Hood River Lions Club Foundation opened its annual gift bag Monday and announced $108,000 in grants to 33 recipients in Hood River County.
The largest single grant is one for $10,339 to Hood River Fire Department to pay for the department’s thermal imaging camera, which will literally help firefighters see through smoke.
“This is a huge, huge help to us,” said Devon Wells, Hood River fire marshal.
The need is one of dozens addressed through the anonymous $2.1 million donation five years ago. The Foundation is the single-largest charity in Hood River County.
“It really is a major boost for morale within our organization and allows us to do things in a way we can take pride in,” said Bob Johnson, director of The Next Door Inc., the umbrella social services agency that received five separate grants.
“We’re delighted to be a major recipient of their beneficence,” Johnson said.
“What makes it particularly worthwhile for all our programs is that the requests we make of them each year are essentially those things we can’t get anywhere else,” Johnson said, “the kinds of things that will make us able to do some of our projects very well as opposed to just kind of scraping by.
Lions Foundation president Tom Yates said, “Each year the Hood River Lions Club Foundation turns to community organizations to share the generosity of the donor, who four years ago gave the club $2.1 million and requested that the club’s foundation distribute the earnings to Hood River County organizations.” The gift distribution is required to continue for the next 16 years.
The grants will be awarded on Dec. 13 in a ceremony at Hawk’s Ridge Retirement Center. (See grant list below.)
Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital received three grants, totaling $15,600, including a $7,527 allotment to help pay for replacing the mammography unit, a $200,000 facility dedicated in October.
“We are so fortunate to have this foundation in the community to support all the different programs and services that it does support,” said Jonathan Emerson, director of the Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital Foundation. “It helps the (hospital) foundation stretch our dollars even farther,” Emerson said.
A $4,109 grant to the hospital will help replace a portable respirator — a 20-year-old unit for which the parts are no longer available.
After the hospital, the agency receiving the most money was The Next Door Inc., a Hood River-based umbrella organization providing a variety of social services. Next Door received five grants totalling $11,292. The largest of the Next Door grants, $3,927, will provide seed money for parent education for parents of children up to 10 years.
Hospice of the Gorge received a $3,752 grant for operating funds and to provide alternative therapies to the terminally ill.
A $4,652 grant to Hood River Library Foundation, another of Lions’ largest gifts, will buy books, including Spanish language and large-type, and books on tape.
“It pleases me that Lions recognizes the need for collections, particularly targeting our children and elders,” said Linda Rouches, chair of the Library Foundation.
Here is the complete list of organizations that will receive funds in early December:
Hood River Christmas Project, toys and food basket for children in need — $3,008;
Hood River Babe Ruth Baseball, Collins Field wiring, concrete, lighting — $2,189;
Hood River Parks and Recreation, water slide at Swimming Pool — $2,177;
Hood River Parks and Recreation, Skate Bowl at the Skate Park — $3,089;
Hospice of Gorge, alternative therapies for terminally ill — $3,752;
Hood River County Commission on Children and Families, printing for five-county resource directory — $1,164;
Hood River County Commission on Children and Families, activity scholarships for youth from low income families — $2,789;
Hood River County Commission on Children and Families, training, conference fees for staff, board, local partners — $1,164;
Secrets to Learning Institute, scholarship money for low income youth to attend Secrets summer program — $1,477;
First Book, books for low income first time readers —$1,789;
Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Fund, multiple screening unit coverage — $2,102;
Helping Hands Against Violence, Young Women’s Center, stoves, refrigerator, washer, flooring — $3,002;
Hood River County Fair, equipment, tables and chairs for Summit Building — $1,327;
Hood River Chapter of the American Red Cross, educational supplies, disaster preparedness training and equipment, $2,950;
Hood River Lions Club Soapbox Derby, update 10 Soap Box Derby Cars, two-day rally race in Hood River — $2,000;
Next Door Inc., Klahre House, skills training programs — $1,364;
Next Door Inc., Family Services, laptop computer for Parenting Wisely program — $1,814;
Next Door Inc., Nuestra Comunidad Sana, HAPA program for perpetrators of domestic violence, $1,702;
Next Door Inc., Big Brother/Sister Program, recruitment/retention of youth mentors — $2,489;
Next Door Inc., New Parent Services, seed money for parent education — $3,927;
Chamber Leaders for Tomorrow, recognition for business sponsors, T-shirts, notebooks, supplies — $1,352;
Hood River Library Foundation, books (some in large print, some for children’s, others in the Spanish language) and books on tape — $4,652;
Hood River Police Department, video camera systems — $2,339;
Hood River Fire Chief’s Association, multi-function EMS manikin — $3,152;
Hood River Valley Adult Center, Meals on Wheels equipment and containers — $2,814;
Columbia Gorge Community College, computer equipment for college classroom at Coe Building — $2,652;
Columbia Gorge Community College, tuition scholarships — $1,902
Columbia Gorge Community College, replace furniture at Coe classroom — $1,527;
Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, transport ventilator — $4,109;
Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, replacement of mammogram machine — $7,527;
Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, scholarships for Cardiac Rehab, books, videos, brochures, posters — $3,964;
Hood River Fire Department, thermal imager camera — $10,339;
Cascade Locks School, update intercom system — $2,127;
Westside Fire Department, EMS trailer — $3,097
Hood River County Museum, tractor structure project — $2,152;
Hood River County Museum, bell tower project — $2,402;
PROD - Promoting Responsible Ownership of Dogs, financial assistance Spay/Neuter services for low income pet owners —$1,977;
Bravissimo! Columbia Gorge Music & Art Camp, outreach program, community/youth multi-cultural creative arts — $3,027;
Cascade Locks Interested in Kids, admission fees for low income youth for youth activities — $2,000.
“We want to celebrate the generosity of the anonymous donor who provided about $2 million dollars four years ago which makes these grants possible and have some community fellowship around the good works represented by the organizations receiving the grants,” Yates said.
Applications for the 2003 Hood River Lions Foundation Trust allocation can be obtained next March by writing to the Hood River Lions at P.O. Box 860, Hood River, OR 97031. Completed applications will be due July 31 of next year.