More than $55K in community grants awarded

Beth Sergent

November 16, 2013

MASON COUNTY — More than $55,000 in grant awards to benefit the residents of Mason County were distributed this week at the annual Mason County Spirit of Our Community and Grant Awards Reception.

The event, sponsored by the Our Community’s Foundation - Mason County and The Point Pleasant Register, recognizes not only the spirit of volunteerism in the community but the spirit of generosity.

This year, there was a requested $106,000 to fund worthy causes in Mason County, with $55,133 in community grant funds being awarded. The Gordon and Mildred Jackson Foundation Fund awarded grants totaling $41,229. There were $6,365 in grants awarded with funding from Mason County Community Grant and Youth Funds and $7,539 in grants awarded from the Dickens Family Grant Fund for Mason County Schools. The latest fund, the Charlie Lilly Memorial Fund, was also established this year and assisted in awarding money to worthy, community projects.

The Mason County Community Foundation Board Chair and Jackson Foundation Advisory Committee Member, Mario Liberatore, presented a list of grant award recipients from the Gordon and Mildred Jackson Foundation. Receiving grant funding this fall are:

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia, $3,900, to be used toward wish expenses of Mason County children. Attending the event were this year’s Make-A-Wish Child, Gracyn Gay and her parents Bryan and Renea Gay.

The Mason County Public Library System, $2,600, for display case and 50 folding chairs for the library.

Mason County Schools, $4,500, for providing county high school students with ACT test preparation classes to help improve test scores.

Mason County Sheriff’s Department, $400, to support the DARE program.

New Haven Volunteer Fire Department, $3,200, to provide funding to equip one firefighter with personal protective equipment and replacement of hose reel.

Point Pleasant High School Baseball Boosters, $5,000, to assist the baseball boosters in creating a 32” brick wall with a 25’ safety net backstop, as well as pour two concrete pads, one flat and one step-style, and install stadium-style seating with a handicap accessible area.

Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School, $14,129, for enhancing the media center’s research capabilities for teachers and students to maximize the use of “flipped classroom” learning via 20 iPads and a charging cart. The library at PPJ/SHS is the Gordon and Mildred Jackson Library.

West Virginia University Foundation, $2,500, to provide partial support for a comprehensive low vision clinic in Mason County and several surrounding counties that will provide medical, low vision, technology, educational assessments and low vision devices.

The Fall 2013 Community Action and Youth Grants awarded by the Mason County Community Foundation were announced by Jane Winters of Our Community’s Foundation with help from Mason County Schools Superintendent Suzanne Dickens, Grants Committee Chair Missi Scarberry and from the Charlie Lilly Memorial Fund, Wendy Lilly. Mason County Community Foundation Grant award winners, which this year were funded by the Mason County Youth Fund, Dickens Family Fund, Charlie Lilly Memorial Fund and the Jackson Foundation, are:

Main Street Baptist Church, $3,887.50 for Backpack Blessings ministry which provides supplemental food for students in need grades K-12. Funding for this grant from the Jackson Foundation, Charlie Lilly Memorial Fund and Mason County Youth Fund.

Mason County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program, $3,100 to equip 20 CERT volunteers with manuals, weather notebooks, radios and other safety equipment to prepare volunteers to assist in the event of a local disaster. Funding from Mason County Community Foundation.

Point Pleasant Primary School, $5,750 to purchase stringed instruments to enhance the school’s music program. Funding for this grant from the Mason County Youth Fund, the Dickens Family Fund, the Charlie Lilly Memorial Fund, the Jackson Foundation.

Dickens Family Grants created by Suzanne Dickens and the Dickens family for use in Mason County Schools were presented by Suzanne Dickens to:

Ashton Elementary School, $994, for developing a listening library for first grad classroom.

Beale Elementary, $1,000, for providing funding for performances by Sadecky’s Puppets - a puppet show which teaches lessons in kindness, respect and conflict resolution.

Mason County Alternative Education Program, $920, to purchase graphing calculators for student use.

Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School, $900, to underwrite the purchase of hand held devices titled “Geo Safari” to assist junior high students in learning about geography.

Roosevelt Elementary, $800, to provide fifth and sixth graders with the opportunity to use the land to experience growing a garden.

Roosevelt Elementary, $1,000, to purchase 30 Fit Step Pro pedometer kits to help students and teachers with the importance of a physical fitness program.

Wahama Junior High School, $925, to purchase novels to be used in a project based learning program in the classroom.

(Editor’s Note: For more on the Spirit of our Community Award recipients, see separate story on page one.)