Earlier this week, the Foellinger Foundation awarded over $1 million to the YMCA, effectively moving a well-known youth services program from the Allen Superior Court to the non-profit organization.
The Great Kids Make Great Communities Program was created in 1999 by Allen Superior Court Family Relations Division Judge Charles Pratt.
"Great Kids Make Great Communities has been the primary provider of training and research for professionals and other individuals who work with and for children in our community," Pratt said."
For all of this time, the organization has operated under the auspices of the court, but it recently became its own free-standing incorporated entity. This was, according to Pratt, an effort to ensure its sustainability.
The four-year grant from the Foellinger Foundation allows the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne to manage Great Kids, in collaboration with Judge Pratt and an advisory board.
"So we wanted to find an agency with a permanent presence in the community, that would not be operationally dependent on an individual," Pratt said.
Pratt believes the support of the grant will help the newly reorganized organization to go forward successfully.