The Greenbelt Community Foundation did it again today – awarded grants to some great local causes. It’s the 12th round of such awards by the Foundation, and like the first ceremony I attended in August of 2012, this event was fun. Nice energy, and a chance to learn about some impressive programs and people right here in Greenbelt.
First up is the Greenbelt Lady Angels Association’s International/Domestic Basketball Tournament, which was awarded $2,225. Coaches Herb Allen (left) and Tony Davis, shown here accepting the check from Foundation board member Jim Fischer, explained that the program involves college-age girls mentoring younger girls, and that the focus isn’t really sports at all. Basketball is apparently the lure to get the girls involved in a whole host of activities in the Greenbelt West Community. The coaches also invited us to stop by their “open gym” every Thursday night to see what’s going on.
Next, Greenstems Inc’s Club 125 Citizen Science Program was awarded the Foundation’s maximum amount – $5,000. George Boyce accepted and told us about first looking for a place to play with electronics and gadgets and finally discovering the dry cleaners in Roosevelt Center had been vacant for over a year. Then after taking over the space as-is, he learned that the dry cleaning equipment now in his possession hadn’t even been used for five or more years – the dry cleaners had shipped the clothes out to other businesses to do the actual work. George and his partners also had to dispose of a variety of hazardous chemicals.
But now the space holds Club 125 that already hosts a robust robotics program, plus a computer lab where people are allowed to take computers apart or learn programming and other useful life skills. In the photo here George is showing off a device made at the club that can be plugged into a regular television at home to turn it into a functioning computer – for just $40. Devices like keyboards can be then plugged into that tiny computer via USB ports. Cool stuff!
With the $5,000 award from the Foundation the Club will have its own biology lab.
Club 125, whose members range from 7 to 85 years old, was first covered here on Greenbelt Live when it opened in May of this year.
And finally, Foundation board member Lois Rosado (center) awarded $3,000 to the Greenbelt News Review to train students from the University of Maryland’s journalism school who intern at the paper. Accepting the check are Assistant Editor Altoria Bell Ross (left) and U.Md. grad student Amanda Salvucci (right), who’s a frequent contributor to the paper.
As a parting word, Foundation board president Dorrie Bates gave tokens of appreciation to two departing board members – a bouquet of flowers for Sandy Lange and some sort of pastry for Tom White. Dorrie added, “I don’t know whether he’s ever been given a tart before.” Well, he has now!