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Organizations plan how to spend grant money

July 02, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

WASHINGTON COUNTY

gregs@herald-mail.com

Even though the Chesapeake Bay seems far away, local environmental consultant George Newman III said what people in Washington County do has an impact on it.

"It's hard for people to realize that what we do here affects the bay," Newman said Friday.

That is why Newman plants trees, seeds grass and floods farmland in Washington County in an effort to try to help make local waterways cleaner, which he said only can help to improve the bay.

Those efforts and many others will be bolstered by gift money that was announced this week.

Community Foundation of Washington County Md. Inc. Executive Director Brad Sell said 16 local nonprofit agencies will receive matching grants from a program announced last fall that will infuse $5 million into local charities and other organizations over the next five years.

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Newman's organization, Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage, is set to receive a matching grant of $100,000 to create a $200,000 endowment. That interest-earning account will yield about $10,000 per year in cash that Newman said will be used to continue restoring local natural habitats.

"It's really gonna enable us to work with land owners and improve projects that we're currently working on," Newman said.

Newman said that last year, he believes his group planted around 100 acres of trees, seeded 200 acres with grass and restored 150 acres of farmland back to wetlands.

That work helps to provide a home for native birds and other wildlife, as well as act as a natural buffer between farmland and streams to help keep harmful pollutants out.

Several well-known programs also will be recipients of money through the program. The Hagerstown Community College Foundation and Antietam Healthcare Foundation, a branch of the Washington County Health System, both would receive $800,000 matching grants.

REACH Inc., which provides services for the homeless, would receive $212,500, and the Maryland Symphony Orchestra would receive $137,929. The United Way Foundation would receive $100,000.

The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts would be the recipient of $100,000. Including the money the museum will have to raise on its own, its new endowment at the end of five years would be $200,000.

Museum Director Joseph Ruzicka said while the money might not look like much in comparison to its $770,000 annual budget, "it's a way to take a certain amount of pressure off."

Ruzicka said the money will be used to support its free weekend arts classes, Sunday concerts and to help keep admission free. Another benefit is it will help to expand the museum's donor base by adding the heft of the Community Foundation's name.

"Really, we'll just be using the money to give back to the community," Ruzicka said.




Grant recipients


The following organizations will be recipients of matching grants in the amounts listed from the Community Foundation of Washington County Md. Inc.'s Waltersdorf-Henson Endowment Challenge Campaign.

  • Antietam Healthcare Foundation, $800,000.

  • Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage, $100,000.

  • Hagerstown Community College Foundation, $800,000.

  • Hagerstown YMCA, $375,000.

  • Hood College, $100,000.

  • Magnolia Foundation/University of Maryland, $212,500.

  • Maryland Symphony Orchestra, $137,929.

  • Mercersburg (Pa.) Academy, $212,500.

  • REACH Inc., $212,500.

  • Rotary Sunrise Foundation, $100,000.

  • St. James School, $800,000.

  • St. Maria Goretti Fund, $255,000.

  • Star Community, $212,500.

  • United Way Foundation, $100,000.

  • Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, $100,000.
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