After six annual bike rides, the Ballard County Wheels and Wings committee is ready to accept proposals for its first fitness grants. Up to $4,000 will be granted this year, with no minimum and a maximum of $2,000 per grant. The money is meant to be used on projects, events or venues in Ballard County that would improve fitness opportunities for the county’s citizens.
The ride started in 2010, growing out of the county’s Compass Coalition for improving the health of Ballard Countians. Based on “County Health Rankings & Roadmaps,” Ballard ranks 78 out of Kentucky’s 120 counties for quality of life (such issues as poor or fair health, low birthweight, premature mortality, and high incidence of obesity and diabetes).
The bike group decided that money raised from the rides would be a great way to help kick-start other fitness projects in the county, like runs, exercise programs or construction or improvement of places to do such things. The first ride had only 18 riders; the 2016 ride had 120 riders, and saw the inauguration of a same day wing cook-off in LaCenter Park, organized by the Ballard Bottoms Tourism Council. Both groups are hoping for even bigger events next year.
“We could never have done this without lots of help from the biking community and our local sponsors,” said committee member Julie Thomas. “We want to return those favors, and help others get started. Our goal is to help other individuals and groups plan and hold their own fitness events, programs or venues.”
The bike committee previously had given over $500 in safety equipment to children participating in 4-H bike events at the Ballard County fair, but this will be the biggest disbursement to date. There is a limited pool of funding, and project selections are expected to be very competitive.
The grant document is short and simple. The primary requirement is that the funds will be used for projects located in Ballard County, and open to all county citizens in the project’s target group. The Wheels and Wings committee will select applicants demonstrating the strongest alignment with the focus on improved fitness for Ballard Countians.
Grant funds may be used for services, materials, or equipment; funds may not be used for property acquisition, operations, salaries or wages. Each proposal must include a guaranteed cash or in-kind match for at least 50 percent of the amount requested.
There are no submission deadlines; applications will be accepted through the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2017), or until the $4,000 is gone. Proposals will be accepted as needs arise and grant funds are available, and will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Consideration will take no longer than 30 days after proposals are received, and all applicants will be notified of the acceptance or decline of their proposals.
Proposals will be evaluated in part based on focus, impact, ability to create partnerships, and sustainability.
Proposal forms and additional requirements and review criteria may be found in the attachment below. For more information or to request a hard-copy proposal form, please contact Thomas at 270-665-8400, ext. 2011, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.