Straker Foundation Approves $1.6 Million in Grants in Muskingum County

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Family members and the community honored J. William Straker at a memorial service on Saturday, May 1, 2021. That afternoon, the Trustees of the J.W. & M.H. Straker Charitable Foundation met to approve grant awards totaling almost 1.6 million dollars.

Straker Trustees are the children and grandchildren of J. William and Mary Helen Straker, who established the Foundation.

The J.W. & M.H. Straker Charitable Foundation will announce a smaller competitive grant cycle for Fall 2021.


Grants awarded in the Spring cycle include the following:

  • $10,017.00 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Zanesville and the Muskingum County YMCA; enrolling “Littles” in Y programs.
  • $19,440.00 Careytown/Parents Group Child Day Care; COVID-related costs.
  • $10,580.00 The Carr Center; summer learning program.
  • $92,669.65 City of Dresden; community swim center.
  • $100,000.00 City of Zanesville Community Development; park renovation.
  • $52,991.09 Dog Warden; kennel construction, security cameras.
  • $50,000.00 Eastside Community Ministry; building construction.
  • $12,000.00 Friends of Secrest; wheelchair access to stage.
  • $20,000.00 Habitat for Humanity; range of Muskingum County initiatives.
  • $44,530.35 Harrison Township; township pool.
  • $41,955.00 Helen Purcell Home; space repurposing.
  • $9,050.48 Homeless Hands of Zanesville; supplies and shower facilities.
  • $44,509.00 Muskingum County Child Advocacy Center; equipment, supplies, and software.
  • $90,000.00 Muskingum County History; building renovations.
  • $14,300.18 Muskingum County Library System; rural hotspots and story walk.
  • $17,388.60 Muskingum County Literacy Council; resiliency program.
  • $7,000.00 Muskingum Soil and Water District; career exploration program.
  • $600,000.00 Muskingum University; Health and Wellness Center support.
  • $10,000.00 Muskingum Valley Garden Society; beautification projects.
  • $8,784.00 Muskingum Valley Parks District; summer learning camp.
  • $4,994.00 Muskingum Valley League; leadership program.
  • $47,800.00 New Concord; community pool.
  • $7,546.00 Village of Philo; shelter house.
  • $30,000.00 PAWS of Muskingum County, Ohio; spay and neuter programs.
  • $4,000.00 Rolling Plains United Methodist Church; Road to Recovery program.
  • $16,000.00 Salvation Army; emergency social services programs.
  • $46,800.00 Transitions; shelter services.
  • $50,000.00 Trulight Ministries; homelessness program support.
  • $50,000.00 Zanesville Community Theatre; facility upgrades.
  • $42,877.00 Zanesville Museum of Art; security system.

Foundation President Susan Holdren awarded requests from discretionary funds:

  • $2,880.00 Breaking Free Therapeutic Riding Center; first responder program.
  • $3,078.75 Ohio Grange Charitable Foundation, Inc.; Friendly Hills Camp supplies.
  • $2,000.00 I Am a Warrior; suicide prevention materials.
  • $8,000.00 Minority Business Network of Southeastern Ohio; oral history project.
  • $3,000.00 South Zanesville Business Association; holiday events.
  • $2,480.00 The Turban Project; headgear for Muskingum County patients.
  • $5,000.00 Zanesville Appalachian Arts Project; summer learning program.
  • $5,400.00 Zanesville Concert Association; youth concert attendance.

In addition, the Foundation committed $100,000.00 to support a new county talent recruitment and retention program. They awarded ongoing multiple-year grant payments and COVID-related off-cycle awards.