Rotary grants for children programme, food bank Twelve organisations had applied for the grants and a committee selected seven nonprofits which received $80,400 for upgrading their infrastructure and services.

Activity leader Andrianna Moore greets students as they get off the bus at the Urbana NeighboUrhood Connections Centre. Photo: Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette
Activity leader Andrianna Moore greets students as they get off the bus at the Urbana Neighbourhood Connections Centre. Photo: Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette

For the Urbana Neighbourhood Connections Centre, the Champaign Rotary Club’s (Illinois, US – D 6490) Cannon Grant means a new bus, which will cut in half the number of trips needed to collect the after-school programme’s participants daily.

“We’re probably picking up a total of about 50 kids every day,” said Janice Mitchell, the programme’s executive director.

“Right now, we make four trips to the centre every day. We’ll be making two trips with the new bus.”

For the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, the grant means a new forklift to help move about 12 million pounds of food a year.

“This is going to be a big help for us,” said Jim Hires, the food bank’s CEO.

Seven local nonprofits will receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 from the Champaign Rotary club, which is giving a total of just over $80,000.

Many of the grants will be used for new equipment or infrastructure upgrades that nonprofits might otherwise not be able to afford.

“Most of the time we use it for big-ticket items, equipment in the warehouse,” Hires said.

The food bank currently handles about 5 million more pounds of food than it did 10 years ago, and it serves 120,000 different individuals a year.

“We just appreciated this opportunity,” Hires said. “The Champaign Rotary Club has been very good to the food bank over the years.”

For about 15 years, the Rotary has been giving these grants, which are named after Joseph H Cannon.

He was a member for 53 years until he died in 2000, at which point a third of his estate was placed in an endowment for the Rotary to benefit the community.

This year, $80,400 will be given to seven nonprofits, up from nearly $70,000 last year.

Twelve organisations applied for the grants seeking $149,000, and a committee selected the recipients.

The Cannon Grants “are very important to the Champaign Rotary Club, and we are happy to help nonprofits in our area through these grants,” said Joan Dixon, chairwoman of the selection committee.

Here’s the full list of the recipients:

— Crisis Nursery: $5,000 to repair the sprinkler system in the older section of the building.

— Champaign Urbana Cradle to Careers (United Way of Champaign County serving as fiscal agent): $8,800 for “Ready! For Kindergarten” tool kits to be used by home child care providers, providing care to low-income families in the Garden Hills and Booker T Washington school areas.

— Developmental Services Centre: $14,967 to replace and upgrade its computer server, firewall, software and computers.

— Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club: $15,700 for 29 computer workstations, the majority of which will be used by the members of the club.

— Eastern Illinois Foodbank: $10,000 for a new forklift.

— The Reading Group: $5,973 for security cameras in each classroom and waiting area.

— Urbana Neighbourhood Connections Centre: $20,000 to purchase a 15-passenger shuttle bus to transport students from school to the center and meet the children’s other transportation needs.

Source: The News-Gazette

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