Grants in 2015

2015 – RIVER OF HOPE: River of Hope, located in Waynesville, Ohio, is a unique organization with whom we are excited to announce our involvement with for 2015. This Christian non-profit organization offers mental health counseling to children, adolescents, and adults using a unique and innovative tool – horses. Founded by 2 sisters who’s dream of transforming the lives of those whose hope had been crushed by the inevitable pain of this life. They believe in providing only the highest standards of care that are proven, leading-edge, and evidence-based treatment approaches. The treatment program combines the knowledge of trauma informed care & traumatology research, neuroscience, and equine-assisted psychotherapy to create a dynamic restorative experience. They specialize in the treatment of trauma, however, they will service individuals seeking assistance with problems of depression, anxiety, grief, and attachment and relational disorders.

River of Hope Ranch provides a natural environment that extends beyond a traditional therapy room. Under the guidance of a licensed professional clinical counselor and an equine-specialist, clients learn how to recognize what is going on inside of them and how they have the ability to transform from a life of pain to a life of meaning and purpose.

Currently, therapy sessions that include the horses are conducted outside. Weather can play a tricky role in these sessions. River of Hope will be receiving funds from the Mark Kreusch Memorial Fund to build a covered riding arena which will allow therapy sessions to be held all year regardless of weather. This arena will also provide the opportunity for more individuals and larger groups to receive treatment and allow for the growth of their other programs including the childhood sexual abuse prevention program. The arena construction will begin in Spring 2015 with a completion date sometime late summer 2015.

2015 – OAK TREE CORNER: After several years of hard play, the MAK (Mark Andrew Kreusch) Arena at Oak Tree Corner is in need of some repairs and new equipment. In 2009, the MAK Fund created a room at Oak Tree Corner that gives the children the opportunity to “play” while coping with their grief. This room is used often and will continue to provide the children a way to channel the BIG ENERGY of grief.

The grant that we are providing in 2015 will fund the replacement of worn out equipment and some necessary repairs from the years of play.

“The MAK Arena is a special and beloved part of our program.”
-Vicki Braun, Executive Director, Oak Tree Corner

2015 – HOMEWORK HELP (grant renewal): The impact of having this transportation for the 2013-2014 school was amazing. The Ambassadors to the MAK Fund decided to renew the grant for 2014-2015 school year. Students who would not have been able to attend these tutoring sessions were able to attend because of the MAK Fund.

“The grant we received from THE MARK KREUSCH MEMORIAL FUND in 2013 was a game changer for our program!”
-Kelley Anderson, School Counselor, Bellbrook Schools

2015 – SECRET SMILES: Sleeping in a bed with a blanket, pillow, sheets and a comforter seems normal to most. Unfortunately, not every child has a bed to sleep in at night. Children sleep on a cold floor with an old sheet, infants sleep on an old mattress with no blanket and mothers despair because they are unable to provide the basic necessity of beds for their children. Seret Smiles of Dayton has a simple mission. They are committed to helping improve the life of families in our community by providing children with beds, cribs and bedding to those who are without.

With this grant, ten children in the Miami Valley will receive new beds.

2015 – SIGHTLESS CHILDRENS CLUB: Sightless Children’s Club (SCC) is for parents of blind/visually impaired children and young adults who care about the education and social needs of those who are visually impaired. They supply specialized equipment needed to enhance the educational endeavors of visually impaired individuals at the grade school, high school, college and work-related levels enabling them to function on the same level as their sighted peers.

This grant will provide seating and upgrades to SCC’s media room, where the visually impaired children play the Wii, watch TV and play musical instruments together.

2015 – THERAPEUTIC RIDING INSTITUTE: The Therapeutic Riding Institute (TRI) provides equine-assisted activities and therapy to special needs students living in the Dayton area. The benefits of animal-assisted activities and therapies are astounding and leads to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem. Five basic goals are enhanced communication skills, following multi-step directions, learning right and left improved balance, muscle tone and strengthening, and promoting students move towards independence.

    TRI has recently moved to a new location and added an outdoor arena. To complete this project they have asked for a mounting block and bleachers. The MAK Memorial Fund grant provided the funds to complete this wish. The mounting block will allow the students to mount their horse before entering the arena. Otherwise, the students would have to wait for the indoor riders to mount their horses and then use the indoor mounting block and be led outdoors to the outdoor arena. This take valuable class time away from the students. The portable bleachers provides the parents/caregivers a place to sit and observe classes in the outdoor arena. The bleachers will be used during our end of season horse shows so that the families can observe their student ride.

The grant allows TRI students to continue to improve their posture, balance, mobility, function, sensory integration, body position and decreased spasticity along with psychological and emotional benefits. These classes allow the students to participate in an extra-curricular activity that otherwise might not be available to them.


2015 – REDS ROOKIE SUCCESS LEAGUE – SCHOLARSHIPS: Mark’s love of baseball combined with our annual MAK Baseball Tournament inspired a grant to the Reds Rookie Success League. We provided scholarships which allowed two young athletes to attend this summer baseball camp for children in the Dayton area.