The Power of Community Grants
Protecting People and Property, Providing Social Services
When the grants committee approved a grant for a thermal imaging camera, they did not realize how quickly this camera would benefit a local family. Within two months of receiving the thermal imaging camera, Spiceland volunteer fire fighters were called to a house fire during the night. The home owners and their two young boys had been sleeping when an electrical fire ignited the insulation in the ceiling of the first level and floor of the parents’ upstairs bedroom.
Fire Chief Scott Teague indicated, “With the aid of the thermal imaging camera purchased through the foundation grant, we can search for kids and elders more effectively. In this situation, we were able to locate the fire quickly; otherwise, we would have to feel the area and tear it apart searching for the fire.” Fire fighter Joey Cunningham indicated, “Once we found the hot spot with the imager, we moved the bed and started cutting the floor. We were able to hit the fire with a water can extinguisher, which produces a fine mist to avoid making a big mess. The only reason the plaster was damaged in the ceiling below was because of the vibration when cutting the floor above it. The damage was minimal.”
Having just moved to Spiceland, homeowner and former Lewisville fire fighter Brad Jones said, “Fortunately, the fire fighters arrived and were able to use their thermal imaging equipment to pin point the fire and address the specific area beneath the floor, while minimizing the damage to the floor.” He continued, “If it weren’t for the fire fighters’ use of the thermal imager, we might have lost our entire home. There was minimal water damage and only a small area cut in the floor. Having fought similar fires in the past, I know the water, smoke and structural damage could have been much more extensive as fire fighters try to fight a fire they can not see. We are fortunate we did not lose everything.”
Community grants also provided social services in 2008. Kids all over Henry County learned, lived, and laughed during summer camps funded in part by the Henry County Community Foundation. After sliding through streams of water at the YMCA Extreme H2O Camp, one camper popped up, gave the peace sign and yelled, “This is the best day of my life!” Each week of YMCA camp had a different theme like local folklore and legends week and Olympics week. Campers of the Salvation Army camp enjoyed the new Aquatic Center at Baker Park, arts and crafts and time spent at The Waters visiting elderly.
Spiceland Boy Scout Pack 472 also received a community grant. Pack leader Dawn Mogg said, “All 13 campers were able to attend due to the help of the Community Foundation. They learned the flag ceremony. They would stand at attention, raise and lower the flag using color guard and learned the proper military way to honor the flag. They also learned the proper etiquette of how to fold the American flag.” Ryan Mogg stated, “We got to do eight things: rafting, swimming, arts and crafts, nature, sports, skills and campfires, archery and BB gun shooting and safety. Thursday, we got to go fishing. I learned a lot and had fun!”
The Kenny Irwin Jr. Memorial Campground also received grant funding for retractable walls. Vice President, Reva J. Irwin stated, “The grant for retractable walls helps kids with special needs to be segregated at night. They feel more comfortable and secure.” Having received several community grants in past years toward playground equipment, ropes confidence courses, dorm construction, and children’s camp supplies, Reva said, “We wouldn’t be near as far as we are without the community foundation. It has helped us tremendously.”
Reva Irwin and her husband started the Dare to Dream campground after the loss of their son. She said, “It helped us heal.” Glen Oaks resident Reba Wallace indicated she visited the Kenny Irwin, Jr. Dare to Dream Campground on a day trip with other residents and commented, “It’s a beautiful place.” When she arrived her great grandson, who was a counselor, told the kids she was his great grandmother and the kids reached out and hugged her. “I am glad the Irwin’s did that in memory of their son. It’s so good they made a campground for these precious children.”