Big Idea Challenge is a big win for all

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) announced the $50,000 grand prize winner of its Big Idea Challenge last week.
The grand prize winner was selected from among seven category winners (listed below). The winner, “Cincinnati Preschool Promise ‘Little Kid Gig’” submitted by Jennifer Dauer, creates a highly visible public art project to bring attention to the critical need of better preparing all our children to succeed by giving them access to a quality preschool experience.
GCF created the Big Idea Challenge to celebrate its 50th anniversary and give a gift to the community.
“We set out to give something back that would create ideas and involve new audiences with The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, with an eye toward our next 50 years,” says Beth Reiter Benson, VP of Communications & Marketing.
“We were really overwhelmed by the response; we got twice as many ideas as expected and thousands more votes than projected. The challenge also attracted generous donations from people who want to support the notion that great ideas can come from anywhere in our region.”
Category winners will receive a cash prize, and a $5,000 grant will be made to test out their idea. The $50,000 grand prize grant was made possible by personal gifts from every member of GCF’s Governing Board.
“All seven category winners have potential outcomes that can have a great impact on the quality of life in our community,” Benson says. “The board felt strongly that the ‘Little Kid Gig’ could bring the whole region’s attention to the crucial need for quality preschool education to ensure that all our children have the chance to succeed in school and in life.”
Category Winners
•       Cultural Vibrancy: Feeding Kids' Bellies and Souls (Sherri Prentiss)
•       Economic Opportunity: Expand Adult-ESL Resources for Refugees (Kelly Birkenhauer)
•       Educational Success: Cincinnati Preschool Promise "Little Kid Gig" (Jennifer Dauer)
•       Environmental Stewardship: Taking Root Tree Planting Campaign (Scott Beuerlein)
•       Health & Wellness: Promoting Healthy Eating at Food Pantries (Seung-Yeon Lee)
•       Job Creation: The Kitchen at Findlay Market (Shalini Latour)
•       Strong Communities: Restore the Inclines to Price Hill and Mount Adams (Larry Wulker)

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By Mike Sarason

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