CONCORD — As the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation announced its most recent round of grant awards, it noted among the things made possible by the grant: kids will leave school on Fridays with backpacks full of food to keep their bellies full through the weekend, an area high school will get a commercial-grade snow machine for grooming Nordic trails for school and community use, and residents who need help making ends meet will get support through their local Salvation Army.
The Tillotson Fund awarded 16 grants totaling $220,961 through its competitive application program.
Established in 2006, the Tillotson Fund is one of the largest permanent rural philanthropies in the country, distributing more than $3 million in grants annually to support projects that focus on community revitalization. Grants are awarded to municipal, educational and nonprofit organizations throughout northern New Hampshire and bordering communities in the United States and Canada.
Grants recommended by the volunteer Tillotson Fund Advisory Committee included $20,000 to the Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany to provide environmental education programs for Berlin and Gorham students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
“Children in the North Country live surrounded by tremendous natural beauty, yet many do not have the opportunity to hike in the mountains, or strap on a pair of snowshoes,” said Lori Jean Kinsey, executive director of the Tin Mountain Conservation Center. “Thanks to the Tillotson Fund, we’re able to visit each classroom in Berlin and Gorham Elementary School, reaching more than 1,000 students in northern New Hampshire. Through these experiences they gain a deep respect and knowledge of how the natural world functions and an understanding and informed use of the unique natural resources of the North Country.”
Grant awards were made to the following organizations:
• Appalachian Mountain Club in Gorham received $15,000 to update, publish hard copies, and develop a web-based downloadable version of the Upper Androscoggin River Watershed Ecological and Cultural Atlas to assist with planning along the watershed.
• Audubon Society of New Hampshire in Concord received $3,500 to coordinate and update Coos County bird-sighting data onto the eBird database.
• Centre d’Action Benevole de la MRC de Coaticook in Quebec received $13,884 to support hiring a part-time employee to promote volunteerism, access to food programs and elderly supports and services.
• Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire received $17,495 to support the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Backpack program serving weekend meals to children living in five Coos County elementary schools.
• Gorham Middle High School in Gorham received $3,382 (over three years) to support high school French class day trips to southern Quebec.
• Kismet Rock Foundation in North Conway received $20,000 to provide scholarships for 20 students from Coos County.
• Les Amis du patrimoine de Saint Venant de Paquette in Quebec received $20,000 to provide winter programming and support various facility improvements.
• Maison de la Famille de la MRC de Coaticook in Quebec received $20,000 (over two years) to hire a part-time family center coordinator.
• Milan Village School in Milan received $4,500 to support operating costs for public pre-kindergarten.
• Mount Eustis Ski Hill in Littleton received $18,000 to create a regional youth ski equipment loaner program for local ski hills, including Mount Eustis and Mount Prospect.
• Municipalite de Saint-Malo in Quebec received $20,000 to expand a year-round pedestrian path throughout the community.
• Northern Forest Center in Concord received $20,000 to provide technical assistance, facilitation and promotion for a regional multi-state coalition of mountain biking organizations.
• The Salvation Army in Berlin received $6,000 to provide basic and emergency support services for low-income residents throughout Berlin and Gorham.
• SAU 36 White Mountains Regional High School in Whitefield received $7,000 to purchase a commercial grade snow machine for grooming Nordic trails for school and community use.
• Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany received $20,000 to provide environmental education programs in the Berlin and Gorham elementary schools.
• Tri-County Community Action Program in Berlin received $12,200 to support an organizational community needs assessment throughout northern Grafton, Carroll and Coos Counties.
The next grant application deadline for the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund is Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. For more information and updated grant program goals, go to nhcf.org/Tillotson.