At the seventh annual grant awards dinner, held Tuesday, Dec. 3 at Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino in Coarsegold, awards were presented to 30 area non-profits, schools, and medical facilities in amounts ranging from $15,000 to $80,000. More than 95 applications were submitted this year, with Eastern Madera County receiving 19 of the 30 grants totaling $694,000.
One of the recipients, Caring Vet's, Inc received $15,000 in grant monies. "This grant will be very instrumental to our organization," said J.R. Froelich, vice president. "We're at the stage where we need this type of support to provide the services we provide for our fellow veterans. For us, this grant will make the difference in having a successful 2014."
Froelich says the $15,000 Chukchansi grant will used to ensure that Caring Vets has an adequate storage facility and a forklift to store and move the gear they get through the Department of Defense.
Coarsegold Elementary School received a grant for $60,000 for their Computers for Kids Program. "This grant will really help us purchase the hardware our kids need to use for where we're going in terms of 21st century learning," said Principal Bob Rose. It will also provide our reluctant learners with better access to technology this grant will help us get the basics into a lot of kids' hands."
The school also received a $49,000 grant to help fund its Summer Language and Cultural Program, which assists Native American students learn during summer months and is part of an ongoing partnership with the Chukchansi Tribe. "We've been partnering with Picayune Rancheria for a couple years now," Rose added, and "this grant will really help our students cope with the academic loss we see over the summer."
"When you look at the big picture, it really allows us to expand and dream about things we're not usually able to provide to our students," Rose said referring to both grants. "With the combination of the District and the Rancheria's grants, this will really help us get to where we want to be. This helps us do things we'd never be able to dream of doing within our budget."
The Eastern Madera County SPCA received a grant for $50,000, which "will allow us to continue to provide free spay/neuter surgeries for foothill dogs and cats as we concentrate on the fundraising for the EMC SPCA Animal Careand Adoption Center," said President Sharon Fitzgerald. "Providing spay and neuter surgeries will reduce the number of unwanted dogs and cats who would ultimately end up in our care or at Madera County Animal Control."
"We're very proud to continue to partner with the Madera County Board of Supervisors and so many great institutions across the region," Chairwoman Nancy Ayala. "We're determined to make life better for the Picayune Rancheria and for our neighbors. That's why these $1 million in grants have always been near to our Tribe's heart."
The 2013 Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians Community Grant Program Recipients for the Mountain Area are as follows:
- Positive Living Center, $25,000 for Community Outreach Center
- Sierra Senior Society, $25,000 for Senior Center repair and improvement
- Yosemite Sequoia Res. Con. & Dev. Council, $25,000 for mountain marijuana clean-up
- Sierra Historic Sites Association, $25,000 for Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park restoration
- American Legion (Post 110), $20,000 for American Legion concession trailer
- Spring Valley Elementary School, $27,000 for classroom computers
- Community Medical Foundation, $80,000 for OCHC and Chukchansi Immediate Care Center
- Caring Veterans, Inc, $15,000 for storage building and forklift
- Eastern Madera County SPCA, $50,000 for compassion fund
- Denel (formerly Tiny Acorn), $90,000 for building stronger communities
- Minarets High School, $46,000 for Native American Cultural Center
- Coarsegold Resource Conservation District, $5,000 for Kingsman Flat Wildlife Area handicap trail
- Coarsegold Elementary School, $60,000 for classroom computers
- Friends of Ahwahnee Hills Regional Park, $25,000
- Golden Chain Theatre, $31,000
- Camarena Health, $31,000 for Panoramic x-ray machines
- Children's Museum of the Sierra, $30,000 for tech-update program
- Coarsegold Elementary School, $49,000 for Summer Language and Cultural Program
- Wild Wonderful Women, $35,000 for Pawsitively Full Food Bank