Written by The Business Journal Staff
Five Visalia Rotary clubs are awarding grants to local community groups that will fund the purchase of computers, 3D printers, parking lots, a freezer, computers and stage lighting.
The 2016 grants, totaling $100,000, come from donations to the Visalia Rotary Community Foundation.
The Foundation is a joint effort of five Visalia Rotary clubs and the grants are a result of donations to the Foundation by Rotarians and non-Rotarians.
Since it was formed in 1990, the Foundation has awarded $1.7 million.
The 2016 recipient organizations, and the purpose of each grant, are:
• ACT for Women and Girls, $5,000, to purchase a stove/oven, two desks and chairs and two computers.
• Assistance League, $5,000, to assist with the Operation School Bell project.
• Blanket Ladies, $5,000, to help purchase fabric, yarn and other supplies to make fleece blankets and cancer comfort pillows.
• Foodlink for Tulare County, $30,000, to assist with the purchase of a freezer unit for the food bank warehouse.
• Friends of the Fox Theatre, $5,000, to assist with the LED upgrade of stage lighting.
• Happy Trails Riding Academy, $5,000, to assist with the expansion of their all-purpose barn.
• ProYouth, $6,000, to purchase two 3D printers and curriculum for students ages 5 to 12.
• Visalia Emergency Aid Council, $9,000, to fund sealing and striping of parking lots, security lighting and improvements to the overflow parking lot.
• Rotary Clubs of Visalia, $20,000, to support the construction of the “Al’s Place” and “Sharon’s Place” Respite House, to be operated by Kaweah Delta Health Care District.
Members of the Grant Committee who reviewed the applications are Larry Benevento, Tony Correia, Peter Golombek, Gary Paden, Donn Ritter, Paul Sonier, Marvin Hansen and Steve Chrisman. The executive director of the Foundation is Eric Shannon.
The Foundation funded 10 of the 13 requests submitted, including six requests that were fully funded.
Local organizations that have received grants over the years include Golden State YMCA, Family Services, Visalia Education Foundation, Samaritan Center and the Imagine U Children’s Museum.
“The two largest grants this year support FoodLink, which provides nutritious food to families that might otherwise go without, and the Respite House, which will support families whose loved one is hospitalized,” Shannon said. “Through these and many other important projects, donations to the Rotary Foundation make a significant difference in the lives of people in our own community.”