Foundation awards $12K in local grants: Projects include school sign


Thanks to nearly $12,000 in grants awarded by the Chilkat Valley Community Foundation last week, nine local organizations have funding for projects and services.

The foundation disburses grants annually.

The Haines High School systems engineering class was awarded the $600 Mini-Tech Grant, for construction of an electronic LED signboard at school. The award was sponsored by Kingfisher Consulting, LLC.

The sign, to be powered by alternative energy sources, will be mounted on the front of the school and display school and community event reminders. Mark Fontenot, teacher of the systems engineering class, said the sign will be 7 to 8 feet long and 1 to 1.5 feet high.

Ten juniors and seniors in Fontenot’s systems engineering class wrote the grant application. They’ll begin installing a vertical axis wind turbine soon, which will supplement power generated by solar panels on the school’s roof.

“They’re really kind of thrilled about the legacy aspect of it,” Fontenot said.

An indoor display will monitor how much wind and solar power is being generated in real time, Fontenot said. He hopes the sign will be up by the start of basketball season, but at the very latest wants it to be done by the end of the school year.

The Haines Animal Rescue Kennel received $800 to help low-income residents send their pets to Juneau via plane for veterinary care. HARK’s executive director Steve Vick said vets usually want hundreds of dollars down before they even pick up the animal from the airport, and people quickly become overwhelmed by the costs.

“Some people, they just don’t have it. And they’re sitting there having to decide between their pet’s health and their financial situation,” he said.

The amount of money HARK can offer is determined on a case-by-case basis and takes into account the type of injury and age of the animal. About two-thirds of pet owners sending animals to Juneau through HARK received help from the organization, which donated $100 to $200 per transport.

The assistance isn’t only financial. It helps pet owners realize they are not alone in their time of crisis, he said. Vick hopes the $800 grant will allow HARK to budget $3,500 this year for its low-income veterinary assistance program. The budget was $2,500 last year.

Other grants awarded at the Nov. 1 meeting included $1,706 for Friends of the Library to buy new chairs, $500 for the Haines Dolphins swim team to update their timing and scoring equipment, $1,500 for Lynn Canal Broadcasting to install an Internet protocol system, $2,000 for Lynn Canal Counseling to complete essential equipment upgrades, $611 for the Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center to coordinate a biography exhibit, $2,272 for the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center to provide operational support for moose and salmon subsistence camps, and $1,500 for Southeast Alaska Independent Living to help reduce costs for people purchasing devices like wheelchairs and prostheses.


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