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2024 Marks Second Annual HFL Symposium and Updated Grant Processes

Updated: May 7

Health Foundation of La Porte (HFL) hosted its second annual symposium, Making a Mark, on the morning of Friday, January 12, 2024. The symposium, held at HFL’s Conference & Learning Center, welcomed more than 50 La Porte County leaders to reflect on the shared journey to a healthier community. Since 2017, HFL has been dedicated to its mission: empowering La Porte County residents to live healthy and well. HFL advances its mission through strategic thought leadership, grantmaking, and capacity building efforts for nonprofits, including educational events like the symposium.  


HFL President and CEO Maria Fruth began the event with the day’s theme, Making a Mark, inspired by cairns, human-made stacks of stones often raised as a marker. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic word carn, meaning “heap of stones.” Historically, cairns have been built across many cultures and countries as memorial monuments. Today, cairns are often used as landmarks or markers on trails, as an indication to a traveler that they are on the right path. That interpretation of making a mark and the image of cairns inspired the day’s events. In fact, each attendee took home a stone to commemorate the event and the impact their organization has on the collective trail to a healthier community. 


“I always say, it takes a village, and this event demonstrates the commitment of so many La Porte County organizations” said Maria Fruth, HFL CEO. “Tremendous impact has been made by HFL and our partners across all three of HFL’s strategic priority areas: Healthy Children, Healthy Living, and Healthy Minds. When HFL opened its first grant cycle in November of 2017, La Porte County ranked 92 out of 92 Indiana counties on healthy behaviors. Since then, we have improved to 70! The community-wide indicators we use to measure progress are going in the right direction – infant mortality, mothers who receive early prenatal care, food insecurity, etc., -- but we still have lots of work to do. Our journey continues.” 


The 2024 symposium was designed to reflect on how far we have come on this journey to a healthier La Porte County and where we go next. Stops along the path were made to highlight investments and impact, particularly through looking at HFL’s strategic priority areas of Healthy Children, Healthy Living, Healthy Minds, and Healthy La Porte. Additionally, attendees had an engaging session on what is next for grantmaking, led by HFL Senior Program Officer Jessica Mace, which detailed updates to HFL’s grant application process. January 12, 2024, marked the opening of HFL’s Cycle 1, and the Symposium included “pro tips” on preparing your best HFL grant application, maximizing TEN2030 (the central data hub for La Porte County, found at ten2030.org), and a variety of helpful resources to aid grant applicants. 


Symposium attendees listen as HFL President and CEO Maria Fruth discusses impact.


The biggest grant update announced at the event is the addition of a third grant process. Applicants can now apply for grants up to $10,000; grants of $10,001 to $25,000; and grants over $25,000. The third process, for grants up to $10,000, was designed to appropriately align the time and level of effort required to apply for a grant and report on it to the amount of funds requested.  


HFL’s grant portal, timeline, eligibility information, and grant resources for each of the three grant processes can be accessed at https://www.hflaporte.org/grant-opportunities. All 2024 Cycle 1 grant applications must be submitted by March 1, 2024. Organizations applying for a grant over $25,000 must submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) by 11:59 pm CST on January 26, 2024. All LOIs and applications must be submitted online via HFL’s grant portal to be considered for funding. 

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