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We’ve done two articles on Community & Economic Development District Grants:

Today we look at another two of the District 7600 grants in this area of focus … framed as promoting local economies.  This is a broad topic.  Last week we featured work on the significant improvements to a deteriorated playground by the Area 7 clubs.  The grant application emphasized that the park is really a regional resource and would benefit a larger number of citizen families, greatly improving quality of life, recreation and play resources for children, and forming a lasting, impactful partnership with the local government.  Today we look at two more District 7600 grants which have designated Economic & Community Development as the primary or one of their primary areas of focus.

Blackstone Rotary’s Bus Stop Grant:

Blackstone Bus StopThe Town of Blackstone currently has a bus service, however, there is only one covered bus stop shelter along its route. The Rotary Club of Blackstone wishes to partner with the Town to construct one covered bus stop shelter in a busy section of Town. The Town agrees to donate $1,000 towards the project. The Rotary Club will purchase a covered bus stop shelter and through coordination with the Town, survey, pour concrete and construct the bus stop shelter. We also hope to inspire other organizations to assist. (Picture and italicized text from the grant application.) 

What could have been emphasized here was that this will probably serve a population which will use this bus stop to get to work, get to medical appointments, shop, and get to recreation facilities, thus there is an impact on more than one area of focus.  Rotarians will be actively involved in the hands-on work, will build a lasting asset for the community, set an example for other organizations, and enhance an already existing strong relationship with the town government.

Support of Police K-9 Training Center by Chester Rotary:

Yep, Chester Rotary has gone to the dogs.  This summary below of the club’s grant application best describes the grant.

The Rotary Club of Chester Virginia seeks to assist with the upgrade, maintenance, and repair of the Chesterfield County Police K-9 Training Center. The center continuously trains handlers and tracking and narcotics detection dogs (handlers and dogs are either training or working 8-hour days 20 days per month). Going forward, the county plans to increase the number of handlers and dogs as a component of its strategic community education and safety effort. This training center is bare-bones funded by Chesterfield County in the annual budget process and funding does not keep pace with need. The center, however, supports and is used by at least four smaller police departments and local Virginia State Police that offer no contributing resources or funds. Overuse of the center results in more rapid wear and tear of items and facilities reduces training time and can be a safety concern. Items to be purchased will increase the number of dogs and handlers that can train at the facility at the same time, expand the scenarios for training, and will protect dog and handler from injury. Maintenance and repair (M&R) labor support will be provided by members of the Chester Rotary Club; individual members of Chester’s local Boy Scout Troop and the Thomas Dale Interact Club will be able to earn credit towards merit badge and community service requirements. Our marketing strategy is to ensure club sponsorship: is listed on the club’s web page and is added to the marketing list of community projects supported by this Rotary club; is included in information announcements in area community newspapers; additionally, the K-9 handlers with dogs have agreed to exhibit at our major BBQ fundraisers to educate the community – this will also counter stereotypical images of police dogs frequently on display via Hollywood/television entertainment media. The K-9 department is currently seeking county approval for a Rotary emblem at the training facility entrance. In sum, our effort will assist the Chesterfield County Police in its effort to protect the citizens of this county and will help other departments across the greater Central Virginia region. and will have sustaining value year-over-year for the working life of the dog.

Besides partnering with the County Police Department, there will be support for an opportunity for engagement with the Boys Scouts of America and with one of the club’s Interact Clubs.  What is mentioned elsewhere is that the facility will promote the training of Police K-9 for community safety, not just tracking duties, which will enhance the ability for the Police Department to provide services to the elderly and youth in the  community.

The grant application did not include any pictures, but we figured you knew what a dog looks like.  OK, can’t resist.  These are not Police K-9s, but they will suffice for the moment.

Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend.