Buhl Community Recreation Center Grant

The Buhl Club’s Board and the staff have been working since 2016 to take the organization in a
new direction to meet the needs of the community it serves. The Buhl Regional Health
Foundation (BRHF) has agreed to provide a multiyear matching grant totaling $2 million to the
Buhl Club to renovate, add programs and fund projects over the next five years. The initial
payment of $250,000 has been dispersed on September 27, 2019. The Buhl Regional Health
Foundation will work closely with the Buhl Club to assure that they meet their goals and to
monitor the progress being made as they expand services and renovate that facility.

A matching grant means that the Buhl Club needs to raise the same amount to qualify for the
remaining years of the grant. In fact, the overall cost of the project is estimated to be
$5,000,000.

The Buhl Club has been in existence for 116 years. It was founded by Frank and Julia Buhl to
provide an opportunity for youth to have a place to go, an opportunity to exercise, experience
team sports and to feel connected to the community. It is a place where lifelong friendships
begin. Areas of the Buhl Club have not been renovated since 1967.

Frank and Julia Buhl knew to have a thriving, healthy community people must have services
that include places that are safe and healthy. Their first endeavor to address health care needs
was to partner with local physicians and community leaders to create the first hospital in the
Shenango Valley that still exists today. The sale of the hospital in 2014 resulted in the
formation of the Buhl Regional Health Foundation. Frank and Julia Buhl’s investments in the
health of the community continue after 123 years.

The funds being invested in the Buhl Club are to support strategic initiatives. The current Board
of the Buhl Club plans to renovate the building as well as develop programs that are inclusive
for people of all ages and needs. The plan is to re-purpose and update space in the facility to
increase the capacity to deliver programs aimed at youth development, family support, health,
and wellness. Regarding youth development and family support, the facility plans to develop a
teen center and a family locker room. The space will be home to programs such as afterschool
tutoring/mentoring, teen leadership programs, STEAM classes, and arts and humanity
programs. This area will be dedicated to youth and families and will serve as a haven for any
child or teen who needs a safe place way from home and school. The BRHF believes this to be a
necessary critical step for the overall health of our community given the central location in
downtown Sharon and the economic landscape of the surrounding neighborhoods and
communities. Regarding health and wellness, the Buhl Club plans to update its wellness cente
and expand fitness programs by partnering with local health care providers to serve as a
preventive health solution and an alternative to medication when possible.

After reviewing the long-term plan, the Board of the Buhl Regional Health Foundation has
agreed to support the necessary and critical program development including the renovation of
the Buhl Community Recreation Center.