By Dave Link, Eastside News
Each year the Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara Neighborhood Association awards grants to a variety of projects that make the neighborhood a better place. Individuals, organizations and groups are eligible to apply. Residents and organizations headquartered in the neighborhood receive preferential consideration.
Money for the grants comes from funds raised during Atwoodfest. For the 2023 grant cycle, 12 grants were awarded totaling $24,580.
“It’s important for SASY to reinvest the money raised at Atwoodfest back into the community that has continued to support and rock the block year after year,” said Ryan Koglin, SASY board president.
The awardees, the project they wanted grant money for and amounts are:
- Cheryl Timpel for Healthy Families Thrive, $2,500.
- Chris Meyer for the Madison Tool Library, $2,500.
- Chris Pekar for Dixon Greenway Habitat Enhancement, $2,500.
- Jade Koenig for the East High Girls Inc. menstrual products and de-stigmatization campaign, $2,500.
- Jennifer Javornik for 10 Build-A-Boxes of balloons, $2,500.
- Meghan Johnson for Goodman Community Center’s Be the Good storytelling event, $2,500.
- PJ Chamberlain for distributing harm reduction supplies, $2,500.
- Jane Schroeder for D-Street Porch Sessions, $2,480.
- Jessie Chmell for the O’Keeffe Middle School parent/teacher group’s Support Our Schools campaign, $1,700.
- Erica Pinigis for Shifting Gears Bike Path Dance Festival, $1,600.
- PJ Chamberlain for a Little Free Pharmacy at Community Pharmacy, $750.
- Scott Pigg for the Dane County airport noise monitoring project, $550.
Pinigis, vice president of the Isthmus Dance Collective, said the money will be used to rent portable toilets to use in the three park locations of the 2023 Shifting Gears Bike Path Dance Festival.
“Porta potties are expensive and not glamorous but make a huge difference in people being able to take advantage of the great (performance) lineup we’re offering,” Pinigis said. “We’re very grateful that we were able to secure the funds for that through SASY’s generous grant.”
Following the pandemic-related loss of the Atwood Tool Library, Meyer, director of Sector67, is creating the Madison Tool Library using much of the excess tools and equipment at Sector67. The tool library will consist of equipment and tools to check out or rent.
The grant will be used “to purchase suitable rental software and some shelving so we can organize our tools and get everything inventoried and marked for loan,” he said. “The SASY grant program has been invaluable as an excuse to pursue interesting projects and programs.”
Community Pharmacy received two grants submitted by Chamberlain. The first is to expand efforts to put Narcan in local businesses. While Community Pharmacy can give out Narcan to individuals who come to the pharmacy, harm reduction supplies will also be distributed to other places in the SASY neighborhood to use in case of emergencies.
The second grant is being used to create and stock a Free Little Pharmacy outside Community Pharmacy.
“We will have first aid supplies, educational materials and other items available for free to the public,” Chamberlain said.
SASY’s grant program is just one reminder of the group’s commitment to empower neighbors to engage their community.
“The grants are an excellent way to invest in the community, and allows individuals and groups to improve the area with wonderful and engaging projects,” Chamberlain said.
“It speaks very highly of SASYNA that funds raised through fun, enriching, community building activities go right back into making our community stronger, healthier and happier,” Pinigis added.
Or as Meyer puts it bluntly: “Having a neighborhood organization that not only hosts a rocking party annually but turns proceeds inwards to build neighborhood projects is a great way to improve our community.”
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iPhone art by Tom Turnquist