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The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County has awarded $150,000 to 11 nonprofits for new and creative projects that improve quality of life for residents of Arnold, Jeannette, Greensburg, Latrobe, Lower Burrell, Monessen and New Kensington. Each of these communities struggle with population loss and economic difficulties resulting from the significant decline of regional manufacturing industries. The grants follow a series of information sessions in September, when the Community Foundation invited Westmoreland County residents to collaborate with local nonprofits to develop projects that would rebuild their communities as productive, clean, safe places to live and work.
Revitalizing Westmoreland grant recipients must successfully obtain matching funds for at least one-fourth of their projects. Matching funds may be cash, in-kind donations or volunteer time (currently valued at $23.63 per hour, according to the Independent Sector). The matching fund requirement is meant to help nonprofits leverage additional dollars from other funding sources. In some cases, Revitalizing Westmoreland grantees have already documented significantly higher matching funds than the 25% project cost minimum. In total, these grants and matching funds represent investments of $314,249.
“Westmoreland County residents and nonprofits continue to develop vital and innovative projects to revitalize Westmoreland County,” said Phil Koch, executive director of the Foundation. “The fact that these organizations have committed to $164,249 in matching funds is a testament to the confidence our nonprofits have that these projects will improve quality of life in neighborhoods across Westmoreland County.”
This year’s Revitalizing Westmoreland grantees are:
ARNOLD: $28,000 awarded, $10,682 in matching commitments $26,000 to the City of Arnold to install rubberized mulch and new equipment at the Roosevelt Park Tot Lot Playground. ($9,650 matching) $2,000 to Arnold Better Block through the City of Arnold to install a “Welcome to Arnold Riverbank” sign to welcome boaters. Volunteers are clearing the riverbanks of brush. ($1,032 matching)
GREENSBURG: $20,000 awarded, $17,167 in matching commitments $15,000 to the Greensburg Hempfield Area Library for improving the façade of the library’s main entrance. ($11,167 matching) $5,000 to the Westmoreland Cultural Trust for façade renovations to The Palace Theater. ($6,000 matching)
JEANNETTE: $38,500 awarded, $100,800 in matching commitments $12,500 to Jeannette Salvation Army to install safe playground equipment at their facility. ($4,930 matching) $16,000 to Outreach to Teach through the University of Pittsburgh in Greensburg to fund equipment and enhancements for the McKee Elementary and Middle School playground. ($21,170 matching) $10,000 to the Westmoreland County Land Bank to convert an empty lot to the Seeds of Change Urban Garden and to add a transit shelter that uses rain collection technology to capture water for the garden. ($74,700 matching)
LATROBE: $18,000 awarded, $8,300 in matching commitments $18,000 to the City of Latrobe for their downtown community beautification project that includes wayfinding signage, landscaping and planters. ($8,300 matching)LOWER BURRELL: $12,500 awarded, $10,000 in matching commitments $12,500 to the City of Lower Burrell for improvements to Kotecki Park, including paving the parking lot and creating a park entrance. The park honors the memory of Officer Derek Kotecki who was killed in the line of duty in 2011. ($10,000 matching)
MONESSEN: $27,000 awarded, $11,000 in matching commitments $12,000 to the City of Monessen for the second phase of the Westgate North Beautification Project, which converted blighted properties into a community parklet. ($6,000 matching) $15,000 to Monessen Recreation Authority for refinishing the gym floor and repainting the ceiling at the Monessen Civic Center gym. ($5,000 matching)
NEW KENSINGTON: $6,000 awarded, $6,300 in matching commitments $6,000 to the Westmoreland County Community College in New Kensington for the second phase of expanding the garden and art installations at the New Kensington Community Garden. ($6,300 matching)# # #
The mission of The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County (CFWC) is to encourage local residents to become philanthropists, provide grants that support a wide variety of charitable organizations and serve as a community leader. This year, the CFWC became a permanent affiliate of The Pittsburgh Foundation, the 13th largest community foundation in the United States. More information is available at http://www.cfwestmoreland.org/.