RHODE ISLAND – The Champlin Foundation announced $18 million of grant funding last week, which will be going toward a diverse group of organizations from around the state. These critical funds will help meet the pressing demands of social services, from fighting hunger and combating the effects of the pandemic, to preserving local history, art and culture.
“The non-profit community in Rhode Island has navigated the current health and economic crises with extraordinary resilience, while also keeping a firm eye on building for the future,” said Executive Director of The Champlin Foundation Nina Stack. “At a time when their services are in greater demand than ever before, so many essential charities have stepped up, their leadership thinking innovatively about how to adjust programming and deliver support.”
Significant funding will also be going toward in-state, higher education programs.
The University of Rhode Island Foundation & Alumni Engagement received one of the 188 grants that were dispersed this holiday season, which will go a long way in improving student opportunity in its engineering program. The $500,000 grant will go towards the support of anywhere/anytime engineering technology, robotic equipment — such as the $174,618, that will be used to purchase and construct a spectrometer for nearly 500 undergraduates to work with high-powered lasers and optics — and tissue engineering.
“The funding from The Champlin Foundation enables URI to purchase innovative technologies that provide our students with outstanding educational experiences,” said, URI Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald H. DeHayes. “URI faculty from across campus are enthusiastic about developing new cutting-edge learning opportunities that enhance access and contemporary learning modalities for our students.”
The New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich also received a grant that will go towards the purchase of new technology and equipment, in the amount of $124,639, to help better support hands on learning.
Other in-state institutions that will be receiving Champlain Foundation funds this year include the Community College of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island College Foundation, Bryant College, Roger Williams University and Brown University.
Many local libraries are also benefiting from this latest round of grants, as well.
In Hopkinton, the Ashaway Free Library received $9,983 to replace its A/C Unit, front door and a copier. These funds will also be used to make electrical upgrades for the community room. In the neighboring town of Charlestown, the Cross Mills Public Library also received grant funding to go towards lighting and acoustical improvements, in the amount of $7,775.
The Frosty Drew Nature Center and Observatory, another beloved institution of Charlestown, received $107,541 to help replace their primary telescope.
Other libraries to benefit from Champlin Foundation grants this year include the Davisville Free Library in North Kingstown and the Robert Beverly Hale Library in South Kingstown. Both libraries received upwards of $20,000 — the former to help fund replacing a parking lot, and the latter to fund a roof replacement.
Other organizations in North Kingstown to receive grants include the Cocumscussoc Association, which will put $20,000 towards a new roof, window replacements and exterior painting and repairs at Smith Castle, as well as $11,550 for the Wickford Art Association to do gallery wall renovations.
The Rhode Island Farm Incubator was also among North Kingstown recipients, and the $16,280 they were awarded will go towards the purchase of two high tunnels.
In South Kingstown, South County Health has received $300,000 for the purchase of a endoscopic ultrasound, Camp JORI has received $48,786 towards roadwork and the installation of a chairlift for the swimming pool, and the Pettaquamscutt Historical Society Inc. has received $9,345 towards its Historic Jail Space Access & Usage Project.
In Saunderstown, $9,500 will be going towards replacing the generator at another historical site. The Gilbert Stuart Birthplace & Museum is home to one of the most notable Rhode Islanders in American history — made famous by his portrait of President George Washington, which is still used on the back of the $1 bill to this day.
The preservation of Stuart’s early childhood home has allowed generations of Ocean State Residents to remember and take pride in our small state’s history.
A grant for $13,377 to fund exterior painting and repairs to Caretaker’s Farmhouse at the South County Museum, will also help keep local history alive in Narragansett.
Other notable grants of mention include $10,656 to the Western Rhode Island Civic Historical Society, for repairs to the Pine House Museum in Coventry, $33,536 to Tides Family Services in West Warwick and $10,529 for Google Expeditions Virtual Reality Kit for the students at Exeter-West Greenwich Junior High School.
“The Champlin Foundation is proud to support these agencies and organizations to expand their reach and impact, and to play a part in their vital efforts to help Rhode Island weather this storm and the challenges that await us in the future,” Stack said.
Since its inception in 1932, the Champlin Foundation has awarded more than $600 million to Rhode Island non-profit organizations, primarily to fund capital projects. This year, 25 of the 188 grants went to first-time recipients.