By: DAN SHINGLER 
Crain’s Cleveland Business

June 10, 2022

Schwarber Foundation’s annual golf tournament will benefit ArtsNow this year

Looking to get in a little golf? Want to help support the arts and leadership in Akron?

You might want to plan to play June 17. That’s the date for this year’s Ian Patrick Schwarber Foundation Golf Outing, with proceeds going to Akron’s ArtsNow nonprofit and to sponsor a local scholarship for a participant in Leadership Ohio.

Last year, the foundation used the tournament to pick up the course expenses for Leadership Ohio graduate Hillary Stewart, manager of enterprise risk management at FirstEnergy Corp.

Schwarber, a local business and arts backer known for founding the University of Akron’s EXL Center in 2016 and for knowing just about everyone in town, passed away unexpectedly in 2019 at the age of 38.

His family and friends formed the foundation soon afterward as a means of keeping his name and legacy alive and supporting some of his favorite causes, said Tony Beiting, president of the foundation and a friend of Schwarber’s since childhood.

“It feels good to keep his spirit alive. He was all about connecting people,” Beiting said.

Last year’s event covered about $2,000 in expenses via Stewart’s scholarship, but Beiting said the foundation expects to do better this year and to have a greater impact.

The event will still fund a Leadership Ohio scholarship — that’s an ongoing commitment — but will give whatever it raises over that amount to ArtsNow, and possibly other nonprofits in future years, Beiting said.

“We’re hoping to get to around $10,000 or $15,000 this year,” Beiting said. “Ian’s name opens a lot of doors for us, and people like what we’re doing.”

The cost for this year’s outing is $100, and prizes include a $10,000 award for a hole-in-one. The tournament is being held at the city of Akron’s J.E. Goodpark golf course, and those interested in playing can sign up online.

ACF grants announced

Speaking of supporting ArtsNow and other good causes around Akron, the Akron Community Foundation’s board announced Tuesday, June 7, that it has approved $2.8 million in grants, including $652,500 in competitive arts and culture grants chosen by the foundation’s Community Investment Committee.

ArtsNow got a grant of $75,000 in the quarterly round.

All told, nearly 60 organizations received funding, ACF reports.

Other awards included a $12,000 grant to the Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture in Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood. CATAC collaborates with and provides performance space for a group of theater companies, including Chameleon Village Theatre Collective, Gum-Dip Theatre and QuTheatr.

“Funding will help to equip these resident theater companies with the means to garner new performance techniques and professional development, nurture diverse storytelling, and serve as an administrative support team for successful community building and new performance creation,” ACF said in announcing the awards.

City hopes to juice EVs

As gas prices continue to increase, Akron’s doing more to help promote electric vehicles and to make their use more convenient.

Mayor Dan Horrigan announced Wednesday, June 8, that the city is starting an initiative to bring more vehicle-charging stations to town, beginning with a task force to explore opportunities to build more stations.

“From tires, to blimps, to airships, and now electric vehicles, Akron has a history of looking towards the future of transportation,” said Horrigan in announcing the effort. “Preparing for a rise in EVs is the next logical step for our city. Our investments and planning today will help reduce emissions from transportation which will in turn help create a healthier and more just city in the future. Working with key partners, we hope to create a network of EV charging stations that will be equitably placed and well-utilized throughout Akron.”

The city says the number of EVs on the road is already going up and that rising gasoline costs are making them more cost-competitive and attractive still.

Akron currently has 22 public EV charging locations with a total of 29 ports. There is also one public DC fast charging station in Akron.

The task force’s initial goals will include prioritizing buildout targets using city property and available funding, while ensuring that public EV charging and EV car sharing is available, accessible and equitable, the city said in announcing the initiative.

The task force includes representatives from the city, Summit County, the University of Akron, the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, Gateway Group, Welty Building Co., First Energy, Akron Energy Service, Akron METRO and several residents who own electric vehicles, the city reports.

If you have interest and want to get involved, send an email to Emily Collins, strategic advisor to the mayor, at ecollins@akronohio.gov and list your experience with one or more of the areas described above.

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