Neighborhood Connections

Over the next two months, we Old Brooklyn Pedal for Prizes organizers will utilize our blog to tell snippets of our story, such as who we are, how our concept came to be, what inspires us to host this kind of event, and the types of things on which we are currently working.  But of course, we will also post major announcements and exciting news right here as well.

After a successful Pedal for Prizes in 2010, there were no doubts that we organizers behind the event sought to continue our efforts and make it a mainstay in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood.  (If you are interested in reading more about how Pedal for Prizes came to be, feel free to read Tom Collins’ article in the June issue of the Old Brooklyn News.)

After taking a month or so to assimilate and decompress following the first Pedal for Prizes and coordinating Bicycle Poker as part of Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation’s annual All Access event, our planning of 2.0 began.  John Young and I completed and submitted a grant application to Neighborhood Connections, a program of the Cleveland Foundation, for $4,024.  With the funds, we had proposed to purchase two brand new bicycles to raffle, which Eddy’s Bike Shop graciously offered to sell at their cost from the manufacturer.  However, the bulk of our budget was designated for promotion and marketing of Pedal for Prizes so that we would be able to reach out to thousands of potential attendees.

John and I were invited to interview with a Neighborhood Connections grant-making committee in the fall, and a few weeks later, were notified via mail that our application would be fully funded.  Staff of Neighborhood Connections also offered to provide technical assistance to us in promoting and publicizing Pedal for Prizes.

So our advice?  Neighborhood Connections is within reach, so if you have a solid concept that you think will benefit a Cleveland neighborhood, definitely pursue this funding opportunity.  The application is not particularly difficult, especially if your group designates one person to concentrate on the narrative and another on the budget and purchasing like John and I did.

For more information about Neighborhood Connections, please visit

– Jeffrey Sugalski


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