‘A’ Fresh Start Community Initiative support grants handed out

The Autism Nova Scotia Cumberland Chapter took the No.1 ranking following presentations by five community groups seeking an ‘A’ Fresh Community Initiative support grant, 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,” Amherst Mayor David Kogon said on June 13, following the presentations that were made to members of council and the general public at the Community Credit Union Innovation Centre.

“All five presentations made tonight were great and all of them indicated clearly to us that this goal will be reached.”A Fresh autism B

Placing second was a presentation by the Multicultural Association of Cumberland, third spot went to the Lillian Allbon Animal Shelter, fourth to the Cumberland African Nova Scotia Association and fifth to the Eat Plant-Run Wild organization.

Ballots cast by members of the general public, who were 16 years and old and paid $2 to get a ballot, determined the rankings. These in turn were used by Amherst town council, along with other criteria, to determine the final standings and the amount of grant each organization received. Council then held a special session to formally approve the awarding of the grants.

By coming out on top, Autism Nova Scotia Cumberland Chapter received a grant of $2,271, which will be used to add a Lego zone to their annual Walk for Autism that is scheduled for June 22. The amount awarded was 100 per cent of the funding the chapter sought.

The Multicultural Association of Cumberland received a $4958 grant, which was the full amount they requested. The association will use the money to promote diversity and multiculturalism through a number of events including a multicultural colour festival and an ethnic dance night.

Also receiving 100 per cent of what they asked for was the Lillian Allbon Animal Shelter. The third-place finisher will use the $3,900 it received to host a Creepy Carnival Monster Bash fundraiser on Oct. 26.

The Cumberland African Nova Scotia Association received a $4,000 grant, 50 per cent of what they asked for. It will be used to support a multicultural event schedule for A Fresh multicultural BJune 27.

The Eat Plants-Run Wild organization will receive $2,400, 45 per cent of what the requested. It will be used to support a one-day Amherst Ultra Fun Run.

The fourth and fifth place finishers did not get 100 per cent of what they asked for as a result of their ranking and the fact only $17,500 was available to be granted.

The $52 raised through the purchase of ballots will be donated to the Amherst Lions Club’s Drug Awareness program.

A second round of ‘A’ Fresh Community Initiative support grants totaling $17,500, will be available this coming fall. More details on how to apply for them will be coming out soon.