OOT 2019 Grant Recipients

Operation Our Town has announced grant awards to 17 local programs aimed at the education and prevention of drug use in Blair County.  A total of over $44,000 will be distributed to the recipients of the 2019 Grant Cycle.

In addition to prevention grants, Operation Our Town also awards an annual grant for targeted law enforcement and prosecution to fight illegal drugs and crime in Blair County.  A total of over $3.4 million has been awarded in grants for both drug enforcement and prevention programs in Blair County over the past 12 years.

Operation Our Town will begin accepting grant applications again in the spring of 2020.  You can check back for more information on the 2020 grant cycle dates at OperationOurTown.org.

Each grant was judged objectively by specific criteria on a scoring process by the Operation Our Town Grant Committee.  In addition, Grant Committee members recuse themselves on grant applications in which they have a personal or professional interest.  The Grant Committee includes six members:

  • Rebecca Cowan, Vice President of Finance, New Pig Corporation
  • Michele Fiore, retired Mental Health Counselor
  • Donna Gority, former Blair County Commissioner
  • Jolene Kopriva, former Blair County Judge
  • Judy Rosser, Executive Director of Blair Drug & Alcohol Partnerships
  • Melanie Shildt, Executive Director of the United Way of Blair County



AASD Adult Education Program:  HSE Unlocks Doors
200 East Crawford Avenue, Altoona  (814) 946-8753
Funding awarded will be used to purchase GED Ready vouchers for the GED Official Practice Tests, provide payment for the official GED exams, and celebrate the graduates’ accomplishments with an end of year Graduation Celebration.

Altoona Area School District ELECT Program:  ELECT Program Workshops & Expectant Fathers
1415 6th Avenue, Altoona  (814) 946-8365
Funding awarded will be used to provide nutritious meals for ELECT educational events for pregnant and parenting teens, and provide supportive services for expectant fathers.

Arts Altoona:  After School Arts Program (ASAP)
LaunchBox 1331 12th Avenue, Suite 103, Altoona  (814) 931-1430
Funding awarded will be used toward funding one session of ten separate after-school art classes for junior high school students to increase confidence and self-expression, and offer artmaking as an outlet for hope and transformation.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Blair County:  School-based SMART Mentoring Program
891 23rd Street, Altoona  (814) 944-6129
Funding awarded will be used to support weekly scheduled visits at school-based locations with Bigs and Littles (ages 6-18) that focus on learning life skills together, working on schoolwork, playing a game, or just having a simple conversation about each other’s day.

Blair County Juvenile Probation Office:  Recognize, Reinforce & Restore: Roads to Positive Behavioral Change
423 Allegheny Street Suite 424, Hollidaysburg  (814) 693-3230
Funding awarded will be used to purchase incentives for youth that will provide meaningful activities for youth which will build participant’s self-worth, community connection, and pro-social activities in deterring delinquent behaviors.

Blair County Library System:  Family Place Workshops for Blair County Libraries
1600 5th Avenue, Altoona  (814) 946-0417
Funding awarded will be used to provide Parent-Child Workshops to connect families with young children (ages 1-3) to the array of services and supports within our community at the four Family Place libraries in Altoona, Bellwood, Hollidaysburg, and Roaring Spring.

Blair Regional YMCA:  Family Y-Nite
1111 Hewit Street, Hollidaysburg  (814) 695-4467
Funding awarded will be used to provide five family-based events that bring families together in a fun, safe, affordable and drug-free environment which provides food, resources, art, music and crafts for all.

Central Blair Recreation & Park Commission:  Community Special Events Series
2101 5th Avenue, Altoona  (814) 949-2231
Will provide supplies for four themed special events in the community throughout the year: Community Easter Egg Hunt, Prospect Pool Splash Hop, Max’s Super Spray Hop, and Carnival of Games.

Child Advocates of Blair County:  CHOICES Summer Program
319 Sycamore Street, Altoona  (814) 941-8336
Funding awarded will be used to purchase supplies and incentives for a youth summer program at Evergreen Manors that will include educational topics & agency speakers, crafts, games, movies, and community outings.

Family Services, Inc.:  Blair County Human Trafficking Taskforce Initiative
2022 Broad Avenue, Altoona  (814) 944-3583
Funding awarded will be used to provide training on human trafficking to Blair County systems and agencies to ensure victims of human trafficking are effectively given after-care services and to properly prosecute buyers and exploiters of this crime.

Gloria Gates Memorial Foundation:  After School Program
PO Box 89, Altoona  (814) 949-8838
Funding awarded will be used for supplies and incentives. This program serves children ages 5 through 13, in a daily structured setting held within the low-income housing developments of Evergreen Manors, Fairview Hills, and Logan Hills.

Refuge Youth Network:  Student Led Programming (SLP) 
600 Ritts Road, Altoona  (814) 889-9113
Funding awarded will be used to provide a unique program model where students in 7th-12th grade who participate find inclusion through common experiences with a group of peers and build mentorship relationships with leaders who are sharing in their experiences.

The Nehemiah Project:  The Wright Place for Kids’ Students Participating to Encourage Life & Learning (SPELL)
1809 11th Street, Altoona  (814) 201-2096
Funding awarded will be used for their 2020 summer program that will include sports activities, drama, movie nights, music & concerts, games & children’s activities, free food, community services, a Christian message of hope, and the Blair Regional Y’s Virtual Reality Center.

The ROCK:  Reaching Out to Community Kids
130 2nd Avenue, Altoona  (814) 943-2072
Funding awarded will be used for food, arts & crafts, athletic equipment, and teaching resources.  The program serves children in Pre-K to 12th grade and includes a home-cooked meal, gym/physical activity, arts & crafts, and small groups for kids to share and learn in.

Tyrone Elementary School:  Summer Reading Bookmobile
601 Clay Avenue, Tyrone  (814) 684-1342 ext: 2703
Funding awarded will be used to provide a Bookmobile to six low income neighborhoods in Tyrone to support elementary students that likely have no access to high quality books the opportunity to participate in reading activities lead by a certified teacher and gain access to high interest, engaging books by bringing the library right to their doorsteps.

United Way of Blair County’s Family Resource Center:  Parents as Teachers Program and Make Parenting a Pleasure Parenting Class
208 Hollidaysburg Plaza, Duncansville  (814) 317-5567 ext: 405
Funding awarded will be used for program supplies for Parents as Teachers educational family home visits and group events, and educational materials for the Make Parenting a Pleasure curriculum.

Young Life of Central Pennsylvania:  Young Life Camp
117 Quince Court, Hollidaysburg  (814) 696-7834
Funding awarded will be used to help students attend Young Life Camp who financially cannot afford the cost of camp otherwise.  Camp activities include ropes course and swings, biking, tubing, water skiing, parasailing, climbing walls, horseback riding, and many others.