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  • Friday, May 27, 2016
    County organizations get Bluebonnet Electric grants
    Non-profit entities in Washington County have received $260,000 in grants from Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.
    BEC’s board of directors unanimously voted to award $1.2 million to 42 area nonprofit organizations. Public safety organizations received almost half of the grants awarded.

    These grants will be used to purchase equipment, including wildland firefighting vehicles, radios, self-contained oxygen tanks and breathing masks and thermal imaging cameras, and make improvements to or build new fire stations and training facilities.
    The other Bluebonnet grants went to nonprofit groups that provide health care, shelter, food, transportation and other vital services to people in need in the 14 counties served by the co-op. Some grants will fund important cultural activities in the community.
    “In all my years on Bluebonnet’s board of directors, the Bluebonnet Community Grants program has been one of the most rewarding things we have done,” said Ben Flencher, Bluebonnet’s board chairman. “I know my fellow directors feel the same way. During this process, our staff reviewed hundreds of grant applications. We came to truly appreciate the much-needed services these organizations provide.
    “There is no greater love or commitment to our neighbors than to help someone in need, especially in a life-threatening situation. Every one of these grants will positively impact countless lives, especially the ones to public safety organizations.”
    The 42 grants range from $4,898 to $50,000. Bluebonnet received 143 applications during this grant cycle, requesting $6.9 million.
    The Bluebonnet Community Grants money came from a legal settlement. The $3 million program is not funded through co-op operating revenue.
    During the first two cycles, Bluebonnet’s board of directors awarded $2.4 million to 80 area nonprofits. The remaining funds in the Bluebonnet Community Grants program will not be distributed through an application process.
    “Due to the overwhelming response and the amount of money we awarded during the first two rounds we will not accept applications for a third round,” said Rachel Ellis, Bluebonnet’s chief administrative officer.
    “We will look at the best way to distribute the remaining funds to area nonprofits that will provide the maximum benefit to our members and communities.”
    Grants awarded in Washington County were:
    • Camp For All Foundation — $50,000 to repair a dam and drainage system at a lake at its facilities near Burton.
    • Faith Mission — $50,000 for its new thrift store/donation distribution center.
    • Washington Volunteer Fire Department — $50,000 for a new fire station/community center.
    • Meyersville VFD — $37,500 to expand its fire station.
    • Boys & Girls Club of Washington County — $28,148 to purchase a bus.
    • Prairie Hill-Rocky Hill VFD — $24,990 for firefighter equipment.
    • Unity Theatre — $20,071 to upgrade its air conditioning system.

    Source: Brenham Banner-Press