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Community Foundation Presents Grants To Benefit Sierra Madre

Sunday, Jan. 25th, 2009 

The Sierra Madre Community Foundation presented $5,000 to four community organizations last weekend, with a $2,500 grant going to the Sierra Madre Public Library, $1,000 each to the City of Sierra Madre and the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team, and $500 was granted to the Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society to assist in the Society’s publication of its Sierra Madre history book at the Foundation's annual meeting, Sunday, Jan. 25, at Cafe 322.

The Foundation gave the $2,500 grant, through the Foundation's Library Field of Interest fund, toward an evening with Ray Bradbury, who wrote "Fahrenheit 451," this year's Sierra Madre “One Book, One City” choice. The author will discuss and sign copies of Fahrenheit 451, on Saturday, February 7 at 6:00 p.m. at the Sierra Madre School auditorium.  “We’re very grateful for the opportunity to invite Ray Bradbury to our community and thank you for that,” said Polly Bennett, accepting the check on behalf of the Library.  “The One Book, One City” program, they are basically a Community-wide book club, and the purpose of them is to build community through the shared experience of reading the same book…”

Accepting the grant for the City was Elisa Weaver, Director of Sierra Madre Community and Personnel Services, who said that the department "will utilize the Community Foundation grant to open the Sierra Madre Aquatic Center for free every Tuesday evening during the summer season. The generous donation enables the City to open the pool from 7:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., an hour longer than on a normal workday."

The free Tuesday evening swim targets families and provides them with an opportunity to be active in a safe, supervised environment. Weaver explained that for the past few years, the Tuesday evening free swim has been one of the most well-attended aquatic programs.  "In these times of economic uncertainty, the Community Foundation grant enables the Community and Personnel Services Department to run a free program for local residents that promotes a healthy, family-oriented activity," said Weaver

The Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team requested a grant to assist in paying for an Avalanche Beacon.  Barbara Kraatz Fortini, representing Search and Rescue, said, "In the winter season one danger underestimated in California are avalanches. An avalanche beacon is a small device that marks the position of a person so that if buried, he or she can be found before it is too late. Furthermore, the beacon is also the detector used to locate other victims wearing beacons."

She explained that each team member must wear one device for personal protection and for searching for victims.

Dane Lenton accepted the Foundation’s grant on behalf of the Historical Society.

The grants were presented by Board Chair Rob Stockly and Colleen McKernan, chair of the Grant Committee. Margaret Switzer is also a member of the Grant Committee.  Stockly is the newly elected Foundation chair and is joined on the executive team by Tom Burhenn, secretary, and Benn Martin, treasurer. 

The Foundation's mission is "to provide a way through philanthropy, to improve the lives of Sierra Madre Citizens."

Cafe 322 put out a nice spread for the Foundation's Annual Meeting

Elisa WEaver, Alan Tierney, Chris Koerber, Margaret Switzer

Tierney, Weaver, Judy Webb-Martin, Switzer, Jan Reed

Crowd shot

Former Chair Mary Katherine Kelly was presented a plaque signed by Foundation members thanking her for her service

Elisa Weaver accepted check on behalf of the City from Colleen McKernan and Rob Stockly

Larry Smith and Barbara Fortini accepted Search and Rescue's check

Stockly shares a laugh with Joy Phillips and Jay Whitcraft, who discussed "donor directed" grants such as the ones they used to donate a bench to the library and grass at the cannon in Memorial Park

Dane Lenton picks up the SMHPS's check

Polly Bennett gets a check for the Library

Foundation officers Tom Burhenn, Rob Stockly and Benn Martin

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