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GRAS Awards Community Mini-Grants

Published: June 14, 2017 6:17 pm ET

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The Grand River Agricultural Society (GRAS) has announced the recipients of its new Community Mini-Grant program supporting projects related to agriculture and the environment.

Eleven grants totaling $9,750 were awarded in amounts ranging from $250 to $1,000. The grants were awarded on June 13 at Grand River Raceway.

The recipients and projects are summarized below:

1. $1,000 awarded to Beverley Cairns of Elora to fund the updating of cartographic maps for the reissue of the 1995 book “Elora Gorge: A Visitor’s Guide” created by Dr. Kenneth Hewitt, professor emeritus in Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.

2. $1,000 awarded to the Drayton Mapleton Agricultural Society to fund new gates required for the relocation of 2017 cattle shows to a more visible area for spectators and a safer environment for cattle show participants.

3. $1,000 awarded to the Fergus Agricultural Society to offset costs of the Fergus Fall Fair’s new venture, Breakfast On The Farm at Dirksen’s Holsteins near Alma on June 24. The initiative is designed to provide an educational opportunity and social event for the general public to experience farm-to-fork and the operation of a local family-owned dairy farm.

4. $1,000 awarded to the EcoSchool Club at JD Hogarth Public School in Fergus to assist in the cost of acquiring 15 armour stones to be used for amphitheatre-style seating for a new outdoor class space.

5. $1,000 awarded to John Black Public School in Fergus for the purchase of planter boxes and materials for a project to improve to the school’s play yard space. The boxes are also used by Kindergarten classes and by Grade 5 classes for class curriculum.

6. $1,000 awarded to Ontario Streams of Fergus to be applied to the funding of Environmental Explorations Workshops for Centre Wellington Grade 7 students on June 26 and the Artistic Responses To The Environment project for the general public.

7. $1,000 awarded to the Rotary Club Of Fergus-Elora to fund the planting of new Vimy Oak trees at Victoria Park in Elora, and accompanying cast bronze plaques. The beatification project is also aimed at educating next generations about Vimy Ridge and other battles during the First World War.

8. $250 awarded to Grand River Raceway employee Sarah Anthony of Fergus to fund a portion of her community contribution while volunteering with Operation Groundswell in small, rural communities in Peru. A fourth-year Bachelor Of Public Health (Honours) Co-Op student at Brock University, Sarah will be working on an organic traditional farm, making Andean medicines, tending to livestock and building a stove to make and sell food to the community.

9. $1,000 awarded to the St. Joseph Catholic School of Fergus for the completion of the Allison Brunt Memorial Butterfly Garden, which will function as a community installation, environmental learning space and designated outdoor classroom environment.

10. $500 awarded to Waterloo Rural Women to offset costs associated with the 22nd annual Children’s Farm Safety Day on June 17 at Heritage Hill Farm in New Dundee. The event is geared for families with children ages 4 – 12 and is designed to teach safety and make families aware of the hazards on their farms.

11. $1,000 awarded to the Western Ontario 4-H Beef Invitational to offset costs of the 12th annual show on July 22 and 23 in Stratford, showcasing 80 – 120 4-H members between the ages of 9 – 21.

Back Row (Left to Right): Ted Clarke – General Manager of Grand River Raceway, Doreen Shantz – Waterloo Rural Women, Arlie Zantinge - Drayton Mapleton Agricultural Society, Brooke Switzer, Marilyn Abraham - Ontario Streams, Kelly Harkness, Jim Gibbons - Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora, Helen Broadfoot - Fergus Fall Fair “Breakfast on the Farm”, Dr. Kenneth Hewitt. Front Row (Left to Right): Loan De Bock - JD Hogarth Public School, Donna Rogers – Waterloo Rural Women, Sarah Taylor, Paul Walker - President of the Grand River Agricultural Society, Leanne Iravani - Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora, Beverley Cairns, Denise Kankainen - Fergus Fall Fair “Breakfast on the Farm”, Melissa Mulligan - John Black Public School, Oliver Mulligan - John Black Public School

The GRAS owns and operates Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ont. The GRAS is a not-for-profit corporation, incorporated under the Agricultural and Horticultural Societies Act of Ontario and governed by a volunteer board of directors reporting to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

The GRAS mandate is to encourage awareness of agriculture and to promote improvements in the quality of life of persons living in an agricultural community.

(Grand River Raceway)

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