Park City Rotary Club readies for season of grant giving
About 30 representatives from nonprofits in Summit County gathered at the Grub Steak Restaurant on Tuesday. As they stepped up to the microphone to share their one-minute elevator pitches about their organizations, Jenae Ridge, executive director of EATS Park City, felt proud to hear about the work that others do in the community.
Ridge was in attendance to also share about the goals and mission of the nonprofit EATS (Eat Awesome Things at School), which aims to improve the food program at local schools. The event was a kickoff to the Park City Rotary Club’s grant program for small nonprofits.
As part of the program, the Rotary Club provides grants to nonprofits that serve Park City or Summit County and have an operating budget of less than $500,000, said Guillermo Zelaya, a board member for the grant program. The grants range from $500 to $1,500. Organizations that qualify can apply for a grant until the deadline on July 30.
Ridge said that EATS has received a grant for the past two years and is hopeful that it will receive another one this year. Last year, EATS organizers used the funds to run the Seed to Plate program at local schools. Students were able to plant seeds, learn about watering, harvest the vegetables and fruit they planted and eat them.
She said that the money has been helpful in getting EATS programs off the ground.
The Rotary Club gave a total of $18,500 in grant money to 18 nonprofits last year and is expected to give even more this year based on the attendance at the luncheon, Zelaya said. The funds to run the program come from the club’s annual fundraising efforts on Miners Day, when it hosts a number of events on or near Main Street.
Many of the grant recipients, like EATS, have received funding from the Rotary Club for multiple years. The Park City Film Series has been a grant recipient for more than six years, said Katharine Wang, executive director of the nonprofit that brings diverse films to the Park City area.
She said that every year, the grants help fund the Reel Community Series, a program in which Park City Film Series showcases films that reflect the mission of other nonprofits in the community. Groups come to the event to do outreach, hold a panel or discuss the film and how it ties into the work that they do. For example, Park City Film Series showed the film “Notes on Blindness” and the Moran Eye Center, which partners with the People’s Health Clinic, held free eye screenings and brought a panel of doctors to speak about blindness.
Wang said that she likes to use the grants for the program because the money helps amplify the work of other nonprofits.
“It ties well with Rotary’s mission as well,” she said.
If Park City Film Series were to receive another grant this year, she said that it would continue to fund the program.
Zelaya said that after the application deadline closes, a committee of five Rotary Club members will select the recipients. They are set to be selected by the end of August.
He said that it is satisfying to know that the money the Rotary Club raises is going to help so many groups in Summit County that are giving back.
“I think that is what makes the vibrancy of Park City,” he said. “Park City is different from any of the places that I know because of its nonprofits. People are engaged and interested in the community.”
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