“There may be some very deserving groups out there who are doing things that we know nothing about,” said Rotary President-Elect David Harling. “Up until now, we didn’t have an official process; we thought we had come to the point that we needed to create one.”
According to Harling, the club has traditionally distributed monetary gifts between $250 and $2,000 to about 30 different non-profit, educational and governmental organizations.
The new application process will run until May 1. Grants will be awarded by mid-to-late May, with an exact date awaiting decision by the Rotary Board of Directors.
“The application is fairly vague because it gives people room to tell stories, to tell us who they are,” said Harling.
“We’re really interested in supporting ‘things.’ It’s easy to give money to someone to put in their treasury, but we’re more interested in supporting a project within an organization instead.”
Harling said it would not have been possible without community support.
“The Rockingham Rotary Club just celebrated its 53rd successful auction and barbecue, and we were able to raise a lot of money because the generous people of Richmond County came out to place bids and buy barbecue plates.”
He gave a very small cross-section of the many local organizations that Rotary has given to in the past: McLaurin Center, Richmond County Literacy Council, Roberdel Children’s Center, L.J. Bell Growing Readers Project, Presbyterian New Shoes Project, the Rankin Museum, the Richmond County Community Theater and Samaritan Colony.
For more information or to apply for a Rotary grant, contact David Harling at 895-2447 or go by his Rockingham State Farm office at 1117 Rockingham Road.