MASON COUNTY — Robert and Louise Claflin wanted their charitable foundation to posthumously help community organizations in Mason County implement projects that would enhance lives and promote community growth. After only five years, the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation disbursed its largest amount totaling $105,603.71 in a calendar year.
“We were quite pleased to be able to award this much money to projects with focus areas that were important to the Claflin couple,” said Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation president Stephen Littlepage. “We’ve awarded more than $100,000.00 in the previous year with the combined grants and scholarships; however, this year the grants grew more than $30,000.00 and put us over that marker of $100,000.00.”
Grant requests for 51 projects from community organizations were reviewed and 34 were funded.
“The 17 projects not receiving funding were those that obviously were trying to cover short-falls from Mason County Commission budgets which just didn’t address the Claflin Foundation focus areas of personal health and wellness, literacy, education, arts and music, and animal care.”
“Some of those organizations have been invited to review other needs that do fit the focus areas,” continued Littlepage.
The largest project is a Walking/Running Track submitted by the New Haven Elementary Wellness Committee. The award of $18,000.00 is the biggestt single grant award directed toward one project and addresses personal health and wellness as well as education.
The smallest project of $550.00 is the Mason County Family Resource Network’s Early Childhood Committee’s Brain Under Construction Zone Program.
“This year’s grants presented so many needs,” said Littlepage. “Hungry children and families need food. Historical landmarks require preservation techniques. Our country’s veterans should be honored for having given service and their lives. Law enforcement officers are at risk of receiving injury. Teachers need supplies to enhance student learning. It is with pride that the Claflin Foundation is able to provide money for these projects.”
The Mason County Sheriff’s Department will receive $7,080.00 to protect every deputy with bullet-proof vests. That request and subsequent funding was prompted when another county’s deputy was involved in a shooting incident in which the bullet-proof vest was credited for saving his life.
Bend Area Community Assistance and Relief for Everyone (CARE) project is unique in that the organization’s director seeks $1,000.00 to implement a bike ride which will in turn generate money to donate to other programs such as the Christmas Assistance Program.
Other projects to be implemented with Claflin Foundation funding include the following organizations: Point Pleasant Rotary Club’s Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner - $1,000.00; Crosslight of Hope’s backpack program - $5,000.00; Rivers to Ridges Heritage Trail for a memorial park - $3,600.00; Raising Cane Farms ministries for Civil War history - $750.00, and Fort Randolph for roof repairs - $2,000.00; Mason County Family Resource Network for youth training - $1,000.00; Family Resource Network on behalf of the Mason Baby Pantry - $1,000.00; Mason County Food Bank and the First Church of the Nazarene to feed families - $2,500.00;
The Claflin Foundation will be funding a number of governmental entities. State, county and municipalities implementing projects will include the following: Town of Hartford for a gold star monument - $15,000.00; West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s Veterans to Agriculture - $5,510.00; Town of Hartford for police officer protective body armor - $2,135.00; and the New Haven Police Department for police uniforms - $600.00.
Awards to volunteer fire departments include the following: Mason Volunteer Fire Department’s self-contained breathing apparatus - $4,900.00; New Haven Volunteer Fire Department’s personal protective equipment suits - $2,385.00; and Ohio Valley Volunteer Fire Department for air quality safety equipment - $2,883.80.
The Claflin Foundation also funded a number of school-based projects: Mason County Schools ACT preparation - $5,400.00; First Tee Character Program at Leon, Roosevelt and Point Pleasant Intermediate schools - $3,250.00; Wahama High School Science Department for drying oven chemicals - $900.00; Point Pleasant Intermediate School’s aqua therapy trip - $1,830.00; Point Pleasant High School special education for Columbus Zoo trip - $1,047.48; Leon Elementary for listening station - $617.55; Ashton Elementary bulldog bookmarks - $1,390.32; Point Pleasant High School science department for microscopes - $6,000.00; Leon Elementary for a tablet application “Reading and Reaching for the Stars” - $1,500.00; Point Pleasant High School Band Boosters for a podium - $888.00; Mason County Schools Homebound Instruction for random acts of kindness - $1,000.00; Point Pleasant High School Special Education for technology integration - $800.56; and Point Pleasant High School for an anti-bullying program - $1,200.00.
Grant requests are reviewed in November and awarded in December. For more information about the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation, call Stephen C. Littlepage at (304) 675-1360.