· $4.9 million in new grants includes 11 of the Foundation’s charitable areas
· $.4 million for Precious Minds, New Connections, one of Texas’ leading child abuse prevention programs
SAN ANTONIO – Programs targeting a broad range of local needs are among 68 grants totaling $4.9 million approved during the second half of 2011 and announced today by the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, which has an area of geographic emphasis that includes Bandera, Bexar, Comal and Kendall counties. These grants are made possible by the remarkable generosity of Bessie Mae and Albert Kronkosky Jr. Some of the grants announced today are described briefly in the following paragraphs. Also attached is a summary of all of the grants announced today.
These grants bring the total grants for 2011 to $10.6 million and from inception in 1998 to a total of $171.3 million. In 2011 the focus of the Foundation’s grants was principally on general operating grants in light of the difficult economic environment faced by the nonprofit community in the four counties we serve.
Grants in Honor of the Founders - $50,000
Each year the Foundation makes an unsolicited, unrestricted $50,000 grant in honor of each of our founders on their birthdates in May for Albert Kronkosky, Jr. and in December for Bessie Mae Kronkosky. A grant to the Arthur Nagel Clinic in Bandera Texas was made in honor of Mr. Kronkosky in May. Included in the grants announced today is a grant to TEAMability, Inc. TEAMability provides life skills training to severely handicapped children, many of which have multiple disabilities. Its staff also provides parent forums and workshops designed to assist parents in learning and practicing skills that help their children communicate and to participate as fully as possible in life’s activities.
Precious Minds, New Connections - $399,290
“This parenting education program is a principal effort of the Foundation focused on the Kronkoskys’ charitable purpose of freeing children from abuse and neglect. It is particularly important because it addresses a root cause issue that has a lasting effect on the children touched by the work of the educators. The classes are open to everyone in the community who wants to improve his or her parenting skills,” said Palmer Moe, managing director of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. “All new parents realize quickly that babies don’t come with instruction manuals, and this is a program every parent will find helpful in his and her most important responsibility.”
In the Precious Minds, New Connections Initiative, twenty-one agencies were awarded grants that totaled $3.1 million in 2011 to fund parenting education classes and home visits for parents with children under four years of age. Last year, over 8,000 moms, dads, grandparents and childcare workers were served by these agencies.
Precious Minds, New Connections is based on extensive research into early childhood development. The research shows that 80-90% of a person's brain develops by the age of three. The first three years of a person's life are truly the most formative years and affect the future potential of every person. It is critical that every parent and caregiver of infants and toddlers have access to the information and tools needed to make their child's first three years as productive and positive as possible. Most parents take on the job without training, usually spending more time preparing for a drivers’ license test.
The understanding of the critical early years of a person’s life is also important to every child. During this time, a child’s experiences will impact the ability to have healthy relationships with others during his or her lifetime. The foundation for having self-esteem is developed or possibly lost. The potential for educational success is maximized or impaired. Parenting education enables parents to understand early childhood development and realistic expectations for child behavior. All of this knowledge is known to lead to less likelihood that a child will be abused and his or her development neglected.
Child Abuse Prevention - $843,000
In addition to the Precious Minds, New Connections grants, 14 additional grants were made in the area of child abuse prevention. Six grants totaling $308,000 were made to child abuse treatment programs, including The Children’s Shelter, ChildSafe, St PJ’s and Connections (New Braunfels). Two grants were related to transitional living programs of Roy Mass’ Youth Alternatives and Boysville. Two grants were made to CASA organizations serving Bexar, Bandera and Kendall Counties.
Arts Activities – $909,000
In the area of arts activities, the Symphony Society of San Antonio and the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center were each awarded $250,000 in support of operations. Youth Orchestras of San Antonio was awarded $100,000. An additional nine arts organizations were awarded grants ranging from $10,000 to $75,000.
Illnesses - $750,000
Nine nonprofit organizations were awarded grants in the area of illnesses. Obesity prevention was the focus of a $175,000 grant to the San Antonio Food Bank to fund nutrition presentations throughout the San Antonio area. Any Baby Can was awarded $165,000 in support of its Reaching Families Facing Autism program which will be extended from Bexar and Comal Counties to also include Bandera and Kendall Counties. Any Baby Can also has a prescription assistance program for low income persons that helps clients obtain long-term medical prescriptions from pharmaceutical companies. An award of $120,000 was made to support this effort. Other illness related grants focused on cancer care, community health centers, dental care for the indigent, HIV/AIDS and substance abuse.
Disabilities – $588,681
Twelve organizations serving person with disabilities received grants in this period. The ARC of San Antonio, which serves persons with mild to severe intellectual disabilities, was awarded $125,000 for its Life Enrichment Program, an after-school, holiday and all-day summer care program for persons 5-22 years of age. The other organizations funded ably provide critical services to disabled persons and included Project Mend, Mission Road Developmental Center, Low Vision Resource Center (Owl Radio), Rape Crisis Center, Children’s Bereavement Center, San Antonio Clubhouse, Kinetic Kids, CAMP and TEAMability
Elderly - $533,500
Seven nonprofit organizations which serve the elderly were awarded grants, including $200,000 to Haven for Hope to fund two case managers serving homeless elderly persons and two educators focusing on parenting. Four senior centers located in Boerne, Bulverde, New Braunfels, and Bandera received grants aggregating $230,000 for operations. Catholic Charities was awarded $75,000 for use in its Money Management Program for the elderly and San Antonio Kiwanis was awarded $28,500 to fund building supplies for ramps its volunteers install for elderly and disabled persons helping them to be able to continue living in their homes.
Character Development of Youth – $342,500
Three traditional youth serving agencies were funded in this area. Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas, Inc. was awarded $130,000 to help fund and expand the number of matches of volunteers with youth seeking a mentor in their lives. Boys and Girls Clubs of Bandera County received $112,500 for its operations in Bandera and Lakehills. Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas was the recipient of a $50,000 program grant for its Comal County and Judson School district Pathways of Character program.
Public Museums – $230,000
The Witte Museum was awarded $200,000 in support of its expanding operating footprint which will include the South Texas Heritage Center and the HEB Body Adventure facility by mid-year. The Frontier Times Museum in Bandera Texas was awarded $30,000 in support of its operations.
Other Charitable Areas of Grants - $250,000
Public Parks $ 75,000
Wildlife Sanctuaries $ 75,000
Public Zoo $ 50,000
Protection of Natural Areas $ 50,000
A copy of this news release is available on our website in the ‘About the Foundation” section.
The mission of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation is to produce profound good that is tangible and measurable in Bandera, Bexar, Comal and Kendall counties in Texas by implementing the Kronkoskys’ charitable purposes. General areas of interest for the Foundation are outlined in its Program Guidelines booklet, which may be obtained by contacting the Foundation’s office or may be found on the Foundation’s website at www.kronkosky.org.
The Kronkosky Charitable Foundation was established by Albert and Bessie Mae Kronkosky with a trust agreement in January 1991 and was funded in August 1997. The Kronkosky family presence in Texas dates back to the 1860s when they moved into the New Braunfels area. Over the years, the family became a significant shareholder in Merck stock and they involved themselves in a number of successful local business ventures, mainly the Gebhardt Chili Powder Company and the San Antonio Drug Company.