Park City Rotary Club revels in its special day
May 22, 2015
After countless hours of fundraising work and months of anticipation, the day many members of the Park City Rotary Club circle on their calendars finally arrived.
The club awarded its Community Grants in an annual ceremony Tuesday at the Grub Steak Restaurant. According to Insa Riepen, chair of the rotary club’s grants committee, 41 local non-profit organizations received a total of $30,000 in grants ranging from $250 to $2,000.
"If you want to say what makes Park City what it is, in my opinion, it’s the non-profit organizations," Riepen said. "And it’s very empowering for the Rotarians to know that our little bit of money makes such a huge difference for all of these organizations."
Representatives from the non-profits gathered Tuesday to receive the grants. Riepen said it’s a special event for all involved.
"It is a wonderful experience," she said. "What’s so good about it is the sense of community that is being evoked by getting all of these people together for this once-a-year event. It’s festive and it’s wonderful. Everybody is talking to everybody. It’s really exciting and everybody gets kind of dewy-eyed because it’s just so nice."
One of the unique aspects of the club’s grants, Riepen said, is the simple application process. That allows as many non-profits as possible to get in on the action.
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"Anyone who writes grants knows that it can be challenging, time-consuming and not pleasant," Riepen said. "But our grant is a one-page application, and at the minimum you’re guaranteed to get $250."
The National Ability Center was one organization that earned a grant. Joelle Kanshepolsky, senior strategist at the NAC, said it was an honor to be considered.
"It’s wonderful to be one of the organizations that was chosen," she said. "We were just really happy to be a part of it."
The NAC will use the money to help put on its No Barriers Summit, a four-day event from July 9-12 that aims to empower those of all abilities. Kanshepolsky said more than 1,000 people from all over the world will attend.
"It’s great to be able to allow people to come regardless of their ability to pay," she said.
The rotary club raises the grant money by putting on the popular Miner’s Day event held every Labor Day.
"We subtract the cost of the event and basically whatever is left over goes into our fund to give back to the community," Riepen said. "All the Rotarians work on Miner’s Day for free all day long. It takes tons and tons of planning."
Though this year’s grants were just awarded, preparation is already well underway for the next Miner’s Day and the grants it will fund.
"It takes every bit of organizational talent and volunteering that we have," Riepen said. "There are so many things to organize. We thrive on it."
The recipients of the grants are grateful for the hard work. Kanshepolsky said it’s the help of organizations such as the Rotary Club that make Park City the perfect place for a non-profit.
"I always say to people that we’re based in Park City with intention," she said. "We didn’t just happen to be based here. Yes, we’re a national organization, and people come from all over the country and all over the world, but we’re here for a reason. We wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the support of our local partners and the local community. We’re just super grateful to have that ongoing support."