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RFC Is Recipient of $12,000 Grant

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Windham – The Renaissance Family Center (RFC) in Windham was recently the recipient of a $12,000 grant from the ANH Foundation. The check was delivered to the center on November 3, 2014 by Allen Knight, head of press maintenance at the ANH Company in Windham, and Dave Apthorpe, plant manager of ANH, and Harry Amie, president of the United Steel Workers Union of ANH, Windham. On hand to receive the check were the director of the facility, Joe Hickman and board member, Crystal Hickman.

The ANH Company Foundation is a charity foundation that is a separate entity of the ANH Company which is derived from three refectories, AP Green Refractories, North American Refractories and Harbison-Walker Refractories. The foundation is run by a team of board members from the refractories.  Each year the foundation awards $50,000 to $60,000 in grants to organizations that show need and  also ANH employee involvement with the charity.  Employees from each company have an opportunity to nominate a 501(c) 3 charity that they are involved with. The board members of the foundation review the applications and determine who receives the grants.

This year RFC was the recipient of one of their grants. RFC was nominated by local resident and employee of ANH (Harbison-Walker) Allen Knight. Knight stated that the charity was important to him and his family. Knight said, “I am a strong believer of helping local folks who have fallen on hard times. At some point in time, each of us have or will need assistance either financially, spiritually and/or emotionally.” The facility meets all these needs and more.   He said he and his wife have donated many items to the center, so the center could resell the items and use the profits to keep RFC open.  Knight, in his letter to the foundation, listed all the employees that he knew at the plant who are involved in RFC, by either donating or volunteering at the center, the list was quite extensive.

Joe Hickman said they would use the grant money to improve the infrastructure of the facility. He said many times grants are given and they have stipulations to be used for programs and activities, rarely does one receive a grant that can be used for the infrastructure rather than programs and activities. The money would be a great help in maintaining the facility.

RFC was established five years ago  and is run by volunteers and donations. They are open to everyone, no matter where they live. Some of the services they offer are after -school tutoring, free meals, the second blessing shop where they sell used items to help those in need and it helps fund the center.  They also have men’s basketball, a weight room, indoor walking, seniors programs, free community meals and more. They host Al-anon, Alcoholics  Anonymous and  Narcotics Anonymous meetings, Salvation Army/ Red Shield program, Townhall II and Portage County Health Department Immunization Clinics. The center also houses the Windham branch of the Portage County District Library.

Since the inception of the facility they have become one of Windham’s greatest assets. The center is open Monday 10am- 4pm, Tuesday 10 am – 6:30 pm, Thursday noon – 6:30 pm and Friday 10 am – 4pm. They are closed on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. For more information on the facility one may call 330 326-3003 or visit then on the web at http://www.windhamrfc.com/.

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Denise Bly has been a correspondent for the Weekly Villager for five years. She also does the public relations for Garrettsville Summerfest and the Garrettsville Area Chamber. In her spare time, she can be found at most local events, especially J.A. Garfield’s, high school and middle school athletic and musical events. When not out and about in the community, she can be found at home reading, sewing, cooking and spending time with her family.