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‘A’ Fresh Start Community Initiative support grants announced

The Amherst Little League took the No. 1 ranking following virtual presentations by five community groups vying for a share of $17,500 in ‘A’ Fresh Community Initiative support grants, but all five organizations came out winners.

“The ‘A’ Fresh Start Initiative was introduced by council in order to encourage organizations or individuals to develop new events in the Town of Amherst or enhance existing ones,” Mayor David Kogon, said when the winners were announced on Monday June 28, 2021, during council’s monthly session.

“All five presentations were great and clearly meet our goal of encouraging new events or enhancing existing ones. All of them are worthwhile projects and each of them will help make Amherst a great place to live, work and play.”

Unlike past years, when applicants made presentations during a public meeting, this year’s Top 5 applicants made their pitches virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic protocols that prevented public meetings from taking place. People then ranked the presentations by voting online or via a paper ballot.

Once the votes were tabulated, Amherst Little League came out on top with 1,711 points, followed closely by the Bridge Adult Service Centre with 1,561 points, the Cumberland Museum Society with 1,535 points, the Lillian Allbon Animal Shelter with 1,428 points and Fundy Winds Marsh with 1,355 points.

By coming out on top, the Amherst Little League will receive a $5,000 grant, the full amount requested by the organization. They will use the funding to purchase equipment for its new Girls at Bat program.

Second place finisher, the Bridge Adult Service Centre, will also get the full amount of their request, which was $825 for a Disability Pride Day.

The Cumberland Museum Society will receive a $3,600 grant for coming in third. That represents 90 per cent of the funding they requested. They will use the grant to host a Nova Scotia Backyard Kitchen Party series at the museum this summer.

The Lillian Allbon Animal Shelter’s fourth place finish will see them receive $3,000, which is 75 per cent of the funding they requested. The shelter will use the grant to expand their Creepy Carnival fundraiser.

The Fundy Marsh Winds will receive $5,106 for coming in fifth. The grant represents 60 per cent of the funding requested by the organization, which will use the money to aid in the design of an accessible and safe outdoor space for all community members.

A second round of ‘A’ Fresh Community Initiative support grants totalling $17,500 will be available this fall. More details on how to apply for them will be released in the near future.