Do you know an outstanding young person who will be in 10th – 12th grade this year and would like to be more engaged with the Fort Wayne community and local government? I’m seeking applicants for my Youth Engagement Council for the 2018-19 school year. The Council’s vision is to be a service learning group comprised of youth members. The members provide a voice for the youth of Fort Wayne to local government by engaging their peers, creating innovative solutions, and working on projects. The program also includes panel discussions, guest speakers, and the opportunity to be involved in a special event. Applications will be accepted through August 19 and are available at You’ll find more information at that link, as well.

I recently announced the launch of a pilot grant program for Fort Wayne neighborhoods. The City’s Community Development Division will award grants up to $5,000 to registered Fort Wayne neighborhood associations or one of the City’s four Area Partnerships. Because the grant dollars come from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), only neighborhoods with a majority of households at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income will be eligible to apply. Applications and a map of eligible areas are available at www.FortWayne by clicking on the resources menu item. Applications are due by September 3, 2018.

Accepted projects must provide a capital improvement that enhances public spaces. Examples include community gardens, improvements to community centers, benches, public art or signage. Expenses such as routine maintenance, social events or operating expenses will not be covered.

I’m encouraged by the progress and excitement we’re seeing in neighborhoods throughout all of Fort Wayne. This new grant program will encourage collaboration and innovation and allow neighborhoods to improve their public spaces while bringing residents together.

The Lifetime Sports Academy successfully completed their 21st summer of providing free lessons in the lifetime sports of golf, tennis and swimming to boys and girls ages 7 – 18. There were over 1,000 participants at McMillen Park this year and there have been a total of almost 28,000 participants since the program started. Participants have the opportunity to earn new tennis rackets, golf clubs, and more. This year 85 tennis rackets and 21 sets of golf clubs were earned.

The Parks and Recreation Department provides certified coaching and highly trained professionals who direct the lessons. Offering instruction in three sports has been a successful formula throughout the years. Many participants have gone on to play on their local high school and college sports teams. 

Fort Wayne is a great place for young people to participate in positive activities and learn new skills. We’re fortunate to have the Lifetime Sports Academy in our community. The program is making a lasting and meaningful impact. For more information about the Lifetime Sports Academy, call the Parks and Recreation Department at 427-6000 or log on to

Have you had a chance to get on our rivers to see our city from a whole new perspective? Riverfront Fort Wayne Boat Tours are scheduled through the end of September. While you relax and enjoy the scenery on one of the themed boat tours, you can learn more about our city’s history, ecology and plans for Riverfront development. You’ll find more information, and you can schedule a boat tour, at

Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer