Community Foundation hosts 'Holiday Celebration'
BERRYVILLE -- Everything from meat slicers to EKG machines will be purchased with grant money awarded Thursday evening in Berryville.
A total of $25,050 was divided between 16 non-profit groups when the Carroll County Community Foundation hosted its annual "Holiday Celebration" at Brashears Furniture.
The showroom was filled with grant recipients, their guests, CCCF board members, supporters, and Youth Advisory Council (YAC) representatives.
All were invited to socialize prior to the program and partake of refreshments, including those provided by Jane Tucker's Cateraid business.
Sharon Spurlin, past CCCF executive director, announced the county foundation was part of a larger state foundation which had awarded a total of $157,000 in grants to 59 organizations.
At the local level, Tina Cone, a CCCF board member who oversees the YAC program, explained the grant award process. She said the Youth Advisory Council, which is comprised of 32 students from the county's three public schools, plus Clear Spring, and home schoolers, are involved in the process. They, along with several board members and selected community representatives, review and rate the grant applications.
She said it is a tough decision with $25,050 available this year to meet the needs of applicants who had requested more than $60,000.
Receiving awards were:
* Warren Utsler, an art teacher at Green Forest Schools who has an after school habitat program with gazebo, pond, waterfall, fish, and plants. He said the grant money will go toward water and soil testing equipment so students can learn how humans impact the environment.
* Loaves and Fishes Project Self Esteem, represented by Brian Watson, who said 2,800 backpacks filled with school supplies have been distributed during the program's 10 year history. The number of students needing assistance this year was up, he said, with more than 400 backpacks distributed. The grant money will help the program continue.
* Men's Bible Study group at Green Forest United Methodist Church, represented by Byron Russ. He said the group understands there are people who own their own homes who can't keep up with the maintenance so they go in and do what they can to help. The grant money will buy some of the tools needed for repairs.
* Bethel Agape Food Pantry, represented by Catharine Miranda, who said they have been in operation 13 years and the grant money will help them address the nutritional needs of their clients, such as providing milk for children.
* Good Shepherd Humane Society, represented by Doug Brashears. He said the grant money will be used to purchase a generator. When last winter's ice storm hit, the shelter was without heat, water and electricity and they lost animals as a result. He noted that the shelter not only houses pets awaiting adoption, it also has a spay-neuter program to lessen the amount of abandoned animals.
* Little Flower Mission Clinic, represented by Michael Fitzpatrick. He said the clinic has been providing free medical assistance for 13 years. It was originally founded by Little Portion Monastery but now operates independently, and therefore "goes begging." Their objective, he said, is to "be out of business" when the time comes that no one needs medical care. In the meantime, he said the grant money will be used to purchase an EKG machine.
* Carroll County Literacy Council, represented by Lynn Palmer. She said the council assists those seeking to learn English, improve their literacy skills, obtain their GED or citizenship. To this end, the grant money will be used to buy Rosetta Stone CDs for language learning.
* Carroll County Senior Activity Center, represented by its director Jerri Marlowe, who has been at the job 25 years. Twenty-four years ago, she said, she bought a used meat slicer. They now prepare 200 meals a day and the grant money will go toward the purchase of a new meat slicer.
* Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), represented by Crystal Vickmark, who said last month there were 26 Carroll County youth in foster care and the grant money will be used to make their Christmas a little merrier with a new outfit and toy placed under the tree.
* Drug Free Carroll County, represented by Sherri Plumlee, who said the teen summit they hosted for all seventh graders throughout the county was successful and the grant money will allow them to host another next year, plus a parent summit.
* Flint Street Fellowship, represented by Pat Kasner. Money for this food bank will go toward the purchase of two new refrigerators, she said, which will come from a local store, Allen Appliance.
* Ozark Guidance, represented by Mike Jeppsen, a counselor, who said it has been determined that there is a need for parenting classes to address family needs. The money from the grant will help them set up these classes, which will be taken into the schools.
* People Helping People, this group was represented by several in attendance, along with a handful of "flocking flamingos' that can be placed on someone's lawn in a group of 100 for a $100 donation. Sue Hopkins spoke for the organization, now in its 19th year, whose sole purpose is to obtain prescription drugs for those in need. They serve the working poor and the elderly, Hopkins said, and distributed $19,000 worth of meds last year alone.
* Salvation Army of Carroll County. Ed Leswig, who heads up this non-profit, was unable to attend. Accepting in his absence was Pat Kasner, who said aid to the needy keeps increasing and Leswig expects rental and mortgage assistance to climb.
* Single Parent Scholarship Fund, represented by Jody Dilday, who said the grant money will fund one part-time scholarship for a single parent with two children.
* Children Living in Poverty, for project funds, and,
* Main Stage, represented by Elise Roenigk. Sharon Spurlin made this surprise presentation, saying it was was awarded in the late Marty Roenigk's honor, and it was the only grant award in CCCF's history that was not solicited.
She went on to say that the CCCF board wanted to make this award to Main Stage -- the Roenigk's non-profit of choice -- because of the Roenigk's steadfast foundation support and because of their efforts to restore the historic hotels of Eureka Springs.