Grant recipients explain how Rotary grants used
by By JOYANNA WEBER Banner Staff Writer
Jan 10, 2013 | 1147 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Rotary Club of Cleveland 2012 grant recipients outlined how the civic group’s money was used during this week’s luncheon.

The club awarded $25,000 in grants in 2012.

Grant fund are raised through the club’s annual gala and auction.

Adult Education of Bradley County received $2,000 to help offset the cost of taking the GED test.

“We provide the opportunity for adults who dropped out of high school to come back and earn their GED,” said Zoe Renfro, Bradley County coordinator for alternative and adult education. “That test cost $65 at this point, so our grant was written asking you to provide $40 of that cost for 50 students.”

Of the students who benefitted from the grant, all but one passed the test. Renfro said she will be applying for the Rotary grant in the future because the cost of the test is increasing next year.

Area students also benefitted from grants awarded to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland and Helping Paws, Healing Hearts.

Derrick Kinsey of the Boys & Girls Club said the grant money has allowed the organization to update security and install a video surveillance system for theft prevention.

Kinsey said the system has also created accountability and is also a deterrent for bullying.

Amy Hicks said Helping Paws, Healing Hearts uses therapy dogs to help children. Rotary gave the organization $2,800 which was used to publish a book titled “Sit, Stay, Heal.”

“I wrote the book. We published it here in Cleveland ... you all enabled us to print 500 of these,” Hicks said.

The books have been given to students who were strongly affected by the April 2011 tornado outbreak or the March 2012 tornado.

“Several of the schools had us come out and we had some small group meetings with some kids who were severly traumatized,” Hicks said.

Books are also given to students dealing with trauma from other situations.

Preservation was the goal for the Museum Center at Five Points grant. The Rotary Club grant provided the museum to ensure proper storage of artifacts that are not being displayed.

“This grant enabled us to buy museum-quality boxes, buy paper and buy shelving to preserve these things that you consider important to you, that are important to the history of Bradley County,” said Lisa Chastain, curator of the museum collection.

Storing the artifacts correctly will also help the museum with cataloging so staff will know exactly where everything is and the next time it will be displayed.

“The Museum is a fantastic regional museum that encompasses Bradley and Polk counties,” Chastain said.

A grant awarded to Trousdale School increased security by funding two-way radios for staff, according to executive director Shannon Clark.

A very visible grant project made possible through Rotary funding was the People for Care and Learning water fountain for thirsty walkers on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway near the Church of God International Headquarters. Laura Simpson said the project was chosen because of the popularity of the last fountain installed. The latest project also has a place for dogs to get a drink.

The Caring Place also received a grant. Executive director Reba Terry had presented information on how the organization used the money during a meeting last year, according to Rotary Foundation secretary Bill George.

The club also gave $5,000 to an orphanage and adoption center in the Philippines to help the organization purchase a van.

Grant Recipients are chosen by the Rotary Foundation.

“When we become aware of a nonprofit in the city ... we send them by email a grant application invitation,” George said.

Fifteen organizations applied for grants and eight were funded. Every year 70 percent of money raised at the gala is awarded in grants, while 30 percent is kept to generate interest to be awarded in later years.

The Rotary Foundation takes recommendations from club members on what to fund.

The club has awarded $29,945 in grants for 2013.