BRADENTON -- The Manatee Community Foundation is awarding a record $114,000 in grants today to 44 nonprofits.
The annual grants reception starts at 3:30 p.m. at Synovus Bank, 2520 Manatee Ave. W.
Last year $101,000 in grants were given out.
"The foundation is growing and it's reflected in the amount of grants it can award," said Executive Director Marilyn Howard.
A grants committee of community volunteers and MCF board members reviewed 65 grant applications. Additional funding was provided by MCF donor advisers who direct money from their funds to help close the gap between requests and available dollars.
"We are grateful for those donors because they make a big difference," Howard said.
Arts funding, in particular, increased as more donors directed funds toward the arts.
Grants awarded this year include:
n Music for the Anna Maria Island Community Orchestra and Chorus.
n Bus trip expenses for Manatee schools to view the Embracing Our Differences art exhibit at the Bradenton Riverwalk.
n Florida Studio Theater's Write A Play program.
n Scholarships for needy youth to attend the Manatee Players Broadway Bootcamp.
n Manatee County Cultural Alliance's Roots program.
Grants also include nonprofits assisting the disadvantaged.
"We are still dealing with basic needs in the community," Howard said.
Those grant recipients include:
n Manatee County Habitat for Humanity's Veterans home repair project.
n Kiwanis Club of Bradenton Foundation's Christmas in August program for homeless children attending Manatee County schools.
n Cribs and mattresses for Healthy Start Coalition's Safe Sleep Campaign.
n Family and children's therapy equipment for Manatee Glens.
n Tidewell Hospice.
n Anna Maria Island Community Center's family therapy programs.
Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter:@vinmannix