The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley has received a $100,000 grant from the Dr. Richard Grossman Community Foundation. The donation will help fund a homework assistance program called Power Hour: Making Minutes Count. The longstanding program provides tutoring and homework help for students during the week. “We’re very thankful for the foundation’s donation,” said Mark Elswick, chief executive with the group of six Boys & Girls Clubs. “What they do makes a big difference.” The Boys & Girls Club locations operate on an annual budget of more than $3 million, only half of which is funded by club fees. The other half comes from grants and fundraising, so the Grossman Community Foundation’s four annual payments of $25,000 will greatly assist in fundraising, Elswick said. The program is a top priority for the club and not only benefits students but parents. “It takes a load off of the parents so they don’t have to re-learn the information within their children’s homework assignments when they get home from work,” Elswick said. “And the kids are really improving their grades.” The Greater Conejo Valley clubs surveyed parents and found that more than 80 percent believes their children acquired new skills and became more confident learners as a result of the program, while 85 percent said their children enjoy school more and improved their attendance. The late Dr. A. Richard Grossman, who died in March, pioneered reconstructive burn care. In 1969, he founded the Grossman Burn Center headquartered in West Hills, with additional centers in Bakersfield, Phoenix and Kansas City, Mo. His family still runs the for-profit center, as well as the non-profit community foundation. Elizabeth Rice Grossman, a foundation board member and Grossman’s widow, said this donation is the first of several investments the foundation expects to make with the club. “We invest in local non-profits with a track record of excellence,” she said in a prepared statement. Sharper Technology The Valley Industry Association has received a $3,500 grant to upgrade the business group’s office technology. A corporate donation from Encino-based California United Bank allowed the Santa Clarita business partnering alliance to purchase laptops, docking stations, desktop keyboards and monitors for its two full-time staffers. Association Chief Executive Kathy Norris said the gifts have increased productivity in the office since the equipment was installed in March. “We had some older computer systems that were not really functional anymore. This new system is state-of-the-art technology,” Norris said. “It was a very generous donation.” The VIA collaborates with local executives and business owners to address common issues. The organization also provides networking opportunities and employee training, in addition to hosting an annual industry gala. The gift was arranged by association board member Greg Wells, who is vice president of California United Bank at its Valencia office. “We believe in VIA’s mission to provide information, education and networking opportunities for local businesses, and wanted to help them make a difference,” he said in a statement. Traveling Band The City of Camarillo awarded a total of nearly $57,000 last month to15 businesses through its Community Service Grant program. The recipient of the largest individual grant of $7,000 was the New West Symphony, the resident orchestra of the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and Barnum Hall in Santa Monica. The funds will be directed to the organization’s educational programs for children, including a music van that travels to as many as 70 schools, mainly serving elementary school children who experiment with different orchestral instruments. The city’s donation will help pay for vehicle upgrades, as well as the purchase of new instruments. “The music van is a traveling musical instruments petting zoo,” said Executive Director Natalia Staneva. “It’s a huge benefit to the public schools, especially elementary schools, so kids have the opportunity to be exposed to music.” Additional funds are to be used for Symphonic Adventures, live concerts put on by a collaboration of elementary-level and middle-school children that rely on peer instruction. Other grants this year were awarded to Camarillo High School’s Scorpion Athletic Booster Club ($6,000), Save Our Kids’ Music ($5,250) and the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology ($4,500). Staff Reporter Stephanie Forshee can be reached at (818) 316-3121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.