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May 25, 2016


Contact: Amy Vick, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing,;
Tami Durrence, Vice President for Supporting Foundations,

Columbus Youth Foundation to Honor 94 "Best All-Around Students" During Award Celebration

Columbus, OH (May 25, 2016)—The Columbus Youth Foundation (CYF) will recognize 94 Columbus City Schools (CCS) students through the Best All-Around Student Awards, tonight at Huntington Park, before the game between the Columbus Clippers and the Buffalo Bisons. The event recognizes students for their outstanding citizenship and achievements during the 2015-2016 school year. The Whetstone High School Marching Band will perform before the ceremony and will play the national anthem.

The CYF Trustees welcome Jane Grote Abell as the special guest speaker for the recognition ceremony. A founding family member of Donatos Pizza, Ms. Abell currently holds the title of Chairwoman of the Board. In addition to leading Donatos in its mission of promoting goodwill through product, service, principles and people, Ms. Abell is also active in the community. A major focus has been the revitalization efforts on Columbus’ south side, where the company’s original pizza shop was located. She has been a strong advocate for the South Parsons Corridor redevelopment project, and a leading force in the creation of the Reeb Avenue Center, a social services center housing nonprofits that focus on education and workforce development. She also serves in leadership roles for organizations ranging from I KNOW I CAN to Experience Columbus.

The Best All-Around Student Awards recipients, one male and one female student from each middle and high school in the CCS district, were selected based on a variety of criteria, such as academic performance, extracurricular activities, community service, or leadership qualities. Each student will be recognized individually on the field. The receiving line will include: Ms. Abell; the CYF Board of Trustees; Dr. J. Daniel Good, CCS Superintendent; and members of CCS Board of Education. 

CYF has a long history of helping central Ohio youth. Established as a Supporting Foundation of The Columbus Foundation in 1976, CYF has awarded more than $3.5 million in grants to help young people attend summer camp, participate in recreational activities, and enjoy cultural enrichment activities. Among current grant recipients are the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio, Directions for Youth & Families, Lower Lights Ministries, Gladden Community House, Momentum, Recreation Unlimited, and the YMCA.

CYF's links to sports and to the disadvantaged youth of urban Columbus began upon its creation as a private foundation in 1955. A group of distinguished local businessmen created the Foundation that year to hold title both to the Columbus Jets, a professional minor-league baseball team, and the team’s Franklinton stadium. Because CYF returned all profits to the community through grants to organizations that served the sick, underprivileged, and disabled youth of Columbus, it ensured strong local support for the team.

After the Columbus Jets dissolved and their stadium was sold, CYF’s Trustees decided that instead of closing the Foundation, its service to the youth of Franklinton and urban Columbus should continue as long as possible. The Trustees chose to join The Columbus Foundation in 1976 as the first Supporting Foundation. This relationship maintained CYF’s independence, while the Trustees were able to access the services and experienced staff of The Columbus Foundation.

For more than 60 years CYF has continued to make a difference in the lives of youth from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of Columbus by providing healthy, positive opportunities to learn life lessons through recreation and sports.

Members of the 2016 CYF Board of Trustees are Cathy M. Lyttle, chair; Archie M. Griffin, vice chair; John P. Kadlic; John Lowe; and Catherine T. Willis.

The Foundation welcomes contributions from donors interested in supporting healthy, positive opportunities for fun through youth recreational activities.

Find more information or make a contribution.