By Kerri Rempp
Chadron Community Recreation was awarded a $10,000 grant from the 100 Women Who Care About Chadron organization Monday evening.
The Northwest Nebraska Trails Association is slated to receive a second grant from the group in as yet to be determined amount.
Chadron Community Recreation was one of eight non-profits that made a pitch for the award during the organization’s annual gathering. Nominated by group member Tina McLain, CCR was represented by Don King.
Started in 1996 as a clearinghouse for youth sports, CCR’s mission is to promote recreation and wellness for all ages in Chadron. Participation in the youth sports have grown over the years, which has led to increased costs for things like insurance, helmet inspections and uniforms, King said. The group also tries to keep its activity fees affordable and provides scholarships to dozens of children each year to allow them to compete.
The 100 Women group was founded in 2018 and asks its membership to donate $100 annually to an organization selected by the members at the annual meeting. The contributions from the 100 members equal a $10,000 grant awarded to the first-place vote recipient. Because the membership of 100 Women has surpassed 100, the remainder of the money raised is awarded to the second-place non-profit.
This year NNTA received the second-place award, with the funds allocated to completing the Cowboy Trail Connection. The group’s mission is to build and maintain trails in Northwest Nebraska. Its members are currently focused on building a connecting trail from Railroad Park to the Museum of the Fur Trade to meet up with the Cowboy Trail once it’s completed by the Nebraska Game and Parks. The group hopes to have the first mile constructed by the end of 2023.
Other groups that made a pitch for the grant Monday included:
- Chadron Sharks Swim Team, seeking funding for a competitive timing system that would allow the group to host swim meets at the Chadron Aquatic Center.
- Chadron Teammates, which provides mentors to students in grades three through 12. The group currently has a waitlist of 15 girls and seven boys in need of mentors.
- Post Playhouse, seeking funding for its continued productions of live theater each summer.
- United Way of Western Nebraska, seeking funding for its programming in Chadron, which includes an early literacy program, Imagination Library, that provides free books each month to children ages birth to five.
- Camp Norwesca, seeking funding for an upgrade to the camp’s air conditioning as it continues to provide youth summer camp programming focused on children’s physical, spiritual and emotional health.
- Rural Prosperity Fellows, seeking funding for a collaboration that includes Chadron Public Schools, ESU 13, UNL Extension and Discover Northwest Nebraska to bring in two interns each summer to work on mental health and tourism projects.
Prior to Monday’s event, 100 Women Who Care About Chadron had awarded more than $54,000 in grants to area organizations since 2018.