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Mentoring program received $25,000 grant from Campbell Soup Foundation

Mentoring program received $25,000 grant from Campbell Soup Foundation

Willard, Ohio - Mercy Health – Willard Hospital and the Willard Middle School partnered to develop a during-the-school-day mentoring program to support student success and improve educational outcomes. In its pilot year, the project was successful in raising student performance in three key areas of attendance, attitude and academics.

The program did not receive funding for the 2016-2017 school year, but Mercy Health – Willard Hospital saw the value in the program and stepped in to serve as the financial safety net to ensure funding for its continuation. The Mercy Health Foundation applied for and recently received a $25,000 grant award from Campbell Soup Foundation to support the program. Campbell Soup is the parent company of Pepperidge Farm, Inc., which has a bakery in Willard. 

“We are so appreciative of the Campbell Soup Foundation for approving the grant request,” said Mercy Health Foundation Chair, Greg Polachek. “This was a great way for us to come together in support of the Willard City Schools, and most importantly, the kids.” 

“As the plant manager of the Pepperidge Farm facility in Willard, I am proud to say that two of our employees, Jason Fankhauser and Chris Rothhaar, are active volunteer mentors in the program. They have supported this youth empowerment project with their time and effort because it is a program that benefits the student participants as well as the community at large,” said Oscar De LeVega. 

There is a Leadership Board for the program which includes members from Mercy Health, the Willard City Schools, Willard Area Chamber of Commerce, Willard Rotary, Willard City Police Department, and the Willard Area Ministerial Association.  Janet Cok serves as the project coordinator for the program. 

Those interested in becoming a mentor or learning more about the program can contact Janet Cok at or by calling (419) 935-0101, ext 46119.

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