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The Journal Gazette

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016 6:57 am

Nonprofit status will ease donations to juvenile center

Rebecca S. Green The Journal Gazette

The Allen County Juvenile Justice Center has a nonprofit arm now, allowing it to take donations for a variety of programs it has running – and plans to run – to serve area youth.

According to Allen Superior Court Judge Dan Heath, part of the court’s Family Relations Division and presiding judge at the center, the need for a foundation became apparent within the past few months when corporations wanted to donate to some of the programs.

The center’s fledgling Check and Connect anti-truancy program has been seeing good results since its implementation last fall at Fort Wayne Community Schools.

Donors with the Waterfield Foundation and the Chapman Fund wanted to make a gift to the program, but it was more complicated than they thought.

“We didn’t have a place for them to write the check,” Heath said. 

So he gathered together a “pretty formidable board,” formed a 501(c)3 organization called The Friends of the Allen County Juvenile Center Inc., attained nonprofit status and built a website –

At the site, visitors can find out information about the center’s three primary programs as well as about its board members and other issues.

Those programs include Check and Connect; BrightSteps, an early childhood initiative; and Evening Reporting.

The board is led by longtime local educator and school administrator Daryl Yost, Heath said.

Because everything has been put into place, Check and Connect, through the new foundation, received a $35,000 donation from Waterfield and the Chapman Fund, according to a release from the center.

“We do need communitywide help. We can’t do it on our own,” Heath said. “We would appreciate any assistance that the community can give.”