Rotary project unveils surprising flood of need for grant moneySuperior Noon Rotary Club 40 unveiled a flood of need when in January it offered a $42,000 pot of grant money to the community.
By: Maria Lockwood, The Daily Telegram
Superior Noon Rotary Club 40 unveiled a flood of need when in January it offered a $42,000 pot of grant money to the community.
“We had almost 100 proposals,” said member Jann Brill. “It was amazing.”
That was more than twice the 40 proposals the group was expecting.
“It was a real surprise,” said Rotarian Greg Guenard. “We had about $375,000 in requests.”
“Such a need,” Brill said.
A committee of eight whittled the stack down to four very different projects to support — a ballet performance, a medical expansion, refuge for the homeless and a rural communications center.
“A lot of tough choices had to be made,” said Guenard, a committee member. The group looked at handing out the sum in a big chunk or splitting it. They decided on the latter. The committee’s decisions, he said, were fair, balanced and met community needs across a broad spectrum.
But, he added, “Believe me, if we could have done more, we would have.”
The club awarded $15,000 to Memorial Blood Center for the expansion and renovation of the donor center in Superior.
Harbor House Crisis Shelters received $15,000 for a new transitional living center for homeless women and families.
“We’re just excited and really feel privileged and blessed that the rotary club chose our organization,” said the Rev. Barb Certa-Werner, executive director of Harbor House. “This brings us one step closer to meeting our goal.”
The organization is in the midst of raising $165,000, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the DeAtley Family Foundation.
“So actually, what they gave us with the match is $30,000,” Certa-Werner said. “It’s very exciting.”
Harbor House directors currently are in the process of looking at different apartment buildings to purchase. Certa-Werner said she expects the new transitional living center in Superior to start up in the next couple of months.
Another $2,000 went to the Minnesota Ballet to fund a lecture/demonstration/mini-performance for third, fourth and fifth graders in the Superior School District.
The final $10,000 was earmarked for the Imogene McGrath Memorial Library in Lake Nebagamon to fund necessary restroom modifications to make the building ADA compliant and establish a “Superior Rotary Communications Center” with up to three computers for patrons to access.
“We’re very, very grateful,” said Sue Enright, a member of the Friends of the Library group. “It’s going to make a big difference.”
The grant is the latest piece to fall into place for the rural library. This week, the Superior City Council approved making it a branch of the Superior Public Library. On March 25, the village of Lake Nebagamon approved a conditional use permit for the site. The branch library is expected to open July 1.
“We might open the lending library before that,” Enright said.
The Superior Rotary Club provides monetary support to community projects every year. The $42,000 giveaway was different.
“This was above and beyond that,” Guenard said.
The club socked away a portion of the proceeds from the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival for years in order to offer the $42,000 prize.
Guenard called the process of awarding the funds a good learning experience. If the festival continues to grow, he said, “We’re going to do it again.”
Call Maria Lockwood at call (715) 395-5025 or e-mail mlock