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Community foundation announces Bradley planning grants

Marjorie and Lawrence Bradley celebrated their new home, Puddin’ Hill, in Tryon. The Puddin’ Hill scholarship available through the Polk County Community Foundation is a tribute to the Bradleys. (photo submitted by Noah Wood)

Application deadlines in March
The Polk County Community Foundation is now accepting applications for its next round of 2012 grants and scholarships and will soon announce recently awarded grants.
The late Mr. and Mrs. Bradley created the Marjorie M. & Lawrence R. Bradley Endowment Fund of Polk County, North Carolina in 2005, leaving virtually their entire estate for the benefit of Polk County. This bequest directed the board of the community foundation to implement the Bradleys’ charitable dreams of providing charitable, education, medical and community benefits to their community.
There are several Bradley grant programs for the long-term benefit of the Polk County community. In addition to the planning and studies grants described below, the Bradley Fund awards grants for breakthrough community benefits, emergency land conservation and other projects that result in significant long-term benefits for Polk County. The Bradley Fund also contributes to the annual distribution budget for unrestricted grants and provides college scholarships through the Bradley Achievement Awards and the Puddin’ Hill Awards.
Bradley Planning & Studies for Breakthrough Benefits grants are intended to fund breakthrough initiatives, projects and learning that have “game-changing” potential for Polk County. Grants may be awarded for models, studies, seed money, plan development, conferences or other learning opportunities for staff and/or board members; all of which are intended to lead to a significant long-term benefit for the community as a whole. Past grants have enabled Polk County representatives to investigate innovative strategies and develop critical expertise for enhancing our community.
For example, Bradley grants funded visits to New England agricultural sites that contributed to the creation of the Mill Spring Agricultural Development Center. Grant applications for Bradley Planning & Studies for Breakthrough Benefits are due Tuesday, March 27 by 1 p.m.
Of the many donors to the community foundation’s scholarship funds, three have chosen to support adults in our community in following a passion, changing vocations or enhancing their ability to support themselves and their families. The funds dedicated to adult students are The Kirby Endowment Fund Back-to-School Scholarship for Adults, The Restart Fund and the Frances O. & John W. Wilson Fund for Restart Scholarships.
Scholarships for adults returning to school are available for residents of Polk County, Saluda and Landrum with demonstrated financial need. Students must actively participate in the life of the community. Applications are due Tuesday, March 13 by 1 p.m.
In March, the community foundation will also announce grants awarded to nonprofit organizations to hire student interns this summer. The grants will be paid to the nonprofits, which are then responsible for hiring the students. Local high school students interested in these paid summer internships may contact their favorite local nonprofits or check the foundation’s website for a list of organizations receiving these special awards. In addition to the intern grants, the foundation will announce Kirby grants awarded for free events at Harmon Field and Rogers Park.
The community foundation is happy to work with organizations and students to discuss specific proposals, grant or scholarship criteria and review of applications for completeness before they are submitted. Applicants are encouraged to contact the foundation’s director of grants well in advance of the deadline for assistance.
Application deadlines and dollars allocated for all 2012 grants are included on the “Dates & Dollars” sheet available online and at the foundation’s office.
For more information about grants, scholarships or charitable giving options, contact the Polk County Community Foundation by visiting 255 S. Trade Street in Tryon, calling 828-859-5314 or checking its website, www.polkccf.org.
– article submitted by Noah Wood, Polk County Community Foundation