Foundation awards grants

Foundation awards grants

The Community Foundation of Grant County has awarded nine grants totaling almost $24,000.

Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 4:00 am
By Mishele Wright

The foundation gives money to organizations quarterly in four fields of interest — community development, health, education and human services.

Ashley McKnight, program manager at Community Foundation, said there were 12 grant proposals this quarter. A committee reviews all the applications and scores them based on community impact. This year’s selections were varied and included different parts of the county, such as Upland and Jonesboro.

“It was just a complete variety of all the good things going on in the county right now,” she said.

Photo by Jeff Morehead, Chronicle-Tribune

From left, VFW Post 60 member Tom Myers, Wilbur Webb and Irene Davis of the Jonesboro Historical Society, Community Foundation of Grant County Chief Financial Officer Sherri Rush and Susan Miller, Family Service Society director of compliance and resource development, talk during a check celebration event for three first-quarter grant recipients Tuesday at Community Foundation of Grant County.

Three of the organizations received their checks during a presentation Tuesday at the foundation, and the other groups will get their money next week.

Tom Myers, past senior vice commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars, said the organization will use its $1,400 to offset costs of Saturday’s inaugural Bike for Vets. The event, which will take place 8 a.m. in the Eugene “Beaner” Linn Memorial Park, is a fundraiser to raise money for veterans.

The ride so far has cost about $3,000, Myers said. The grant will help purchase tents, advertising and entertainment for the event. A jazz band will be performing on Saturday.

With this being the first ride, the grant was a “godsend,” Myers said.

“We’re so thankful we got it,” he said. “Hopefully in the future the ride will gain more momentum, and we won’t need a grant.”

The organization is sponsoring the ride with funds collected from biker registration and corporate sponsors.

Wilbur Webb, president of the Jonesboro Historical Society, said the organization’s $4,150 grant will help with renovations to the historic Obadiah Jones cabin, which is 178 years old and deteriorating.

Photo by Jeff Morehead, Chronicle-Tribune

Jonesboro Historical Society President Wilbur Webb and Vice President Irene Davis write down five words — Preserve and Protect Jonesboro History — that describe the society’s goals during a check celebration event for three first-quarter grant recipients Tuesday at Community Foundation of Grant County.

The society, comprised of 22 to 25 people, has a small museum at the north end of the city. The group raises money through community dinners and Pioneer Days in the fall.

“All the money we make throughout the year at our small projects isn’t enough money for the repairs,” he said.

The grant also will help the society create signs recognizing Harry Knight, a pioneer racecar driver from the city. Students at R.J. Baskett Middle School recently researched the man and contacted the foundation about writing a grant to help recognize him.

Family Service Society Inc. will use its grant, totaling more than $4,000, for various educational programs.

Susan Miller, FSSI director of development and contract compliance, said Hands of Hope will use some of the money to print handbooks about sexual violence. The books will be distributed throughout the community to raise awareness.

“We have had them printed before, but as they are distributed, our supply does dwindle, so we’re at the place where we need to get new ones printed,” she said.

The money also will help expand a software program that kids and teenagers use to assess behavioral risks. Two years ago, the foundation gave the society grant money to purchase a license for the software.

In addition, the society will also purchase a new curriculum for a class offered to divorced couples. Miller said the organization is anticipating an increase in the number of people taking the class.

Finally, the grant will help fund FSSI’s Healthy Families program by enabling the organization to purchase books for parents on what to expect as their children grow.

Dawn Brown, the foundation’s executive director, said the organization is able to award grants thanks to generous donors.

“Grant writing is not easy … but the spending of it is really, really fun,” she told the group on Tuesday.

McKnight said the foundation will award grants totaling $218,500 for the entire year. The deadline to receive a grant for the second quarter is noon July 25. People are encouraged to call Brown at 662-0065 to ask about the guidelines. Applications may be obtained at

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