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Keys Care grants recipients announced
Four local organizations awarded by Frederick's charity
01/24/2013 5:54 PM ET
FREDERICK, Md. -- The Frederick Keys have awarded grants from the team's charity fund, Frederick Keys Care, to four Frederick-area organizations. The recipients will be honored at a luncheon following the annual Keys Charity Golf Tournament presented by Pain and Spine Specialists of Maryland later this year.

The organizations receiving funds from Frederick Keys Care (also known as the Joel A. Stephens Memorial Fund), a component of the Community Foundation of Frederick County, for the 2012-13 grant year are the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick County, Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, Housing Authority of the City of Frederick, and Maryland Shakespeare Festival.

"We're happy to be able to contribute more to Frederick Keys Care this year and to have more applicants than we have had in years past," said Keys general manager, Dave Ziedelis. "We will continue to look for new avenues to grow the fund, and help youth-based organizations in Frederick for years to come."

The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, a nonprofit organization that offers the Frederick community classes, programs, exhibits and other educational opportunities and experiences in the visual arts, received a grant to fund art classes for Heartly House children. Heartly House provides comprehensive support and services to Frederick County residents who have been impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

Frederick Keys Care also awarded The Housing Authority of the City of Frederick, a nonprofit public corporation that provides low-income housing in Frederick County, a grant to staff its young men's leadership program.

The Boys and Girls Club received a grant from the fund to purchase bicycle helmets and gloves for its Club Riders program, a bicycle club aimed to get middle school students more active through riding bikes.

Maryland Shakespeare Festival received the final grant from the fund to bring its Shakespeare Alive! educational tour, which brings performances and workshops based on the great playwright's works into the classroom, to Frederick County public middle schools. The theater company provides Frederick County with interactive performances, performance research and educational programs.

Beginning with the grant recipients in 2010, the Keys' charity program Joel's Kids, named in honor of former Baltimore Orioles Minor League player Joel Stephens, was renamed Frederick Keys Care to denote the Keys' intention of broadening the base of its grant recipients. Frederick Keys Care was established to honor the courage and exemplary character of Stephens, who died in 1998 at the age of 22 after a battle with cancer.

The Joel A. Stephens Memorial Fund is part of The Community Foundation's Universal Grant Application funding program that takes place in the fall of each year. Nonprofit organizations that provide direct services to Frederick County youth and young adults may apply on behalf of their programs. Criteria for grant applicants include: capital expenditures, seed money or a one-time purchase or service.

To be eligible for consideration for a grant from Frederick Keys Care/Joel A. Stephens Memorial Fund, applicants must certify that they are one of the following:

* An already existing nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization;
* An existing government agency applying for an extraordinary project that is not funded by tax revenue;
* A newly formed group temporarily addressing a need or creating an organization to answer an emerging community need;
* A religious organization requesting funding for non-sectarian activities;
* A long-standing civic group that is not a 501(c)(3) organization requesting funding for a community cause.

Applicants are notified of the Community Foundation's decision regarding grants by Dec. 31. Additional information regarding The Community Foundation's grant decisions is available by contacting The Community Foundation of Frederick County at www.cffredco.org.

An Advisory Committee appointed by The Community Foundation reviews the grant applications and makes suggestions to the Foundation regarding distributions from the fund. The Advisory Committee consists of representatives from the Frederick Keys, the Foundation, and other interested parties, as determined by the Foundation.

Members of the organizations who receive funding through Frederick Keys Care are invited to attend the luncheon following the annual Frederick Keys Charity Golf Classic to be recognized as the current fund recipients. In addition, recipients are honored on the field at Harry Grove Stadium prior to a Frederick Keys game, as well as at other activities that may seem appropriate. Fund recipients are also encouraged to attend Keys home games throughout the season, as their schedules permit.

Previous grant recipients include ARC of Frederick County, Challenger Little League, Tranquility Farm Equestrian Education and Renewal Center, YMCA of Frederick County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Frederick County, Rock Creek School, Thorpewood, Up County Family Center, Thurmont Little League and Myersville Junior Baseball League, along with many others.

Preparations for the 2013 season are underway and it's never too early to book your partial and full season ticket plans for the upcoming year at Harry Grove Stadium. For information on ticket plans, please contact the Keys Group Offices at 301-815-9900 or via the web at frederickkeys.com online.

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