Visalia Community Rotary Foundation Announces Record $127,500 in Grants

The Visalia Rotary Community Foundation will soon award a record $127,500 in grants to local organizations, including the largest grant ever awarded by the 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. Including the 2013 grants, the foundation has donated more than $973,200 to local organizations since its formation in 1997.

The foundation will present ImagineU Children’s Museum a grant of $50,000 – the largest grant ever presented. The funds will be used to help purchase and install technology infrastructure at the new museum, scheduled to open in Visalia in the summer of 2015.

Other organizations to receive a grant at Rotary meetings in July and August are as follows:

  • Assistance League. Help with Operation School Bell, providing clothing to junior high students. $5,000
  • The Blanket Ladies. Purchase materials to make blankets and bears, donated to local social services agencies. $5,000
  • Visalia Emergency Aid. Improvements to the Thrift Store building. $10,000
  • The Creative Center. Repair and replace the asphalt parking lot. $15,000
  • Golden State YMCA. Repair and redesign skate ramps at the Sequoia Lake skate camp. $5,000
  • Happy Trails Riding Academy. Expand the program by adding another riding arena, three pastures and a cart-driving path. $15,000
  • Tulare County Symphony League. To help fund the Junior Symphony and the Elementary Junior Strings, both after-school programs. $7,500
  • Visalia Parks and Recreation Foundation. Complete four years of planned improvements at Rotary Park in just one year. $15,000

Members of the Grant Committee who reviewed the applications are Larry Benevento, Dale Bruder, Tony Correia, Peter Golombek, Gary Paden, Marvin Hansen, Paul Sonier, Laurie Tiesiera and Steve Chrisman. The executive director of the foundation is Eric Shannon.

Projects funded over the years include donations to develop a water well at Happy Trails Riding Academy, FoodLink for Tulare County, the Groppetti Community Stadium, a backup electrical system at Camp Tulequoia, upgraded sound and lighting at Rotary Theatre, and the expansion of the classroom at Family Services’ battered women’s shelter in Visalia.

For more information, call Steve Chrisman, Buckman-Mitchell, Inc., Insurance and Financial Services, at 635-3542.

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