Music, health, job creation and safety were among the reasons for the money distributed at the Williamsport Lycoming Community Fund 2012 Fall Competitive Community Grant Reception.
The almost $443,000 awarded Friday afternoon in 33 East went to "a wide array of community needs," said Jennifer Wilson, president and CEO of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.
One such community need was the Lycoming County Historical Society and Thomas T. Taber Museum. They received $200,000 for the installation of a fire suppression system in the museum.
The First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania granted $450,000 to 11 non-profit organizations at 33 East Friday evening. Pictured Jennifer Wilson of the partnership gives a grant to Phil Sprunger of Lycoming College.
The museum is one of only 741 in the country to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The alliance holds its accredited museums to a high standard, measuring their lighting, temperature, displays and staff. Previously, the Taber Museum received a demerit for its lack of a fire suppression system, said historical society executive director Gary W. Parks.
With the grant, a fire suppression system will be installed to protect the entire museum.
"I haven't come down from the cloud yet," Parks said. "This is a big step for the fund. ... It will protect not only our collection, but our visitors."
North Central Sight Services Inc. received $50,000 for the purchase of equipment to establish an East Coast Technotrash Can Division of the employment program, which will recycle old, outdated and unusable media equipment to make new products.
"We can make something we need," said Robert B. Garrett, president and CEO. "It's full cycle."
The equipment purchase also will create more jobs. The recycled products are expected to arrive in eight weeks.
"It's perfect timing," Garrett said.
He found out last Friday that the organization received the grant, but before he found out, he doubted whether they would receive it.
"I called Betty (Gilmour, director of grantmaking) and I said, 'I assume since I have not heard from you that the grant did not go through,' and she said, 'Never assume.' "
Lycoming College reflected a trend of the event when it received $15,000 to support a locally-based community orchestra for musicians between the learning level and highest performance level.
"There was a need shown for artistic and cultural opportunities in the region," Wilson said.
The orchestra will put on one or two free concerts a year, said Melanie Taormina, foundations relations officer at Lycoming College.
It will target people who played in high school or college, but might not have had the skills to play with the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra.
Player mentors will be available to help the people who might not have played their instruments in a while, Taormina said.
Other grants distributed include:
Sycamore Manor Health Center and Presbyterian Senior Living - $8,875 for the purchase of a Bladder Scanner for residents of Sycamore Manor to alleviate the discomforting methods for diagnostic evaluations.
Uptown Music Collective - $10,000 for the Orchestral Rock Project III, which will bring musical, educational, production and performance elements to produce a collaborative concert between the Uptown Music Collective and the Williamsport High School Orchestra to perform Pink Floyd's "The Wall."
Williamsport Symphony Orchestra - $14,000 to help the expansion of the Symphony's educational outreach programs: the Williamsport Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Junior Strings Program for middle school and advanced elementary string musicians.
Sojourner Truth - $15,000 to expand the position of a social service assistant to help individuals in need of employment, medical or mental health services, housing, welfare or legal services.
Camp Victory and Nicholas Wolff Foundation Inc. - $20,000 for the completion of Camp Victory's Nature Center, an indoor space dedicated to providing environmental education opportunities to campers.
PA Treatment and Healing - $20,000 to support PATH's intensive adolescent counseling and support programs, alternative education programs for school districts and programs for court-appointed community service requirements.
YWCA Northcentral PA - $40,000 to support the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program of local community volunteers who train to become court representatives on behalf of abused and/or neglected children in the welfare system.
Evangelical Community Hospital - $50,000 to off-set the costs associated with the construction and renovation of the Center for Orthopedics, which will expand the hospital's rehabilitation space, therapy gym, dining area and beds designated for orthopedic surgery patients.