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Anonymous $1 million gift will fund scholarships for Tanager Place clients

Donor: 'When I needed support, people were there for me'

Tanager Place's Estle Center, which provides outpatients mental health services, is shown at 1030 Fifth Ave. SE. Tanager
Tanager Place’s Estle Center, which provides outpatients mental health services, is shown at 1030 Fifth Ave. SE. Tanager Place, headquartered at 2309 C St. SW, on Tuesday announced a $1 million anonymous gift that will fund college scholarships for children who have used Tanager’s mental health treatment, prevention or outreach programs. Applications will be available Wednesday. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — A $1 million gift to Tanager Place, from an anonymous donor, will fund postsecondary scholarships for teenagers who have taken part in any of the nonprofit’s mental health treatment, prevention or outreach programs.

Applications for the scholarships open Wednesday.

The anonymous donor said the gift was a way of “paying it forward,” according to a Tanager Place news release.

“During my youth, when I needed support, people were there for me. So I’m proud to help the children of Tanager Place in this way,” the donor said.

“The program is a window of opportunity for a deserving young person, a chance to reach for and grasp long-term goals. And a program that will benefit students for years to come.”

The annual number of scholarships awarded each year and their amount will vary, said Joan Hackbarth, Tanager Place’s director of advancement, and will be determined by a selection committee. The $1 million gift has been placed in an endowment, and Tanager Place plans to draw between $45,000 and $50,000 each year for scholarships.

To apply, students need to have been clients of Tanager Place for at least six months within the past two calendar years. Applications are due by May 15, and recipients will be announced by May 25.

“Mental health knows no economic boundaries and no geographic boundaries,” Hackbarth said. “Maybe they have challenges in their life that are causing them difficulty, and we are there to support them as they restore and heal their mental wellness.”

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The $1 million gift is the third “of that size” Tanager Place has received, Hackbarth said.

Jared and Carol Hills gave $1.8 million to the nonprofit in 2019 to expand Camp Tanager, a day and overnight camp with traditional and specialized medical camp programming.

In 2000, the estate of Louise and Raymond Volk gave $900,000.

“The community has made a difference in the availability of programs that Tanager Place has been able to provide for all 140 years of its existence,” Hackbarth said. “We’re so grateful for the support of the community at-large, and to receive such a gift — that not only helps the kids that we serve but helps their futures — is such a beautiful community gift.

“I can’t think of any better way to support the future of our community than by helping kids reach their future goals.”

Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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