CELEBRATION FOR THE PLATEAU - June 18


South Cumberland Community Fund invites the public to the “Celebration for the Plateau” on June 18 at 11 am at the Big Red Barn on Hunters Mill Road in Beersheba Springs to recognize grant recipients in the 2022 spring grant round. The awards ceremony will be followed by a lunch and opportunity to celebrate with the recipients.


“We are delighted to announce this year’s spring grant recipients and recognize the great work that many organizations on the Plateau are doing to improve health outcomes, strengthen education, and grow economic opportunity in our area,” said Betty Carpenter, chair of the Fund’s grants committee. The Fund approved grants to 18 organizations across the Plateau totaling 109,000.


With this year’s grants, SCCF has awarded more than $1 million since 2012. Both new and past grant recipients will be recognized at the Celebration for the Plateau event.


In addition to celebrating the 18 grants awarded in this latest round, the Fund will also announce grants it is awarding through the Paul S. McConnell Fund for music on the Plateau as well as a special presentation recognizing donors, including the Shasteen Family of Monteagle.


“We are grateful to the many donors to the Fund who really make it possible for us to make connections with and provide financial support to strong organizations on the Plateau,” said Tom Sanders, executive director. “Building a strong community requires all of us working together.”


The current round of grants include the following:


Arts Inside - $4,000

Striped Creations is a multidisciplinary narrative project intended to guide participants in exploring and expressing their identity while incarcerated. Over several sessions, participants complete journaling prompts and visual exercises, creating a single image that represents several components of their life and self. The project is intended to be displayed publicly, connecting communities within and outside of detention facilities through the power of narrative art.


Beersheba Springs Medical Clinic - $1,285

Patients with diabetes have a limited understanding of their disease and their ability to improve their health outcomes. Traditional patient education methods such as weekly classes may be ineffective due to educational experience, transportation, family dynamics, finances, and healthy food availability. Based on patient interviews, this project will explore other educational options such as interactive classes, support groups, and family involvement.


Coalmont Elementary School - $5,000

Coalmont Elementary School will expand the use of the new school playground with a pavilion/outdoor classroom. This pavilion will be used by children and teachers for learning and socializing and by staff for relaxing during their breaks in the day. It will also be used by community members when school is not in session.


Coalmont Public Library - $6,250

Funding to Coalmont Public Library will provide needed materials for story time and after school activities. These will include tables and chairs along with book bins and shelves to set up the area with child friendly access to books that are separated into bins by theme and the right height for young children as well as those in wheelchairs.


Folks at Home - $5,000

Folks at Home saw a dramatic increase in the demand for medical transportation in 2021–over 40% compared to pre-COVID 2019. Thus far in 2022, transportation requests remain high, while the volunteer driver pool has been drastically reduced because of COVID. Folks at Home proposes to purchase a dedicated Folks at Home vehicle (along with an increase in staffing) in order to meet current demand and to increase the breadth of our transportation services, including medical transportation for Sewanee Senior Center members who may need their assistance.


Grundy Recovery Alliance Community Endeavor (GRACE) - $10,000

GRACE will fund a transportation program. With a vehicle, insurance and cost for a few maintenance repairs GRACE will reach 40-50 more residents of the plateau. They will also save money on outsourcing by providing the transportation to treatment programs themselves.


Grundy County Food Bank - $9,693

Grundy County Food Bank will be moving into a newly constructed building in 2022 and will have much less floor space than in the current building. New furnishings such as compact storage racks will be required both to make more efficient use of space and to promote improved practices of sanitation and housekeeping.


Grundy County Mayor’s Office - $8,000

An oral history program and route that utilizes audio recordings of local residents and experts will incorporate interpretive signage that is paired with QR codes leading to audio stories at historical sites. Topics and locations include the Cherokee and Chickamauga nations and the Trail of Tears (Main Street Monteagle), Reconstruction (Tracy City), Swiss immigration history (Gruetli-Laager), “Zebra Law” and Lone Rock Stockade (Tracy City/Grundy Lakes), coal mining industry (Coalmont, Tray City, Palmer), the Great Depression, and Highlander Folk School’s history with labor and civil rights. A large-scale mural likely located in Tracy City will be the central feature of the oral history route and will draw attention to the program, which has the following goals:

  • preserve history;

  • educate local residents and visitors through an engaging medium;

  • increase visitation to cultural sites in order for the region to benefit financially from increased visitation and leading to additional funding to improve local quality of life through tax revenues.

Grundy County Swiss Historical Society - $5,000 (pf of $10,000 request)

The Grundy County Swiss Historical Society will replace 6 windows at the Stoker-Stampfli Farm Museum Since the farmhouse is on the National Register of Historic Places, the plan is to have the windows built by an area craftsman who is able to duplicate the style and material of the windows.


Grundy EMS - $10,000

Due to COVID, several Paramedics and EMTs resigned and decided to pursue other professions. The grant will be used for tuition fees to train new EMTs in order to fill in crew vacancies and bring their staffing to pre-COVID conditions. The funding will help pay for a minimum of 3 students to attend Chattanooga State Community College for the Advanced Level EMT Training. This grant is dedicated to the memory of Henny Shasteen, whose friends and family provided the financial support that made this grant possible.


Highland Recovery Center - $10,000

Highland Recovery will purchase a transport van. The van will be used to transport people with substance addiction to faith-based recovery programs and to/from recovery meetings that take place on Friday nights at Highland Community Church.


Housing Sewanee - $5,000

While the construction costs of the new home are estimated to be $105,000 to $115,000, the SCCF grant will be used to help pay for construction of the new home’s foundation.


Morton Memorial - $10,000

Studies clearly highlight that low income families, and some higher-income families, struggle to afford basic household necessities that are needed to maintain personal hygiene, household care and sense of self. While families engage in compensating behaviors in an effort to overcome these resource issues, it is clear that the inability to afford needed household goods translates into heightened stress and stigma and an inability to afford other living necessities, including food. Morton Memorial UMC will expand their food distribution services to include the purchase, storage, and distribution of non-food health and hygiene, essential items (toiletries and hygiene products for example) for those recipients served by the Food Ministry.


Mountain T.O.P. - $2,740

Funding will be used to set up a composting infrastructure at Mountain T.O.P. that will drive the organization’s efforts toward sustainability and green practices. They plan to hire experts in the field to train staff on proper composting practices in their camp settings. The compost will be distributed throughout our community to anyone who is interested in having compost.


North Elementary School - $3,000

North Elementary School's music program is off to a running start and, for the first time since 2019, the youth of Altamont, Tennessee, kindergarten through 8th Grade, are getting hands-on experience singing and playing instruments, exposure to culturally and historically important music from across the globe, and an education covering the fundamentals of music. North will utilize their SCCF grant to purchase new musical instruments and musical accessories to ensure that each student has the opportunity to learn and collaborate in the world of music, with a long term goal of revitalizing the South Cumberland's tradition of "Old-Time" string band music.


RISE UP Grundy - $2,032

The RISE UP Youth Nature Based STEM Project will introduce a summer program for at-risk youth ages 10-14 that is free of charge and incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to participants by using the outdoors as a hands-on laboratory. Participants will attend two days a week 6 hours per day (July until school starts) to build a conservation mindset of the beautiful natural environment on the plateau. Youth will wrap up the summer portion of the program by building a raft out of natural materials that they will navigate down the Hiwassee River before transitioning into a once-a-week after-school program continuing throughout the 2022-2023 school year that includes a BSA Scout membership under the leadership of RISE UP Grundy.


Town of Monteagle - $7,000

The Town of Monteagle is replacing all the playground equipment in Hannah Pickett Park so ALL children and families in the area as well as visitors have a safe, inviting, healthy playground. The playground will promote healthy habits through play, and provide and maintain a community asset.


Town of Tracy City - $5,000

The Roundhouse Park Stage was recently added to the downtown park area. The Town will have electrical lines installed from the pavilion to the stage in order to have lights and outlets for outdoor events in the park.


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