The Arvest Foundation has funded grants totaling more than $60,000 to various non-profit organizations in the city of Fort Smith, Ark., this year.

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The primary purpose of the Arvest Foundation is to support local organizations doing outstanding work to improve the quality of life in the communities it serves. Through its grant program, the Arvest Foundation helps worthwhile charitable activities in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

“At Arvest, we believe in making our communities better places to live, work and play,” said Roger Holroyd, president for Arvest Bank in Fort Smith region. “Through the Arvest Foundation, we are able to do that by supporting local organizations doing work to help and empower those in need. We trust these donations reflect our ongoing commitment to Fort Smith.”

Grants are based on recommendations from local Arvest leadership and the use of these grants varies depending on the organizations need.

Recipients include:

  • The Fort Smith Symphony – “The Fort Smith Symphony is incredibly grateful for the support of the Arvest Foundation for its generous grant to our organization,” Fort Smith Symphony music director and conductor John Jeter said. “During these challenging times, the ability of music to bring balance, calmness, comfort and hope cannot be understated. We appreciate the Arvest Foundation’s recognition of the value of music in our community. This wonderful grant will be used to help underwrite the Symphony’s holiday performances and purchase essential personal protective equipment, including face masks for musicians and audience members.”
  • Boys Shelter Inc. – “On behalf of Boys Shelter Inc., we thank the Arvest Foundation for its donation,” Boys Shelter, Inc. executive director Eddie Donovan said. “We are thrilled to have completed our groundbreaking ceremony and now move forward on our dream to complete our Community Building. This facility will provide multiple indoor exercise options as well as counseling, tutoring and training for both the young men in our care and staff members.”
  • University of Arkansas – Fort Smith (UAFS) Scholarship Fund – At UAFS, we are continually working to provide access to the life-changing benefits of higher education, and collaborative scholarship programs through the Arvest Foundation enable us to remove financial barriers that may stand in the way of our students’ success,”  Said UAFS chancellor Terisa Riley said. “We are thrilled to be able to award this scholarship, and further empower students to exemplify Martin Luther King’s legacy on our campus and combat injustice through education.”
  • Lincoln Childcare Center – Affordable childcare is the No. 1 concern for this area,” Lincoln Childcare Center director Jennifer Rudder said. “Lincoln offers services on a sliding fee scale based on parent’s income, allowing families to work or go to school while receiving affordable quality care. This grant will be used to purchase an HVAC unit for our infant room and to offset some maintenance costs due to an older building. We greatly appreciate the Arvest Foundation for enabling us to meet this goal!”
  • Fort Smith Regional Art Museum (RAM) – The gift from the Arvest Foundation puts a wonderful spotlight on the talent of our region’s young artists.” RAM executive director Louis Meluso said. “RAM is so grateful for this support that has resulted in the gift of our building and now the strengthening of our efforts to enrich youth’s lives through the new Student Gallery sponsored by Arvest Foundation.”
  • Believe in Fort Smith – “Believe in Fort Smith wants to be the spark that lights a fire in the community that unites us all,” Believe in Fort Smith president and co-founder Marcus Thompson said. “The elderly and individuals with disabilities are special to me because in many cases they are forgotten. This donation will allow us to purchase more reliable mowers, weed eaters, leaf blowers and other essential equipment for our We Care Lawn Program. Additionally, we hope to invest in reliable transportation, allowing more efficiency with our work and scheduling.”
  • Children’s Emergency Shelter (CES) – The Children’s Emergency Shelter is honored to have this support from the Arvest Foundation for the construction of a therapeutic walking trail,” CES director of development Ashley Forsgren said. “Our mission is to provide a safe home where youth in foster care can grow and heal. The Arvest Foundation Trail will provide physical fitness benefits while supporting our mission by giving our residents who suffer from trauma and emotional challenges a healthy outlet for their emotions and the overwhelming stress, anger, and sadness they feel as a result of the trauma they have suffered.”