MASON COUNTY — The Mason County Commission has received more than $200,000 worth of grant funding from the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation.
The Claflin Foundation has been awarding grant monies for a decade. The largest grants were awarded for Mason County Commission projects. At $205,998.10, the commission conducted 26 projects for community development, personal health and wellness, literacy, education, and animal health and maintenance.
“These projects have either enhanced lives for Mason Countians or made possible programs that were most likely not going to be completed without the help of the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation,” said Claflin Foundation President Stephen Littlepage.
The largest bottom line is the Mason County Library system totaling $71,666.16. Monies were directed toward capital improvements and generating increased interest in reading. The Mason branch expanded its square footage of usable space for $40,000 and the New Haven branch took reading outdoors and into the gazebo for $5,800. The Kids Café totaling $7,500, provided the library with essentials to host a site for the summer feeding program sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education and Mason County Schools. Other monies helped improve flooring, purchase books, and upgraded book circulation.
“More people, more activities, and more services,” said Mason County Library Director Pamela Thompson, “I don’t know what we would do without the Claflin Foundation.”
Dogs and cats at the Mason County Animal Shelter check into deluxe accommodation during a sojourn at the facility with the help of the foundation. Additions and upgrades total $55,726, including climate control settings with a dropped ceiling total $2,565, and a new heating/cooling system totals $8,500. The new heating/cooling system means no more having to endure extreme winter and sweltering heat. Soaking in a dog bath, at a cost of $3,080, means shiny and fluffy coats. Dogs can move to an outdoor kennel at $13,000 and exercise in a secured and fenced area for $11,000. Cats sunbathe in a private cat room with an alarm system and then feast on treats for $3,723. Food and medications are refrigerated and linens and supplies are laundered in the washer and dryer for $1,708. Other shelter supplies totaling $1,000 are kept in storage totaling $7,000.
“Robert and Louise Claflin were caretakers for stray animals in their New Haven neighborhood. Every request goes through a worthiness criteria to make sure animals are as cared and loved as those animals having received comfort from the Claflins,” said Littlepage.
“This is a priority area for funding since the Animal Shelter has already benefited from $55,726. Claflin Stadium makes the community and Wahama High School’s baseball team proud. The Mason Recreation Foundation really wanted to improve this site and received $47,355.14 from the Claflin Foundation.”
Those improvements include stadium improvements at $23,000, field upgrades at $10,827.14, and parking lot developments at $13,528.
Another county entity receiving awards is the Mason County Sheriff’s Department. The DARE program conducted by the Sheriff’s Department targeting fifth graders expended $976 to provide educational supplies to students.
The Sheriff’s Department received funds for tracking devices at $4,575, trauma kits at $2,459.80, and bullet proof vests at $10,030.
Rivers to Ridges Heritage Trail expended $11,600 to improve the Virgil A. Lewis Memorial Reading Park located in the Town of Mason. The Rivers to Ridges Heritage Trail partners with the Mason County Commission.
The Mason County Ambulance Authority was awarded $1,610 for responder backpacks carried in emergency vehicles.
The Mason County Commission benefited from 31 percent of total Claflin Foundation grant awards since 2009.