The Canton Chapter of the Foundation for Community Betterment began in fall 2007 with a small event to increase awareness of the group and its mission of creating an immediate, positive impact in the community.

Since then, the Canton chapter has raised more than $24,000 with two charity events and distributed its proceeds to seven local families and two community organizations in need of assistance. The foundation’s growth has remained grass-roots, keeping it small and family-like.

“Our community was in need of an organization like Betterment,” said Amy Weisbrod, the local chairwoman and a national board member.

“The Foundation for Community Betterment has also benefited me with new friends, wonderful experiences and the ability to make a difference in my hometown.”

The national chapter was established in 2000 by eight professionals younger than age 35. Their hope was to join friends and funds together to truly give back and make a significant difference in their community.

Since that inception, Betterment has grown to include 10 chapters throughout the country, including the Canton one.

The organization is dedicated to creating an immediate, positive impact on the lives of individuals or organizations that share its philanthropic vision and ability to give back.

“I know the cycle of ‘creating the ripple effect’ is working,” Weisbrod said, noting that the Canton chapter emerged from a dream of helping others and having fun doing so.

Rocktoberfest, the third annual event sponsored by the Canton chapter, will be Sept. 25 at Rice’s Tree Farm in Marlboro Township.

The event includes live music by ONE (a local U2 tribute band, formerly known as U2 Incident), food, craft beer from Rust Belt Brewing Company, live and silent auctions, Ro Sham Bo and ice cream from Milk and Honey.

Recipients of this year’s event include Danica Snyder, a 2-year-old girl with a Chiari malformation in her brain; Ronald Stokes, a father of five disabled due to renal failure; Margaret B. Shipley Child Health Clinic, a nonprofit health care facility for children in Canton; and J. Babe Stearn Center, a community center in Canton for 60 years.

In addition to the annual charity event, Betterment hosts several volunteer events each year, ranging from assisting at a local food pantry to dog walking. The group also holds after-hour events throughout the year to update the community about its mission and plans for helping.

COMMUNITY BETTERMENT

WHO: Canton Chapter, Foundation for Community Betterment
WHAT: An organization dedicated to community enhancement by creating an immediate, positive impact on the lives of individuals or organizations that share its philanthropic vision, but who currently lack the means to succeed.
BOARD MEMBERS: Amy Weisbrod, local chairwoman and national board member; Barbara Abbott, Darla Brown, Kaley Guiley, Elizabeth Jacob, Sarah Ozar, Kara Wedekamm and Dave Zingery.
PROCEEDS: Local individuals and local organizations in time of need.
DONATIONS: Send to the Foundation for Community Betterment, Canton Chapter, 360 38th St. NW, Canton OH 44709.
ROCKTOBERFEST: To purchase tickets for Rocktoberfest, visit www.communitybetterment.org (click on Canton chapter) or become a fan of the Canton Chapter of the Foundation for Community Betterment on Facebook.

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