August 30, 2013

Senior's project nabs $24K grant

CCCF awards six grants totaling $90K

By Amie Sites

---- — Not many high school seniors can say they have written a grant. Payton Young, however, decided he was going to tackle grant writing for his senior project.

Young, a senior at Lewis Cass Junior-Senior High School, decided to apply for a Cass County Community Foundation grant to build a new greenhouse at his school and found out his project was awarded $24,000.

“I had no idea what we were going to get,” Young said. “I thought I was going to die when they announced the amount.”

The new greenhouse will connect to the existing greenhouse at the school. Young said he received help from Mike Appleton and his father, Don Young, associate principal at Lewis Cass.

Young’s mother, Sally, was extremely happy for her son.

“It’s very exciting,” Sally said. “To have initiative to write a grant is great.”

The money will be used to build a new greenhouse to provide educational experience and produce to give to local food pantries. The greenhouse will be started as soon as possible, Young said.

Another organization also scored a grant for the school corporation. The Lewis Cass Band Boosters received $15,000 for a new equipment building.

With the passing of Mike Clark, The Lewis Cass High School band director, in September 2012, the grant was even more special because he spearheaded it, Robin Asher said.

Band members are currently storing their equipment in various places, including homes, and the grant money will go toward building the Marching King Annex. The annex will allow the band to practice indoors, have a place to store their equipment and help preserve their legacy, Asher said.

They will break ground as soon as possible, Kim Robertson said.

“It was his idea to get it going,” Robertson said. “I was compelled to get involved.”

Trudie Hedrick, superintendent of the school corporation, said she was excited the district had received $39,000 worth of grant money for projects.

“I’m loving this,” Hedrick said. “It doesn’t get much better.”

The projects were two of six to receive grants at a community foundation press conference Wednesday evening. Adam Strasser, grants chairman, presented the awards and Susan Platt helped hand the awards to each recipient.

The grants totaling $90,014 are made possible through donors who give unrestricted endowments to the foundation.

“This is one of the highlights of our year,” Crispen said. “We get to put resources out in the community.”

Other projects include a renovation approval for both the 4-H Community Center and the Twelve Mile Community Center.

The Cass County 4-H Association received $17,625 to go toward completing the siding, landscape and the exterior of the organization’s community center.

“It’s been a long haul,” Cindy Scott, 4-H director, said. “This is the last hump to go over.”

The Twelve Mile Community Center will be receiving renovations with the $23,319 grant approved. Work done will include new storage and a sidewalk.

The Domestic Violence Task Force and Pulaski Health Foundation/Friends of the Panhandle Pathway also received grants.

The foundation awarded $820 to the Domestic Violence Task Force for a laptop and software. The equipment will be used to give presentations to educate others on what the taskforce does.

“We are thrilled,” Jill Rife, president of the task force, said about the announcement.

The Pulaski Health Foundation and Friends of the Panhandle Pathway received $9,250 for a challenge match for trail equipment. They will be purchasing a tractor to help maintain the trail, running 21 miles from a spot near France Park to Winamac.

The application process for grants began in May and were due in June. To be awarded a grant, each project had to benefit Cass County residents, Crispen said.

“How will you pass the torch to the next generation?” Crispen asked those who attended the press conference.

Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or

2013 Community Grant awards Cass County 4-H Association • AMOUNT: $17,625 • PROJECT: Renovations at the 4-H Community Center Lewis Cass Band Boosters • AMOUNT: $15,000 • PROJECT: New equipment building Twelve Mile Community Center • AMOUNT: $23,319 • PROJECT: Renovations Domestic Violence Taskforce • AMOUNT: $820 • PROJECT: Laptop and software Pulaski Health Foundation/Friends of the Panhandle Pathway • AMOUNT: 9,250 • PROJECT: Challenge match for trail equipment Young America Lions Club/ Lewis Cass FFA • AMOUNT: $24,000 • PROJECT: A new greenhouse to provide educational experience and produce for local food pantries