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story.lead_photo.caption Janelle Jessen/Herald-Leader La-Z-Boy Foundation presented a $45,000 check to Ability Tree on Wednesday morning. Pictured, from left, are Rod Reed, Ability Tree board chairman; Audra Farrell, La-Z-Boy human resources manager; Mike Wilmon, La-Z-Boy production manager; Amy Dunn, Ability Tree director of family and team member relations; Paul Dilbeck, La-Z-Boy quality manager; Neil Erter, La-Z-Boy logistics manager; Joe Butler, Ability Tree director; Rick Wilmoth, La-Z-Boy controller; and Jeff McGarrah, La-Z-Boy materials manager.

La-Z-Boy Foundation gave away around $90,000 in grants to 13 non-profits throughout Siloam Springs last week.

Company executives presented checks to six non-profits and toured their facilities on Wednesday morning. They met with the other organizations throughout the week as scheduling allowed.

La-Z-Boy Foundation originated company founders Edward M. Knabusch and Edwin J. Shoemaker's commitment to giving back to the community, according to Kevin Harmon, general manager of La-Z-Boy Siloam Springs. Local grant applications are reviewed by the Siloam Springs management team, then sent to the national foundation for final approval.

"It speaks to the core values of La-Z-Boy," Harmon said. "Support of our local nonprofits in the communities where we have facilities is a top priority within La-Z-Boy, so for a number of years our foundation has made it a priority to support these nonprofits in any way we can, whether it be financially or with volunteer hours or in leadership positions on nonprofit boards."

Ability Tree received the largest grant last week -- $45,000 for the new rest and recreation center the organization is building for special needs children on East Tahlequah Street. The payment was the first of four installments totalling $180,000 that will be presented over the next four years.

"We are incredibly thankful to La-Z-Boy," said Joe Butler, founder and director of Ability Tree. "They are local here and have partnered with us in many ways over the past few years, but this is by far the greatest gift we have received and so we just want to say thank you."

Community Clinic Siloam Springs Medical, a non-profit that provides low cost medical services to uninsured and under-insured patients, also received a grant from La-Z-Boy Foundation.

"Our partnership with La-Z-Boy is invaluable in helping us provide quality, affordable health care for our patients," said Raquel Beck, office manger for the clinic.

The $2,630 grant will be used to purchase a new medical exam table and to purchase supplies for the organization's outreach team, such as fliers, pencils and rulers, Beck said.

"The medical exam table has a big impact on the clinic and our patients since a key component in providing quality medical care is up-to-date medical equipment," she said. "Also, our outreach team aims to expand awareness about and utilization of the two Siloam Springs Clinics -- Community Clinic on Mt. Olive Street and the Panther Health & Wellness school-based clinic."

In addition to supporting nonprofits through financial gifts and volunteer hours, many members of La-Z-Boy's local management team are active on community boards, Harmon said. For example, Mike Weibe serves on the board of Boys & Girls Club of Western Benton County, human resources manager Audra Farrell serves on the Siloam Springs School Board and Harmon serves on the board of trustees for the Siloam Springs Regional Hospital.

"We have all kinds of community leaders throughout our company and we think that's important to give back to the communities where we have our facilities," Harmon said.

Local nonprofits received the following La-Z-Boy Foundation grants:

• Boys and Girls Club of Western Benton County -- $6,000 for assistance with a new HVAC System at the club

• Community Clinic -- $2,630 for a new exam table and patient outreach materials

• Dogwood Literacy Council -- $3,000 for providing financial assistance for the continued development of the family literacy program that will help to meet the needs of the community

• Genesis House -- $5,000 for assisting with emergency motel stays for the homeless

• Kind at Heart Ministries -- $5,000 for 2018 home modification projects (wheelchair ramps and shower modifications) and neighbor services projects (home maintenance, service support team and maintenance program) that will support the aging and disabled

• Soderquist Center -- $5,000 to provide funding to support the Soderquist Leadership Nonprofit Scholarship Program

• The Manna Center -- $3,500 in funding to assist with the Protein Improvement Program to help supplement with the basic staples of meat, peanut butter, eggs and milk

• American Legion Siloam Post 29 -- $5,000 to provide funding and honor veterans through Christmas Wreath Honors Program at Oak Hill Cemetery

• Sunshine School & Development Center -- $1,200 for leadership development training for senior leaders and staff

• Soldier On Service Dogs Inc. -- $2,200 to provide funding for the concrete outdoor training kennels

• Office of Human Concern/Siloam Springs Senior Activity and Wellness Center -- $2,320 to provide funding for fitness equipment to enable seniors to continue to support a healthy lifestyle

• American Heart Association -- $5,000 for the 2018 annual Siloam Springs Heart Walk

• Ability Tree -- $45,000 for the first of four installments for the new Ability Tree Facility. The total grant will be $180,000 over four years.

General News on 05/30/2018

Print Headline: La-Z-Boy donates $90,000 to support local nonprofits

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