The Gilmore | Henne Community Fund financially supports recreational park programs and/or financially supports recreational park improvements and maintenance in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Pools are not eligible. Up to $1,000 per park/playground may be requested and a total of approximately $5,000 in funding is available. Applications are due by March 15.
Wilson High graduates and NFL players John Gilmore and Chad Henne established the fund in 2010 to improve the community and the lives of children through the revitalization of parks and recreational facilities.
This fund annually accepts applications from February 1 through March 15. To apply, click on “Apply for a Grant” under the “Scholarships + Grants” section of the website menu, or click here. You must create an account to access the application system.
To donate, click here.
Chade Henne, left, and John Gilmore
The Gilmore | Henne Community Fund was incubated at Berks County Community Foundation in 2010 and then became a full-fledged nonprofit with its own programs.
During its time as an independent nonprofit, Gilmore | Henne provided funding for programs at area parks and also renovated these facilities:
- Essick Playground Revitalization: June 18, 2016
- 16th & Haak Playground Revitalization: June 28, 2014
- Locust Street Park (Fleetwood): Revitalization: June 22, 2013
- The Backyard at Opportunity House: June 23, 2012
- West Lawn Playground Revitalization: June 24, 2012
- Temple Playground Revitalization (Muhlenberg Township): July 10, 2011
- Barbey’s Playground Revitalization: July 9, 2011
- Second and Oley Playground Revitalization: April 24, 2010
These are “before” and “after” photos of the Second and Oley Playground Revitalization project.
In 2017, the Gilmore | Henne Community Fund turned back into a fund of the Community Foundation as Gilmore | Henne focuses its mission.
Operating as a fully-functioning and independent nonprofit required overhead and oversight. Focusing on being a Community Foundation fund that supports programs run by already-existing park organizations is more efficient.
This move reduced administrative expenses since the Community Foundation already administers hundreds of funds.
Becoming an endowed fund at the Community Foundation ensures the stability of the Gilmore | Henne Community Fund for generations to come.
Only a portion of the endowment is drawn every year to fund programs at local parks. The rest of the endowment is invested to grow indefinitely as a community resource.
Grants since the 2017 transition
- $6,000 to Reading Recreation Commission to support the Barbey’s Playground summer program.
- $12,000 to Reading Recreation Commission (payable in two grants of $6,000 each in April 2019 and January 2020) to support the Barbey’s Playground summer program.
- $1,000 to YMCA of Reading & Berks County for playground improvements.
- $1,000 to Olivet Boys & Girls Club of Reading & Berks for equipment.
- $1,000 to KidsPeace for playground improvements in Muhlenberg Township.
- $1,000 to VOiCEup Berks for an outdoor classroom/garden at 16th & Haak Elementary School.
- $400 to Reading Skatepark Association to support development of a skatepark.
- $2,000 to Exeter Community Education Foundation to maintain school playgrounds.
- $1,000 to Barrio Alegria to fund programs at city playgrounds.
- $250 to Bernville Borough to purchase wheelbarrows for volunteers to use during park maintenance efforts.
- $1,000 to La Salle Academy Catholic Youth Organization to renovate the basketball court at La Salle Academy, 440 Holland Street, Shillington.
- $1,000 to Muhlenberg Township for arts, crafts and sports supplies for a summer playground program.
- $1,000 to VOiCEup Berks for the Stand Together Against Racism (STAR) initiative as part of Reading Recreation Commission’s summer playground program.