2016 Grant Recipients
Animal Alliance South Cumberland
Animal Alliance South Cumberland is an all-volunteer organization that makes accessible and affordable spaying and neutering for pets across the Plateau. This year’s grant will specifically support pet spaying and neutering programs for lower-middle-income families who do not qualify for AASC’s low-income program but still have difficulty paying for the service.
Folks at Home
Folks at Home is dedicated to assisting older area residents in living a dignified and comfortable lifestyle through coordination of services they need. Through this grant of $3,040, Folks at Home will expand its Boost Your Brain and Memory Program, an evidence-based program designed to help participants learn and practice the most promising strategies for keeping the brain healthy as they age. The goal is to expand the program into Monteagle, Tracy City, and Sewanee or Sherwood. Current program facilitators will mentor new volunteer facilitators, with an “each one teach one” approach to continuing the program with community-based facilitators.
Coalmont Public Library
Coalmont Public Library offers life-long learning for people of all ages, as well as access to technology and the Internet, and is open 20 hours each week. For its 800 card holders and other members of this rural community, it offers a year-round story time for children, participates in the Interlibrary Loan program, and provides services such as fax, printing, and email access. Individuals seeking employment come to the library to search for open positions, to fill out and follow-up on online applications, and to learn about educational opportunities. This $1,000 grant purchases a new desktop computer to replace an obsolete one, and provides funds to help purchase supplies for next year’s summer reading program.
Friends of South Cumberland
In the 1930’s, as the coal and iron industries were failing and the Depression deepened poverty in the area, the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) provided employment to area residents and completed multiple public works projects. The CCC site near the Fiery Gizzard has all but disappeared. FSC wants to redevelop the original campsite by creating framing that suggests the former structures and signage to help visitors understand its historical significance. The Friends and the park management will develop and maintain a program of enhanced interpretation for the nearly 700,000 visitors who come to the park each year.
Grundy County High School
Grundy County High School has an enrollment of about 725 students (grades 9–12) and a very limited annual library budget. This grant of $9,095 will help improve literacy skills and expand the library’s capacity to be a teaching space for the school. This grant will purchase books that will be engaging and interesting to high school students and at the appropriate reading level. It will also purchase a new computer and software for circulation and inventory of books. The grant will also purchase materials to equip the library as a teaching space with advanced audio-visual capabilities for multi-media presentations and web seminars.
Grundy County Historical Society
Grundy County Historical Society operates the Grundy County Heritage Center, which is a museum, a library, and a research center about the South Cumberland Plateau. An all-volunteer operation, it supports and encourages appreciation of and education about the culture and history of this region. In 2015, about 2,400 people visited the Center. Dry, secure space is essential to the preservation of historic photographs and documents. The Historical Society is housed in a location with three separate roof structures, all of which now need repairs. This $10,000 grant, combined with a USDA Rural Development grant and support from individual donors, will pay for repair to damage from previous roof leaks, and will help support the re-roofing of the three buildings.
Grundy County Youth Football
Grundy County Youth Football is a county-wide program that provides football and cheerleading for children ages 4 through eighth grade. About 130 children participate in the football program and about 60 children are in the cheerleading program. Games are played every Saturday from August through October, all led and coached by volunteers. This program is one of the most formative experiences for young people in Grundy County, advancing life skills such as teamwork, discipline, sportsmanship, and the importance of physical fitness. Most of the program’s current helmets are more than a decade old and need to be replaced. This $10,000 grant will purchase 100 new state-of-the-art football helmets to ensure the safest possible program.
Grundy County Housing Authority
Grundy County Housing Authority provides safe and affordable housing for low-income families in the area. Its 110 units range from efficiencies to four-bedroom units. Of its 219 current residents, 76 are under the age of 18. Grundy County Housing Authority will use this grant to expand its on-site recreational opportunities for families, with a special emphasis on children. Presently there are courts for volleyball and basketball. This $4,500 grant will purchase age-appropriate playground equipment for young children so that they and their families will have ready access to safe outdoor play space.
Grundy County Swiss Historical Society
Grundy County Swiss Historical Society, host of the Swiss Celebration and Festival for 41 years, maintains a farmhouse/museum to educate visitors about the unique history of the Swiss settlement in the Gruetli-Laager area since 1869. The farmhouse and the adjacent pavilion are also used for family reunions, community gatherings, and weddings. This grant of $4,500 will replace all the gutters on the farmhouse and will support the creation of a new drainage system to protect the integrity of the historic building.
Pelham Fire & Rescue
Pelham Fire and Rescue provides the Pelham Valley community with primary fire response. Its service area also includes Interstate 24, where they respond to emergency calls, some of which are complex accidents including hazardous materials. Because it is an unincorporated community, Pelham has no mechanism for assessing taxes; most of the funds for the Fire and Rescue program come from an annual Fish Fry and Barbecue. This grant of $9,740 will purchase five new sets of gear (coat, pants, and helmet with shield) for firefighters, keeping the program in compliance with federal standards and ensuring the safety of the 12 volunteers who dedicate their time and efforts to saving the lives of others.
Tracy City Softball & Baseball
Tracy City Softball and Baseball operates an annual program for boys and girls ages 3–12, involving about 100 children each year. In addition to introducing them to the sport, the program helps children learn to work together as a team, to appreciate the benefits of hard work and practice, and to gain experience dealing with stressful situations, including losing. This grant of $9,369 supports the development of a community softball/baseball complex on the site of the old high school baseball field. Having reached agreements with the Town of Tracy City, the Grundy County School Board, the Fair Association, and the Golf Association, the program can now move forward with surveying the property for future development. The grant also purchases portable aluminum bleachers for use at the current location and that can be moved to the new field when it is completed.