Community Support Grants totalling $6,000 were handed out by the Town of Amherst on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, to three deserving community organizations.
The West Highland Home and School received a $3,000 grant, the Amherst Artisan Gallery received $2,250 and Trail for Treats received $750.
“These three organizations have all undertaken projects that help to enhance the quality of life here in Amherst,” Mayor David Kogon said, as he presented the grants. “Their efforts help make our community a great place to live, work and play.”
The West Highlands Home and School is using its grant to help fund new playground equipment for the school that will be accessible to children in the Grade 3 to Grade 6 age range before, during and after school.
“We have one side of our playground that has no equipment on it at all,” Marlon Chase, West Highland Home and School president, said. “It was designated for a soccer field, but wasn’t regulation size, so it couldn’t be used. So, Grades 3 to Grade 6 have nothing to play on, which creates a lot of boredom for those students.
“This grant is a significant boost to our efforts to add playground equipment for them. It puts us over the top for our first piece of equipment, which is a ‘ninja’ obstacle course.”
Chase said the home and school will “continue fundraising and looking for sponsorships, so we can add even more equipment to the playground as we move forward.”
The Amherst Artisan Gallery is using its grant to cover the costs of producing the recently held and very successful “When Elvis Met Jerry Lee, Johnny and Carl” music festival.
The festival featured local artists performing songs by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins. It attracted large audiences from throughout the Maritimes to the two-and-a-half-hour-long show, which ran for several days earlier this fall.
Artisan Gallery spokesman John Warner said the funding enabled the gallery to construct a number items for the production that can be used in future events while enabling it to function in a COVID environment.
“The grant really establishes a foundation for future musical programs staged by the Amherst Artisan Gallery and CFTA FM 107.9,” Warner said. “It helps emphasize what we’ve been doing here for the last nine years, which is promoting local hand-crafted art that is all from Cumberland and Westmorland counties, and it enhances our efforts to continue on, especially under COVID conditions.”
Trail of Treats, a collaboration between Maggie’s Place, the Cumberland Public Libraries’ Four Fathers Memorial Library and the YMCA of Cumberland, will use their grant to help supply treats for the second annual Trail of Treats event, which is being held on Oct. 31 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
“This grant is amazing for us,” event spokeswoman Ellen Gaudet, a diversion support worker with the YMCA of Cumberland, said. “It means we are able to make a safe alternative to trick-or-treating for all the kids in Amherst and the surrounding area.”