Atlanta Betterment Fund gives out $5,000 in local grants

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[May 14, 2016]   ATLANTA - On Saturday, the Atlanta Betterment Fund hosted a small reception in the upstairs meeting room at the Palms Grill. The reception was held to distribute 12 checks totaling $5,000 to local organizations that are doing good work in Atlanta, and improving the quality of life for Atlanta residents.

Dale Colaw, a member of the Atlanta Economic Development Committee, served as the host and presented the checks.

Colaw opened with a brief review of how the Betterment Fund is able to award the 12 grants. He outlined the decision to raise $100,000 that would be invested as an endowment with the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation. He noted that this is the fourth year the Betterment Fund has been able to award grants and that in the first year the total awarded was only $600 and this year it is $5,000.

He said that the committee had received 12 grant applications this year. Some were repeat recipients, but a few were first time applicants. He said that not every group got all the money they needed, but every group did get something.

He also acknowledged the committee members who helped put this program in place for the Atlanta community. Those committee members are Billie Cheek, Bill Thomas, Susan R. Hoblit. He noted that Hoblit had been the driving force behind establishing the endowment fund and had worked closely with Greg Meyer of the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation.

It was also noted that when the program began, the committee had hoped to raise $100,000, and they did so with the support of the community. He also noted that today the total amount in the fund is $122,000.

Greg Meyer spoke briefly saying that the success of the Atlanta Betterment Fund is being shared with many small towns throughout the area, helping those communities to understand the impact they can have in improving the quality of life for their citizens.

Colaw also noted that the committee had been pleased to see the interest of the community in funding the endowment and that Atlanta was blessed with a lot of great supporters. Meyer also chimed in that it isnít just people in Atlanta that are supporting the community. He noted that the Foundation receives an annual contribution from a supporter who lives in Alaska.

Colaw then moved on to the presentation of grants.

Grants this year were given to:

Atlanta Historical Preservation Council
For the repair of the Wabash Box Car.

Atlanta United Methodist Church
For maintenance work to be done on the church elevator.

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Atlanta Historic Commission
For continued work on the Carriage House Restoration Project.

Atlanta Flower Buds - City of Atlanta
For the planting project at the Atlanta Firehouse.

Atlanta Public Library
For the remodeling project of the Union Hall building for museum exhibits and programming space.

Atlanta Memorial Park District
Update the sign in front of the Memorial House.

The Ladies Cemetery Association of Atlanta
Repair and restoration of the older monuments at the Atlanta Cemetery.

City of Atlanta Public Pool
Financial support for hiring a pool manager for the 2016 summer season.

Atlanta Christian Church
To assist in funding a program entitled ďA walk through the Old Testament.Ē

Atlanta Rescue Squad
To assist with the purchase of new CPR training mannequins.

Atlanta Fire Department
To pay for one of three needed garage door openers at the firehouse.

Olympia South PTO
To replace wooden split rail fence at Olympia South Butterfly Garden with new vinyl fencing.

[Nila Smith]

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