West Bay Rotary Announces Grants to Six Local Causes

by | Jun 18, 2023

Recipients of this year’s West Bay Rotary grants include (l-r): Katie Tarbox, Program Coordinator for Meals on Wheels; John Fromer, Program Director for Merryspring Nature Center; Josh Lipkowitz, Co-owner of MountainSea Expeditions; Mark Burrows, Co-Founder of the Camden Festival of Poetry; Evans Waters, Board Member at Children’s House Montessori School; and Deborah Benner, First Grade teacher at Hope Elementary School. Club President Lisa Dresser (far right) presented this year’s grants at the weekly club meeting.

West Bay Rotary announced its 2023 Grants this past week, and they cover everything from gardening classes in school to outdoor ecology expeditions for kids to hot meals for the home-bound to gardening lessons to promoting poetry. Representatives from the following organizations were on hand at the club’s weekly meeting to receive their grant:

Meals On Wheels, which serves 160 recipients thanks to 96 volunteers covering 420 miles a day, five days a week to deliver hot meals. The grant will support those who can’t afford to pay for the daily meal.

Merryspring Nature Center received a grant to educate teachers in hands-on gardening, as well as teaching children how to grow a garden from seedlings. This year, children as young as first and second grade will have the experience of planting seeds in the Merryspring program.

MountainSea Expeditions received a grant to help finance its program of nature-based play along with learning the discipline of outdoor ecology. Typically, 25 percent of its 52 middle school students receive scholarship funding.

Camden Festival of Poetry supports young poets and the world of poetry throughout the Midcoast area. Over 250 people attended its inaugural year in 2023, which featured an inspiring and entertaining talk of Richard Blanco, President Obama’s Inaugural Poet Laureate in 2012.

Children’s House Montessori School educates students from 18 months to 9 years. The grant goes toward scholarships for families needing affordable childcare. Last year the school awarded scholarships to 28 students.

Hope Elementary School received a grant to support its second-graders’ garden, representing “hope” and a place where the young students grow plants that ultimately provide vegetables for the community well into summer.

About West Bay Rotary

West Bay Rotary is celebrating its 38th year of manifesting its mission of “service above self” here in the Midcoast. The club undertakes dozens of community projects as well as fundraising (and “fun-raising”) events, including its annual “Duck Derby,” Chili Challenge, Toboggan Nationals parking, and more. The door for prospective members is always open. The club meets on Thursday mornings from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., currently both in-person and via Zoom. For more information, go to: www.westbayrotaryofmaine.org.