Community foundation awards grants to three local entities

The most recent round of grant giving by the Marietta Community Foundation had a strong emphasis on capital projects, the foundation said.

Grants were given to Peoples Bank Theatre, the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County and the Salem Township Volunteer Fire Department. Foundation executive director Heather Allender said the capital grants – to be used for improvements or equipment rather than programs – are an important way to take pressure off boards and volunteers who might be dealing with aging facilities or systems, or emergency breakdowns that stress their budgets.

“Normally, we and other community foundations focus more on project-specific grants, like summer camps,” she said. “For this round, we reviewed the applications that came in, and these three were funded because we realized that nonprofits spend a lot of time fixing things, and we wanted to give these organizations a chance to breathe. If something, for example, goes unexpectedly wrong they have to concentrate on fixing it rather than focusing on their programming.”

The Salem Township Volunteer Fire Department received a grant for $8,335 to acquire automated chest compression devices, which allow first responders to direct their attention to other life-saving measures while CPR is being administered by a piece of equipment rather than an EMT.

The devices are becoming widespread among rural departments where calls are frequently a significant distance from hospitals.

“For the Salem VFD, this will propel their service to the next level,” Allender said.

The Boys and Girls Club of Washington County was given $20,000 toward completion of the gymnasium project on Marietta’s west side. Allender noted that the foundation grant was augmented by some private donors to reach that total. The gym is not usable in its current state, and the grant will allow the club to enhance its program offerings to young people.

“This is a great investment for the community as a whole, especially those living on the west side,” Allender said. “We’re helping them renovate that gym, which is open to all the community.”

Peoples Bank Theatre received $15,000 in a capital grant.

“It’s for additional air conditioning,” theater executive director Hunt Brawley said Thursday. “It will get us another set of HVAC units for the upper balcony. We’ve had trouble keeping that part of the theater cool, and even in winter the heat rises and gets trapped up there. Now we’ll be able to move some air and keep that area more comfortable.”

The 100-year-old building still operates on a single air conditioning unit with one fan, and it still has the original ducting system, Brawley said.

“We were just unable to control the temperature up there well,” he said.

The work, he said, will probably be done during a lull in the performing schedule, possibly in late August.

Nonprofits interested in applying for grants can find applications on the foundation’s website – mcfohio.org. The deadline for applications for the fall grant cycle is Oct. 1.

Marietta Community Foundation, spring 2019 grant highlights

• Peoples Bank Theatre, $15,000.

• Boys and Girls Club of Washington County, $20,000.

• Salem Township Volunteer Fire Department, $8,335.

Source: Marietta Community Foundation.