CHESTER-Recipients of the latest round of grants from the Hancock County Savings Bank Charitable Foundation include area museums, schools, foundations and social service organizations.
Twenty-five local organizations received funding from the Chester foundation, which, since its founding in 1999, has awarded more than $500,000 in grants to help meet people's physical, nutritional and educational needs.
Among the 2012 recipients, 13 were fully funded and 12 were partially funded, said bank President Catherine J. Ferrari. "We try to do the best we can with what money we have to grant," she said. "It's a difficult decision because the board reviews every application very carefully."
The foundation received 42 applications for funding this year, including nine first-time applicants, Ferrari said. "People have become very aware of our foundation over the years, and that's without advertising," she said.
Award checks totalling $37,323 were presented to recipients at a ceremony at the bank Thursday afternoon. Last year, the foundation gave $43,500 to 45 organizations.
This year's awards spanned organizations as far south as Wheeling and Steubenville, to East Liverpool and Chester. The money will go toward programs that, among other things, give scholarships to high school and college students, make improvements to public spaces, preserve local history, support the arts and feed the hungry.
"Today is an historic day for our foundation," Ferrari said at the awards ceremony. "This foundation has indeed made a real impact and a difference in the lives it has touched."
Ferrari said most of the grants go to programs that meet people's physical needs. "A lot of requests for basic needs-food, clothing, shelter-seem to have increased in the last couple years," she said.
The foundation began 13 years ago when the bank's board converted a $1 million return on an investment into seed money for the foundation, Ferrari said.
This year's grant recipients are:
* American Defenders of the Bataan/Corregidor Museum (Wellsburg, W.Va.);
* Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center (East Liverpool);
* Chester-Newell F.I.S.H. Foundation;
* Children's Dyslexia Center (Steubenville);
* Community Bread Basket Inc.;
* Dunbar Recreation Center (Weirton);
* Greater Weirton Senior Citizens' Center Inc.;
* Hancock, Brooke, Ohio Counties Victim Assistance Program;
* Hancock County Arts Council;
* Hancock County Senior Wellness Center;
* Hooverson Heights Primary School (Weirton);
* Housing Programs Limited (East Liverpool);
* The Juvenile Mediation Program Inc.;
* Lynn Murray Memorial Library (Chester);
* Museum of Ceramics Foundation (East Liverpool);
* Newell Community Improvement Coalition;
* Oak Glen Middle School;
* Rotary Club of Beaver;
* Team Mojo Foundation (East Liverpool);
* Tri-State Area Citizens' Scholarship Foundation (Dollars for Scholars);
* United Church Social Service Union Inc. (New Cumberland);
* Weir Middle School;
* Weirton Christian Center;
* Wellsburg Middle School; and
* Youth Services Systems Inc. (Wheeling).
The next round of grant applications must be submitted by Sept. 30, 2013. Awards will be announced in November 2013.