Our Impact is a series of articles highlighting stories from our recent annual report in which we share some of the ways we've invested in our communities over our last fiscal year. We hope you find inspiration in these stories of needs met, people helped, organizations supported, and lives changed.
Coach Eby Center Restoration Project
The Coach Eby Youth & Family Center is a staple in the Branch County Community, and its gym floor sees a lot of foot traffic throughout the year.
In addition to its regular youth and family programming, the Eby Center provides facility rental for events and hosts free Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. The Center hosts Toys-4-Tots Distributions, BCCADSV Pancakes with Santa, Girl Scout Events, athletic practices for basketball, volleyball, and pickleball teams, and even the occasional Tibbits Opera House production rehearsals.
During severe weather, the Eby Center opens the gymnasium as a 24-hour warming center, providing three meals per day, cots, blankets, and a warm place to sleep for the most vulnerable population in Branch County and surrounding areas.
This hustle and bustle of community activity throughout the year means the gym floor endures a lot of wear and tear, which was beginning to show. Faced with the high cost of restoration, the Eby Center applied for a grant from the Community Foundation.
“How can we continue to serve our community if we don’t have the basic updates to allow our center to flourish?” asked Melissa Austin, the Financial Coordinator for the Eby Center.
With resources from the Forever Fund and contributions from an additional private Donor Advised Fund, the Branch County Community Foundation granted funds for the gym restoration project.
Read more about the impact we're making in Branch County and Colon in our 2022 Annual Report and see what your donation dollars can achieve when you partner with the Branch County Community Foundation.