Susie Nelson, executive director of The Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley Inc., urged this year's Stealey Green Community Fund applicants to think outside the box during the March 14 public meeting.
The purpose of the meeting was to initiate the application process for the 2013 round of grant awards. Nelson was in attendance to discuss changes in this year's process, offer tips on how to successfully complete the application, answer questions, and to encourage innovative project ideas for Middlebourne.
"This is the 16th year for these grants. We have done some great projects such as the library expansion and the Main Street Streetscaping. I really urge everybody to think about what are the most pressing needs in Middlebourne," said Nelson. "This is an incredible amount of money for this size of a community. What's the next big thing we can tackle here in Middlebourne with this money," she added.
Nelson offered various ideas from other communities such as local foods, community gardens, farmers markets and community art projects. Because the fund requires eligible applicants to be qualified as exempt from Federal Income Tax under section 501(c)(3), she suggested that anyone with a project idea but isn't part of an organization should perhaps propose a partnership or make sure they know about the opportunity for funding. Stealey Community Fund Advisory Board Member Dean Rohrig suggested that if a situation such as that occurs to make one of the advisory committee members aware so they can look into the idea, provide advice and possibly help implement the project. However, these ideas should be projects that are sustainable. Sustainable projects take priority over projects that would require repeated funding.
Applications for grants are available at the Middlebourne City Building, Dean Rohrig's law office at 504 Cherry Street, The Board of Education Office, The Middlebourne LIbrary or online at www.cfov.org. This year the application requires the organization's full financials. All applications must be received at the Middlebourne City Building by noon on April 19. Grant recipients will be notified by mail the week of May 20.
The Stealey Community Fund is administered by The Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley Inc., with the advice of the Stealey Community Fund Advisory Board. The fund was created by Ruth Stealey Green, a retired school teacher who died at the age of 84 on Feb. 14, 1996, at her home in Middlebourne, to honor Green and her brother, Phillip Stealey, who died in 1993. It was her desire that special consideration be given to programs and projects which will improve the quality of life of the residents of Middlebourne such as improved library, recreational, municipal and youth services.