Mushroom Festival awards $55,000 in grants

Recipients of grants from the Mushroom Festival gathered Friday to accept some $55,000 for local programs and charities.

KENNETT SQUARE — At the Mushroom Festival Spring Event last Friday, 33 local nonprofit organizations received grants totaling $55,000. Grants are awarded from proceeds of the previous year’s Mushroom Festival including the $2 wristband admission fee.

From 2011 proceeds it was determined the Mushroom Festival was able to award $55,000 in grants. The grant process began in January with the posting of the grant application. This year The Mushroom Festival Board received 52 applications requesting over $125,000 in grants.

Over the past 10 years the Mushroom Festival has given over $500,000 back to local organizations in the form of grants and donations.

“Without the support of our volunteers and our sponsors we wouldn’t be able to give back to the community,” he said in announcing that 33 local non-profit organizations would receive grants totaling $55,000 from the 2011 Mushroom Festival that evening. “We are pleased to be putting these proceeds from the 2011 Mushroom Festival back into the community.”

“It’s a hard decision every year to determine how to divide our grant funds,” said Kathi Lafferty Mushroom Festival Coordinator. “We try to choose a wide variety of organizations that help various groups of people in our diverse community.”

Two special donations were made. First the Kennett Education Foundation received a $1,000 donation for the organization as the 2011 Honorary Chairman Leon Spencer’s Charity of Choice. In support of prostrate and breast cancer research, a donation was also made to the City of Hope.

Local organizations receiving Mushroom Festival grants and a description of how the funds will be used were:

ALS Association: Funds to purchase durable medical equipment, such as companion wheelchairs, folding walkers, lift chairs, and shower chairs to loan to Chester County residents with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The Arc of Chester County: Funds for The Arc’s Advocacy Training program in Southern Chester County to support autism training, including Spanish translation services.

Avondale Fire Co. No. 1: To purchase a turbo draft fire educator and also a refurbished tough book computer for the Chief’s vehicle.

Bournelyf Special Camp: Funds to enable children with special needs from low income families in Southern Chester County to attend camp.

Camp Dreamcatcher, Inc.: To sponsor two Kennett Square children to attend the HIV/AIDS Therapeutic Summer Camp.

ñCanine Partners for Life: Funds toward microchiping and registering 60 service dogs in training.

Domestic Violence Center: Funds to support the organization’s Southern Chester County Outreach in the Kennett Square satellite office.

Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation, Inc: Funds to support the marketing expenses of this newly created Oxford-based foundation dedicated to supporting research to find a cure for childhood leukemia.

Friends of Tennis: Funds for new equipment to allow increased participation in the organization’s programs.

Friends Home in Kennett: Funds to establish a computer center for residents to help them learn and interact with each other and their families.

Good Neighbors: To purchase equipment to support the office and the program.

Historic Kennett Square: For sponsorship of the Memorial Day Parade.

Kennett After-School Association: To cover some of the transportation costs to bring participants home at the conclusion of After the Bell programs.

Kennett Area Community Service: Toward the Emergency Assistance Fund to help families served by the organization.

Kennett Area Parks and Recreation Board: For landscaping improvements at Pennock Park, to start the Blue Demons Lacrosse program and costs associated with the Free Kids Cross Country run.

Kennett Area Park Authority: Towards the costs associated with providing 8 free summer concerts at Anson B. Nixon Park.

Kennett Area Senior Center: To support the Neighbors in Action program, which works with the low to moderate income homebound elderly population.

Kennett Education Foundation: Funds to support classroom projects as requested by teachers through the organization’s Innovative Grants for Teachers in the Kennett Consolidated School District program.

Kennett Fire Co. No. 1: Funds toward the purchase of a specially-equipped 6×6 all-terrain vehicle for use at community events, parades and festivals.

KHS Walk In Knowledge: To subsidize the costs associated with providing college visits for rising seniors within this Kennett High School organization.

KHS Friends of Music: Towards the purchase of a mobile conductor’s podium.

Learning to Lead: To send 3 Southern Chester County girls to the Girls Take Charge leadership program at Villanova University.

Lyme Disease Association of Southeastern PA.: Funds to help present public lectures on Lyme Disease to the community.

Penn State Cooperative Extension: Funds to support the promotion and facilitation of the 4-H Mushroom Growing Project.

Project Rake: Funds to support the organization’s two work weekends.

Quest Therapeutic Services, Inc.: Funds to help with the veterinary care expenses for the organization’s 10 therapy horses.

Smart Drive Foundation: Funds to purchase Smart Drive, a student education program to address distracted driving and reaction programs.

Southern Chester County Emergency Medical Services:  Towards purchase of a new Medic 94 responder vehicle.

Spanish Health Ministry: To cover costs associated with transportation for medical appointments and translation services to the under-served Spanish-speaking children/families along the Route 1 corridor that require specialized medical care and interpreters.

SPEAK Unlimited, Inc.: Toward the costs to print 1000 copies of 12 different one page safety handouts to individuals with disabilities.

The Garage Community & Youth Center: Funds to support The Garage Kennett Square, The Garage West Grove and Young Moms programs.

Tick Tock Early Learning Center: Toward the purchase of various items to complete the playground construction project.

Together for Education: Funds to offset costs of The Together Fair in order to keep the event free for all students of KCSD.



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