Burton D. Morgan Foundation awards $50k grant to Coleman Professional Services

HUDSON, Ohio - Burton D. Morgan Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to Coleman Professional Services, a non-profit providing behavioral health and rehabilitation programs from crisis intervention to employment programs to residential services in eight Northeast Ohio counties.

The grant is the final $50,000 award the Morgan Foundation made to area organizations as part of its 50th anniversary celebration. Akron Soul Train, Portage Animal Protective League and the International Soap Box Derby received grants earlier this year.

Coleman will use the money to build and equip the Burton D. Morgan Therapy Playscape, an outdoor therapy space at its new Children's Center in Kent. The ribbon-cutting is set for Dec. 6.

Equipment installed early this month includes large, naturalistic concrete formations such as a balancing log, a "mud puddle" for sand and water play, a rock cave and classroom, and a giant hollow acorn. Musical panels have been installed, and community volunteers will build a covered porch swing, planter boxes, and a sensory garden over the coming months.

The community outpatient facility serves about 1,000 youths with a range of behavioral health diagnoses, autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities.

"My team is excited to incorporate the therapy process into a healing outdoor environment that promotes mindfulness, self-regulation, skill development and sensory integration," said Darla Scott, Coleman's director of child and adolescent Services.

Grant funds were also used to purchase a new commercial dishwasher for Coleman's Adult Day Services in Ravenna, which serves adults with dementia and developmental disabilities.

"Mr. Morgan was a visionary man whose entrepreneurial and philanthropic leadership has positively impacted thousands of people in Ohio and beyond," said Coleman Professional Services President and CEO Nelson Burns. "As a nationally recognized leader in behavioral health and rehabilitation services in Ohio, Coleman also positively impacts thousands of Ohioans every year. This grant will enable Coleman to focus on two areas affecting the often-forgotten people at both ends of the age spectrum, our children and our seniors."

"We are very pleased that we were able to use this opportunity to improve the lives of individuals facing behavioral health challenges, and we hope the new equipment will bring peace and joy to Coleman clients of all ages," said Morgan Foundation President and CEO Deborah Hoover.

Earlier this year, Cuyahoga Falls resident Michael Shephard ran 50 miles for his 50th birthday to raise funds for Coleman Professional Services. A former district manager for local Wendy's restaurants, Shephard often employed Coleman workers with behavioral and mental health challenges and wanted to give back to the organization.

Burton D. Morgan Foundation supports programs and projects at the youth, collegiate and adult levels that are designed to build competencies in entrepreneurship and innovation. The foundation also provides support to the Greater Akron community with non-mission related grants, which are awarded proactively each year.