Community Impact Challenge finalists announcedThe Southern Utah Committee for the Utah Nonprofits Association announced the Community Impact Challenge finalists for the second annual Southern Utah Community Impact Summit, to be held April 4 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Dixie Elks Lodge.

The finalists will compete to win the title of Best Collaboration at the Southern Utah Community Impact Summit. Two teams of collaborators will have the opportunity to win a cash prize of either $2,500 for the best new collaboration or $1,000 for the best existing collaboration. The award is meant to provide seed money for their project or program in order to foster collaboration.

Southern Utah Community Impact Summit says its objective is to ignite and inspire its audience and southern Utah residents to actively engage in collaboration to reduce redundancy, stretch dollars, and expand effective programs or services to ensure that the community is served in the most efficient way. Our goal is to see that everyone who has a need in the community is served.

The Community Impact Challenge included innovative projects that demonstrate collaboration between nonprofit organizations, government entities, and for-profit businesses that meet a need in the community. With this program, the Utah Nonprofits Association says that it seeks to provide an innovative, creative experience that motivates nonprofit organizations to reach out, think outside of the box, and partner strategically to provide new projects or programs that will impact communities in a positive way, resulting in successful, sustainable new services or programs and long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships that not only come to fruition but thrive.

Applications for the competition were submitted March 20, and the selection committee chose two existing collaborations and three new collaborations to present at the summit. Each presentation will be judged by a panel of five community leaders who will evaluate and select a winner from each category to be announced later in the day at the Community Impact Awards Ceremony. The ceremony is open to the public and free to all to attend. Check in and networking will be from 4:30 to 4:45 p.m., and the ceremony will be held from 5 to 5:30 p.m.

New collaborations

DOVE Center, Cherish Families, and Department of Workforce Services will coordinate to create a unique group curriculum and provide culturally specific education for plural-family abuse survivors living in the Hildale/Colorado City area, teaching healthy relationship dynamics to increase safety and cultivate healing for participants. In coordination with plural-family experts from Cherish Families, DOVE Center will provide a group of trained, trauma-informed crisis service providers facilitated by a clinical social worker and victim advocate. Cherish Families and Department of Workforce Services referrals will be critical in helping encourage enrollment and attendance to the group.

Dixie State University, Grand Canyon Youth and Glen Canyon Recreation Area (part of the National Park Service) are collaborating to engage underprivileged Page High School youth in a San Juan River (Mexican Hat to Clay Hills Crossing) science and adventure trip between June 5 and 9. The target students are either minorities, from low-income families, or both. The 20 students will contribute to citizen science by contributing to a United States Geological Survey aquatic food base study.

Girls on the Run Southern Utah, Assistance League of Southern Utah, and Sunset Elementary School are uniting for Running Together, which targets young girls ages 8 to 15 to develop important life skills. This collaboration seeks to address building self-confidence and positive body image in girls before they hit adolescence. The self-esteem of girls peaks at age 9. By improving self-confidence, body image, and physical activity participation, this collaboration seeks to give at-risk girls a boost that will help them navigate adolescence and negative peer pressure.

Existing collaborations

The Casino Star Theater Foundation and Gunnison City will collaborate to create a mural of hand-glazed tiles to portray a colorful panorama of the valley featuring current landmarks and relics of the past. These will be mounted in May on a concrete wall along the eastern edge of Legacy Plaza, which was built by Gunnison City. The design work and materials were purchased with previous grants, but funding for mounting the tiles and completing an overhanging cap on the wall to protect the mural from dripping rain and snowmelt is still in progress.

The Orchestra of Southern Utah, Southern Utah University, the Cedar City Public Library, and North Elementary will join forces to present the Children’s Jubilee and STEAM Festival. This event teaches children through performances and interactive displays about art and science. The February 2018 event is themed “Kaleidoscope of Wonder” and will feature works representing several wonders of the world. Interactive science and art activities for area families and outreach assemblies to Iron County School District elementary schools will reach over 2,000 people.

The Southern Utah Community Impact Summit is open to all community members. More information is available at utahnonprofits.org. Registration is available online.

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