Recipients of the grants included:

Baptist Health Care Foundation, acting as a fiscal agent for Lakeview Center ($36,125)- will utilize the grant to create a Child’s Place for Healing, an outdoor playground and garden area for children affected by the oil spill who are under the care of Lakeview Center.

Favor House of Northwest Florida ($50,000) - will create a shelter program to provide assistance for residents who sustained emotional and financial distress associated with the oil spill.

First United Methodist Church, acting as the fiscal agent for the Gulf Coast Interfaith Alliance ($43,100) – will distribute funds to three programs:

  • Milk & Honey – A small profit organization that serves the needs of an underserved community through after school programs and summer programs for youth.  
  • Suit Yourself Ministry – A program that provides proper clothing for women who are trying to reenter the workplace following the loss of a job, or abuse, which are direct result of the oil spill.  
  • Serve the Hungry – Provides food and clothing for men and women in need.

Loaves and Fishes ($30,000) – The monies will provide food and emergency shelter for individuals and families impacted by the oil spill.

Sacred Heart Foundation, acting as the fiscal agent for the Lynn F. Johnston Pediatric Dental Clinic ($41,625) – The dental program provides specialized dental care for the neediest indigent pediatric patients in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. The grant will be used to assist children from families whose financial stability was directly affected by the oil spill.                      

South Santa Rosa Interfaith Ministries ($45,500) – Based in Santa Rosa County, this program will assist victims of the oil spill with housing, utility and medical needs.

United Ministries ($50,000) – This program will provide emergency financial assistance for shelter and utility needs to individuals and families impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The grants were made possible through a contribution from the Fund for Gulf Coast Communities, a program of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, to enhance the resiliency of the Gulf Coast’s diverse communities and address some of the unmet needs of individuals, families and children significantly affected by the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its aftermath.

“We are grateful to be receiving this grant,” said Paul Westhoff, executive director, Sacred Heart Medical Group, Primary Care Operations. “When people are losing their jobs and hurting financially as a result of last year’s oil spill, they cannot afford proper dental care for their children and grandchildren.”  “We have seen a substantial increase in new patients since April of 2010,” Westhoff continued. “This grant will allow us to meet the needs of those very deserving children.”

The Greater Escambia Community Foundation was formed to help donors who have an interest in long-term charitable giving. The donor directs philanthropic gifts to the charity or charities of their choice. The community foundation manages the funds, distributes gifts on behalf of the donor, provides the accounting function, and satisfies all government reporting requirements.  This arrangement leaves the donor free to focus only on their charitable interest.

(L-R) Guy Thompson, Fred Cornett and Shirley Cornett (Guy is Mayor of Milton/Shirley is the Executive Director of South Santa Rosa Interfaith Ministries)

(L-R) Paul Young, Executive Director, Greater Escambia Community Foundation, Shirley Cornett, Executive Director, Interfaith Ministries, and Eric Nickelson, Board Chair, Greater Escambia Community Foundation.