Bank foundation presents grants

CHESTER – Programs that provide books for children, offer free music lessons, help victims of crime and promote the arts were among those that got some extra help Wednesday from the Hancock County Savings Bank Charitable Foundation.

The local bank announced $37,195 in grants to 19 area organizations at its 14th-annual award reception Wednesday in Chester.

“We’re proud to be a small part of what they’ve accomplished,” said bank President and Chief Executive Officer Catherine J. Ferrari.

The foundation was founded in 1999 with a $1 million donation from the bank, Ferrari said. Since then, the foundation has awarded $548,618 in grants to local organizations.

“The organizations receiving this award do great work toward making the community a better place to live, and that is also the mission statement of Hancock County Savings Bank,” she said.

Among this year’s recipients is Allison Elementary School in Chester, which will use its $500 grant in support of the “Million Minutes” reading challenge, said Assistant Principal Jennifier Marchese.

The money will be used to purchase books and incentive prizes for children who participate in the challenge, many of whom do not own books, Marchese said. “It’s just to make sure they have quality reading material at home,” she said.

So far this year, participating students have logged 280,000 minutes of reading time toward the 1 million goal, she said.

Josh Haspel, a shop teacher at Oak Glen Middle School, accepted a $2,800 grant for the purchase of robot kits for eighth-graders.

“It’s to help get the kids more interested in math and science,” Haspel said.

The kits are part of the eighth-grade shop curriculum and will be usable in successive school years, he said.

Seth Cheuvront, information technology director for the Newell Volunteer Fire Department, accepted a $5,300 grant for the purchase of a new phone system for the fire department.

Judy Pryor, treasurer of the Hancock County Arts Council, accepted a $500 award for the funding of ongoing projects.

Earlean Jones, president of the board for the Dunbar Recreation Center in Weirton, received a $500 check that will be used for children’s programs.

The other grant recipients are:

Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center;

Boy Scout Troop 334 (Weirton);

Brooke Hancock County Veterans Memorial Park Inc.;

Brooke Hancock Family Resource Network Inc.;

Comfort House Child Advocacy Center (Weirton);

Family Connections Inc. (Weirton);

Greater Weirton Senior Citizens Center Inc.;

Hancock Brooke Ohio Counties Victim Assistance Program Inc.;

Housing Programs Limited;

Lynn Murray Memorial Library (Chester);

Newell Community Improvement Coalition;

North Elementary School (East Liverpool);

Team Mojo Foundation; and

United Church Social Service Union Inc. (New Cumberland)

The next round of grant applications must be submitted by Sept. 30, 2014. Awards will be announced in November 2014.

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