For Immediate Release
Nearly $246,000 Awarded in DAR Grants in Program Second Year
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Society’s Special Projects Grants program was met with an overwhelming response in its second year. Nearly 200 grant proposals were received from nonprofit organizations across the country, each one hoping to win one of these matching fund grants created to support local projects related to historic preservation, education and patriotism. Of the submitted proposals, 123 met the qualifications for judging. The highly competitive selection process that ensued awarded approximately $246,000 to 41 projects in 26 states and the United Kingdom, bringing the total amount awarded during the first two years of the Wright Administration to $425,000. Funding for the Special Projects Grants is provided by the President General’s Project, which is supported by member donations.
The 2012–2013 class of grant recipients includes 21 historic preservation projects that received $113,595 in funding to help preserve documents, revitalize cemeteries and restore historic sites. Educational programs were awarded $96,870, divided among 14 projects aimed at affording students increased access to teaching aids, education centers and mentoring programs. Six grants totaling $35,490 were awarded in support of projects related to patriotism, such as flag preservation and veterans’ programs. It will be exciting to see how these latest grants enrich communities by helping local nonprofit organizations reinforce the founding tenets of the National Society.
Meanwhile, projects that received DAR Special Projects Grants in the first year of the program, 2011–2012, have been completed, and there are many highlights to share.
Historic preservation grants have restored local historic sites and features that otherwise may have continued to deteriorate past the point of rehabilitation. For example, the Austin Woman’s Club received $6,245 to fund the first phase of an effort to restore the 17 original custom-designed, stained-glass features at Chateau Bellevue, which dates to 1874 and now serves as a meeting place for many clubs and civic organizations, including the Thankful Hubbard Chapter, Austin, Texas. The stained-glass pieces, including windows, doors, transoms and a lay light, were cleaned, repaired and reinforced.
Another grant enabled the Portage County Historical Society to replace the roof of the Historic Fire House No. 2 in Stevens Point, Wisc., and reconstruct its bell tower according to the original specifications. The historic fire house, built in 1885, is the oldest surviving municipal building in Stevens Point. In the intervening years the roof deteriorated and the bell tower was torn down, but following the restoration the firehouse once again appears as it did when it was first built.
Historic buildings are not the only artifacts of the past that require preservation. A $4,000 grant enabled the Huntsville Library Foundation of Huntersville, Ala., to digitize city council meeting minutes and church records, some of which date to the mid-19th century.
Educational grants afford a new opportunity for the National Society to inspire a love of learning in the nation’s schoolchildren by providing access to exciting programs and resources. One of the DAR supported schools, the Hindman Settlement School in Hindman, Ky., was among the recipients awarded an educational grant in the inaugural year of the program. The school received $5,000 to fund its participation in the Folk Arts Education Program Visiting Artists Series. Artist-illustrator Jessie Ray Sims works in various mediums to show both students and teachers the vital connections between science, math and art, unlocking students’ creativity in the process. Sims discussed the history of the mural as an art form and emphasized the use of math when designing the layout of the painting. Ten students worked on a unique mural depicting scenes from traditional Appalachian Jack tales.
Elementary school students visiting the Orange County Historical Museum in Hillsborough, N.C., now can enjoy the interactive heritage program “Life as a Revolutionary War Soldier,” funded by a $637.50 grant. As a costumed history interpreter explains what life was like for a Revolutionary soldier, children take turns examining replicas of items a typical soldier would have used, including a tin mug, musket balls, a signal whistle and a Brown Bess flintlock dummy gun.
By funding projects related to patriotism, NSDAR helps to foster a sense of national pride and to honor the men and women who protect our country’s freedom. The nonprofit organization Raise the Flag received $3,100 to purchase 250 American flags, which now fly proudly in and around Savannah, Tenn.
In Florida, a $2,000 grant enabled the Fort Walton Beach Woman’s Club to install its own public tribute to patriotic sacrifice. The club placed a bronze plaque at the Northwest Florida Regional Airport to honor the service of women in the military. The plaque was dedicated on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 2011.
These worthy projects serve as tangible, grassroots examples of the lofty ideals of historic preservation, education and patriotism that the National Society strives to promote. For a complete list of Special Projects Grants awarded since the program’s inception, visit www.dar.org/grants.
The DAR Special Projects Grants program, now in its third year, currently is accepting applications from nonprofit 501 (c)(3) entities. Do you know a worthy charitable project that could benefit from DAR funding? Reach out to local nonprofit organizations to make them aware of the DAR Special Projects Grants Program. Grant proposals must be postmarked by February 1, 2013, to be considered for the upcoming year. Find more information, as well as a downloadable grant application and the DAR Grants brochure, at www.dar.org/grants.
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The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, a worldwide service organization with nearly 3,000 chapters, is devoted to promoting historic preservation, education and patriotism. With more than 170,000 members, it has been one of the nation's most active service organizations since its founding in 1890. In just a few examples: Daughters provide financial support for scholarships, fund schools for underserved children, and volunteer time to local programs such as literacy tutoring. Members contribute thousands of hours of volunteer time in the nation’s VA hospitals each year as well as provide support and encouragement to active military personnel through various programs. In communities across the country, local chapters distribute thousands of U.S. Flags each year, and welcome thousands of new citizens. For more information on the work of the DAR and how to become a member, visit www.dar.org.