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Franklin to dole out funds to community charities

Franklin to dole out funds to community charities

Fourteen Macon County charities are vying for a piece of Franklin’s $40,000 nonprofit funding pool, but not all organizations will walk away with their full request. 

While $40,000 was allocated in this year’s budget for local charities, the town received funding requests totaling about $58,000. The same number of nonprofits submitted funding applications this year but the total amount requested is down from $66,000 last year. 

Applicants must meet the public purpose doctrine, which states that charities receiving money from the town must provide a service that benefits the community as a whole. The nonprofits must also submit their budgets to the town. 

A representative from all the nonprofits presented their request to the town board of aldermen last week. Aldermen called a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, to discuss the requests in more detail before making a final decision.


Arts Council of Macon County

The Arts Council of Macon County requested $3,000 this year to pay artist fees and production and promotion costs associated with the council’s art programs and concerts. The Council noted in its application that town funding was essential to its programming because the North Carolina Arts Council — which provides funding to local councils — tracks municipal support and leverages it into increased state funding. 

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The Arts Council received $1,000 from the town last year. 


Boy Scouts of America

Boy Scouts of America is requesting $1,000 to purchase six additional Frisbee golf holes to complete a nine-hole course and to build a human foosball court at Lumpkin Adventure Camp. The camp encompasses 117 acres on Nichols Branch Road in Franklin used for youth programs and overnight outdoor trips. 

Lumpkin Trust owns the property on behalf of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Western North Carolina. The camp is managed by Daniel Boone Council, but is available for all youth groups, civic groups and nonprofits in Macon County. 

The Boy Scouts of America did not request funding last year. 


Community Care Clinic of Franklin

Community Care Clinic, which provides free medical care to uninsured, indigent members of the community, requested $5,000 to provide the flu vaccine to its patients. 

The clinic has operated since 2010 and became a nonprofit in 2013. It operates out of the health department on Monday and Wednesday evenings and relies solely on grants and donations. According to the clinic’s application, the funding would help contain the flu epidemic in the community and provide for people who otherwise could not afford the vaccine. Ellen Shope, board chairman for the clinic, said providing flu vaccines would also help people avoid costly visits to the emergency room. 

The clinic received $4,000 last year to educate patients on managing their chronic diseases.


Friends of the Greenway

Friends of the Greenway requested $4,483 to fund needed repairs to the aquatic playground equipment at Wesley’s Park. 

Rita St. Clair, secretary of the board, said families frequently use the public park and playground equipment, but certain components need to be replaced within the water features of the 12-year-old playground equipment to keep it functioning properly. The Friends of the Greenway operate from donations and memberships without funding from the county. 

“The required repairs now are more than we can afford,” St. Clair said.  

The organization did not request funding from the town last year.


Habitat for Humanity of Macon and Jackson 

Habitat for Humanity requested $5,000 to continue its work repairing homes and installing handicap accessible ramps and grab bar for residents. 

The funding will pay for two to four home repairs in Franklin. These kinds of repairs help keep people in their homes and raise the quality and value of their homes. 

Habitat requested and received $5,000 from the town last year. 


Hospice House Foundation of WNC

Hospice House Foundation requested $1,500 to offset the $3,000 expense of having the future hospice house property in Franklin surveyed. The survey will determine the location of the planned structure and improvements to the current house. 

The Hospice House Foundation has raised close to $1.2 million toward the $5.2 million project and has received $1.3 million in challenge grants, which is contingent on the foundation raising $2.7 million.

The hospice house, once completed, will serve hospice patients from Franklin and surrounding areas. 

The foundation asked the town for $5,000 last year to help pay for the hiring of a campaign director but the board did not approve any of the request. 


KIDS Place

KIDS Place requested $5,000 to provide services for child victims of abuse that are located in the Franklin town limits. Those services include child forensic interviews, child medical evaluations, trauma focused therapy, victims advocacy and case management, multi-disciplinary core team and community education. 

Board member Patrick Bettencourt pointed out that KIDS Place advocacy center spent $2,099 last year to provide those services for one child. KIDS Place also conducted 12 forensic interviews at the request of the Franklin Police Department. 

KIDS Place received its entire $5,000 request from the town last year. 


Literacy Council of Highlands

Literacy Council of Highlands requested $5,000 to pay for programs that provide support in second language, tutoring and literacy skills. About 100 children within the Franklin town limits benefited from the Franklin Tutoring Program sponsored by the Literacy Council last year. The council helped about 250 students total last year in the Macon County School system. 

The Literacy Council requested $5,000 last year and received $2,000 from the town. 


Macon County Art Association

Macon County Art Association requested $5,000 to improve the appearance and operations of Uptown Gallery in downtown Franklin. Updates will include installing a light hanging system and a computerized point-of-sale system, which will help the association with accounting and accepting donations.  

The gallery serves community members and also provides classroom space for art classes several days a week. 

The art association did not request town funding last year. 


Macon New Beginnings

Macon New Beginnings made two requests for related causes. The nonprofit asked for $3,750 for Serving Spoon — a program to offer a free community meal once a week at the Jaycee Building at Memorial Park in Franklin. The money will cover the cost of renting the facilities and churches are donating all the food. The dinner has been feeding an average of 32 people a week. 

Macon New Beginnings’ mission is to address homelessness issues in the county. Board President Bob Bourke said the nonprofit planned on providing temporary housing for 40 homeless people during the winter months. 

Last year Macon New Beginnings received $2,000 of its $5,000 request to the town. 


Macon County Care Network

Macon County Care Network requested $5,000 to provide food for the backpack program at local schools. Students who qualify are provided with food to take home over the weekend to ensure they don’t go hungry. 

Of the 500 students the program serves, about 250 of are at East Franklin Elementary, Franklin High School, Macon Program for Progress and Macon Early College. It costs about $60,000 a year to pay for the program. 

CareNet requested $4,000 last year for a “Volunteer Care Program” and was granted $1,000. 


Macon County Public Library – Franklin

Macon County Public Library requested $5,000 to purchase new multimedia equipment in the main meeting room at the Franklin library. The equipment will include a new digital projector and ceiling mount, amplifier, Blu-ray player, and surround sound decoder and control systems. 

Library Director Karen Wallace said the current equipment is 10 years old and is out of service too much for the amount of meetings and classes being held in that space. 

The library received $4,000 of its $5,000 request last year to purchase a new copier and printers.


REACH of Macon County

REACH of Macon County requested $5,000 to help provide services to domestic abuse victims within the town limits — emergency shelter, court advocacy, crisis intervention and safety planning.

The new REACH shelter in Franklin provided services for 128 women and children last year — that’s a total of 2,651 nights at the shelter and almost 8,000 meals. 

REACH made the same request last year and received $5,000. 



Read2Me, a nonprofit that provides books to children in the county, requested $4,000 to help enroll children ages 0-5 in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. The program allows children to receive one book a month until they turn 5. About 185 children in Franklin were enrolled in the program in the past year and the annual cost is $30 a child. 

Read2Me requested $4,000 last year for the same cause and received $2,000.

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