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University Awards $11K in Grants to Community Organizations in Bristol

Funding to assist nine groups with community projects focused on social services, arts, education

BRISTOL, R.I. – As part of the Fund for Civic Activities established in 2007 when Roger Williams University and the Town of Bristol agreed to a 20-year PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) accord, the Town of Bristol / Roger Williams University Cooperative Committee awarded $11,000 in grant funds to nine nonprofits and local organizations this week.

The award concludes the sixth cycle of biannual FCA awards, which were created to enhance the civic experience of Bristol residents, extend RWU’s commitment to active community engagement and provide support to local organizations. The University pledged $25,000 annually in FCA grants and to date has distributed $91,076 to support nearly 60 projects and initiatives.

“Applications continue to climb in numbers each grant cycle, and the selection committee’s decisions are never easy,” said Peter Wilbur, who directs community relations for Roger Williams. “We make every effort to support a broad array of projects that range in focus from education to the arts to programs designed to support local families in need.”

The FCA is part of the $42 million, 20-year PILOT agreement established in 2007, under which the University makes an annual voluntary payment of $150,000 to help offset the cost of emergency services provided by the town. Selections are made by the 12-person Cooperative Committee, which comprises individuals from both the Town and the University. The complete list of awards for this sixth cycle of grants includes:

  • $1,000 to the Community String Project, which provides subsidized musical instruction to make lessons on the violin, viola and cello accessible and affordable to youth and adults alike.
     
  • $1,000 to the Committee to Form a Bristol/Warren Gallery & Open Studio Night to support the organization’s initiative to launch a monthly Gallery Night event in the two towns, which will run nine months out of the year starting in March 2012.
     
  • $1,500 to Save the Bay to support its Narragansett Bay Field Studies program at Mount Hope High School, a yearlong, project-based program that introduces students to the scientific method and allows them to conduct hands-on research and learn about their local environment.
     
  • $1,500 to the Bristol Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition to support the annual Pre-Prom Dinner event, which educates potential prom attendees and their parents about the risks of underage drinking and other forms of substance abuse.
     
  • $2,000 to the Bristol County Elks Lodge for continued support of the East Bay Cares program, which provides supplementary assistance to local food pantries and soup kitchens.
     
  • $750 to the Front Line Ministry for Freedom to cover costs related to the shipping of care packages to local soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
     
  • $1,000 to the Guiteras Elementary School Performing Arts Committee to support a yearlong arts education project that will culminate in a performance of Suessical, Jr. at the school in May 2012.
     
  • $1,000 to the Friends of Bristol Animal Shelter toward the purchase of a double cat cage unit, which will assist staff and volunteers in providing care as animals await adoption.
     
  • $1,250 to the Mosaico Community Development Corp. to fund the Sense of Pride – Connecting Kids to Community program, a learning project that promotes community awareness and involvement at the fourth grade level.

For more information about the committee or the grant process, visit: http://www.rwu.edu/about/partnerships-initiatives/town-bristol-rwu-cooperative-committee.