2006-03-09 / News

Unused grant money available to volunteer groups

During last month's Rhode Island Foundation presentation, Jamestowners were informed that for the past few years grant money which could help Jamestown's volunteer organizations has gone unused.

Because the meeting was held on a Tuesday morning, most organizations were not there to hear the good news - money exists to make Jamestown programs better.

Jamestown's organizations help seniors, kids, the arts, animals, and town beautification. But very few of island groups have the resources to look for grant money, write and submit the applications, and attend the interviews.

For the past few years, the town has contracted a grant writer to apply for money for the town's school, recreation, planning, and public works departments. Although the town's grant writer can provide services to the volunteer organizations, this seldom happens because the volunteers do not know what is available.

In addition, with the many generous residents who donate time, items, and money to the groups, these donations could result in a matching grant, if the recipient organizations knew what to apply for, and had the manpower and time to do so.

To make Jamestown's organizations and projects as well funded as possible, Town Council members William Kelly and Barbara Szepatowski are offering their services to any program or group in need of grant writing assistance.

In addition, if organizations have wish lists, they should forward them to the councilors by calling 423-9677 and leaving your name and phone number. Or e-mail RIpawsclaws@aol.com. Either Kelly or Szepatowski will return the call to learn about the organization's needs. In the coming weeks, they will be writing about the wonderful organizations which help to make living in Jamestown a fabulous experience.

Currently, the Jamestown Little League is planning field repairs and registering kids for spots on the teams. In the past, the playing fields have been in such poor condition that other towns would not allow their teams to play here? The Field Improvement Group has developed the following list of needs to bring the ball fields up to standard and make play safer:

+ Portable fence for each dugout at $275 apiece for a total of $550.

+ Backstop padding at a cost of $779.

+ A Porta-Flex Polyfence System - outfield fencing with anchors, four at $480 apiece for a total of $1,920.00.

+ Bleachers for the middle school field, two at $881 each for a total of $1762.00.

+ Safety gates for dugouts on the major league field costing a total $1000.

Anyone who wants to help with the ball field improvements should call or e-mail Tony Rafanelli at 423-3953 or e-mail him at ajrafanelli@cox.net. Those who want to volunteer can also contact Roland Vigneault at 4232493 or rlvigneault@cox.net.

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