The following report was submitted by 2021 Impact Grant Recipient Boys & Girls Club of the Wausau Area.
1. Did you achieve the outcome(s) you intended with this project?
The Boys & Girls Club – Impact100 Greater Wausau Teaching Kitchen was completed, on time and on budget. We worked with our design, architect and construction team to ensure a well-designed, well executed space for kids, teens and families.
Construction officially began the last week of October 2021 with demolition, plan updates and mobilization of construction crews with grand reopening in May 2022. The space was truly transformed including new residential appliances from Furniture & Appliance Mart, custom cabinetry and countertops and new, welcoming furniture to fill the kitchen. Community partners and donors, including Impact100 members, helped stock the kitchen with small appliances, utensils, and other cookware.
We recently received a Fork Farms indoor hydroponic garden to grow fresh produce for use in Kid/Teen Cuisine programming and as a take-home option in our vestibule for families. The Teaching Kitchen is used daily by Elementary Center kids, Teen Center teens or both! During our 2023 Spring Break programming, the kitchen was used multiple times per day to teach Club Members kitchen safety, to read recipes, to try new foods and to have fun. Our Facebook page includes highlights from the week including photos from our Chopped Challenge – a Club Member (and staff judges’) favorite.
The Teaching Kitchen is a point of pride for our Members. It is bright, clean, welcoming, and, most importantly, theirs.
2. What impact did this grant have on your organization, the community and target population. Please quantify if possible.
- “My favorite room at the Club is the Teaching Kitchen.” – 4th grade Member
- “My favorite program at the Club is Teen Cuisine.” – 8th Grade Member
- “The Club is a place where you can try something new.” – 7th grade Member
Since completion, more than 300 Club Members have used the kitchen. From the December 2022 Member Survey:
- 90% of Members stated they increased their healthy cooking skills while at the Club
- 88% tried a new food
- 93% learned the benefits of proper nutrition
The dedicated Teaching Kitchen has transformed how we lead Healthy Lifestyle programming and help our Club Members learn life skills. Dedicated space allows for consistent programming for staff, Members, volunteers and community partners.
The hands-on learning opportunities engage kids and teens and help them to try new, healthy foods. For many Members, the kitchen is where they will learn to cook and, often just as important, to clean-up after themselves.
3. How have you sustained, or will you sustain, the benefits, momentum and spirit of this project?
We continue to sustain the benefits, momentum and spirit of this project through expanded partnerships, programming and opportunities. Funding for Teen/Kid Cuisine is part of our successful and popular Harvest Dinner every fall. Investing in the program is part of our Fund-a-Need portion and allows individuals to provide direct support.
The space has encouraged the Club to think broadly about partnerships to serve more young people, to meet the needs of the community and to provide engaging opportunities for volunteers. In the 2022- 2023 school year, the Club began a partnership with Wausau Area Virtual Education (WAVE) as both a testing location and host for monthly Peer Connect days where students and educators meet at the Club for hands-on activities and engagement. In December 2022, WAVE students constructed gingerbread houses in the Teaching Kitchen, an activity that in-person elementary students participate in at their brick-and-mortar schools. The Teaching Kitchen provides the ideal space for WAVE students and staff to experiment, connect, and learn!
4. Provide a final financial report
A financial report was provided and can be made available at your request. (It is difficult to link it directly.) Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy.
5. Have all Impact100 Greater Wausau funds been expended (yes or no)?
6. Your feedback is valued, and we want to hear from you! Please let us know how we could improve the grant making process.
Participating in the Impact100 grant application/award process has strengthened our organization’s capacity to apply for and successfully secure impactful, transformative grants which support our ongoing efforts. The opportunity to imagine “what if…” or “what could we do with…” has helped our team think about the possibilities and how we want to grow as an organization. We are thankful for the opportunity to present to the grant committee and wish more foundations/grant makers would tour, visit or meet with organizations as part of the process – it was a great opportunity to share our vision, meet with investors and to redesign our project after some thoughtful questions.
We appreciated the guidelines of a standalone capital project at the time of our application. It made sense to our organization that Impact100 would help transform the project and other investors would come along to help support it. The guideline helped us think about the scope/size of what we wanted to accomplish and to proudly display the Impact100 Greater Wausau logo in our community’s teaching kitchen.