New Castle awards grants to a dozen different nonprofits
new castle community grants
Access After School – $300
Advocate Safehouse – $250
Aspen Community Foundation – $500
Community Counts – $150
Family Visitor Program – $250
High Country RSVP – $200
Middle Colorado Watershed Council – $250
River Bridge – $250
River Center – $10,900
Spellebration sponsorship – $200
West Elk Trails – $200
YouthZone – $300
Source: Town of New Castle
New Castle Town Council unanimously agreed at its Tuesday meeting to award $13,750 to 12 organizations, as part of the town’s first round of grant funding for 2019.
Councilor Brandy Copeland kicked off the healthy conversation questioning if the grant amounts recommended for Aspen Community Foundation ($500), YouthZone ($300) and Community Counts ($150) were necessary. Copeland was not questioning the integrity of the three organizations – in fact just the opposite, she said.
However, with such limited funds available, Copeland asked if the combined $950 from those three organizations could see allocation to smaller area nonprofits with less endowment. For instance, she pointed to Access After School, with its mission to “provide opportunities for students to further develop academic, social and physical skills in a safe and healthy environment within the after-school time.”
The board noted that Aspen Community Foundation, YouthZone and Community Counts would carry on just fine without what councilors referred to as New Castle’ “pennies.” But the fact that the three entities actually took the time to apply for New Castle grant funding, thus respecting the process, carried significant weight with the town board.
Recently appointed Councilor Crystal Mariscal praised Aspen Community Foundation for its support of the Sunshine Bus mobile preschool, which visits New Castle on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the town’s neighborhoods and parks.
Additionally, Councilor Bruce Leland believed YouthZone deserved more grant funding than recommended, while Councilor Graham Riddile pointed out how short changing Community Counts may leave a bad taste in the mouths of the Garfield County commissioners.
Community Counts is an organization that fields questions and concerns about oil and gas activities in the region, and works with energy companies to mitigate problems.
All of the New Castle councilors had their nonprofit preferences but were also in agreement that each performed invaluable services to the community.
The board stressed – with the exception of the River Center of New Castle, which received $10,900 – that the smaller grants awarded to each entity were more about showing the town’s support for their work and building lasting relationships with each organization, than being able to substantially fund them.
Aside from the River Center, no other area nonprofit received more than $500 because of New Castle’s limited budget.
Councilor Riddile noted that this was only the first round of grant money being awarded for 2019. Keeping that in mind, the board also wanted to ensure that when the next wave of grants go out next summer that the town has adequate funds on hand.
The New Castle Lions Club, which did not request money but was recommended to receive $500 for its numerous charitable contributions in the town, respectfully turned down the money so it could go toward other area nonprofits instead. The board decided to put the Lion’s share toward the second round of grants, leaving a reserve of $8,250.