Grant to boost county’s eastern edge

HANCOCK COUNTY — Nonprofit organizations serving the eastern portion of the county are eligible for $25,000 in grant dollars offered this year through a charitable foundation seeking to bolster Hancock County’s smallest communities.

The White Family Foundation Fund, which has given some $140,000 since its inception five years ago, will grant a total of $25,000 to agencies serving towns including Shirley, Wilkinson, Charlottesville and others in the area, said officials at the Hancock County Community Foundation, which administers the fund.

This year, eligible projects may include but are not limited to beautification projects, building facade improvements, recreational enhancements and accessibility, public safety or transportation efforts. Eligible applicants must serve Shirley and nearby surrounding communities — the grant funding is not limited to Hancock County organizations but may also be distributed to Henry County nonprofits.

Applications are due to the community foundation in May.

The White Family Foundation Fund, created in 2012, seeks to boost local community development and support initiatives that make Shirley and its surrounding communities a more desirable place to live and work, said Kara Harrison, community investment and grants officer at the foundation.

The grant cycle marks a timely investment in the area’s future, officials said; in recent months, Shirley has seen two longtime businesses — its lone bank and the family-owned hardware store across the street — close their doors.

The White Family Foundation seeks to boost Hancock County’s eastern towns because its founders, Stephanie White-Longworth and her brother, Keith White, live and work in Shirley, White-Longworth said. Typically, grant funding is divided among about five entities each grant cycle, with the hope the financial boost will make it easier for nonprofits to achieve their missions, White-Longworth said.

The $25,000 in grants commemorate the Hancock County Community Foundation’s 25th anniversary, which is being celebrated this year.

The White Family Foundation was created after the family sold Gas America Services Inc. to Speedway in 2012, White-Longworth said. The foundation has granted nearly $140,000 to various charitable efforts in the last four years in an effort to give back to those who patronized the family business over the years, she said.

“The surrounding community has always been a great place to do business,” she said. “We try to support where we live and work.”

To apply

The White Family Foundation Fund is offering $25,000 in grants this spring to support communities on the county’s edge edge, including Shirley, Wilkinson and Charlottesville.

To apply for a White Family Foundation grant, visit app.smarterselect.com/programs/38022-Hancock-County-Community-Foundation.

For more information, contact Kara Harrison, community investment and grants officer, at 317-462-8870, ext. 226 or kharrison@giveHCgrowHC.org.

May 5, 2017 – Grant applications are due to the Hancock County Community Foundation by 4 p.m.

July 2017 – White family recommends grant recipient; HCCF reviews and approves, and applicants are notified

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.