Mushroom Festival reaches $1 million distribution milestone
● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Last Thursday in Kennett Square, work and dedication combined with a spirit of community, and the result was the celebration of a milestone.
On April 5, in a ceremony held at Genesis’ Michael R. Walker Building, 52 local organizations received a record $114,068 in grant funding from the Mushroom Festival's Board of Directors. The event was the 18th annual grant distribution presentation, and pushed the festival's total contributions since 2000 past the $1 million mark.
“We are very excited to have reached the $1 million milestone,” says Kathi Lafferty, Mushroom Festival coordinator. “When I started volunteering for the festival and we started the grant program, $1 million was never thought about. In 2000, the first year we gave grants, we were only able to split $500 between three organizations.”
Lafferty said that the steadily rising influence of the festival has coincided with the number of grants that are offered.
“The grants help local programs year-round and throughout the community’s various constituents from infants through the elderly populations,” she said. “Our grants help a wide variety of programs for the entire community, like the Memorial Day parade and the free summer concert series at Anson B. Nixon Park. We are also able to help deserving youth attend camps and help organizations purchase supplies for special needs programs and camps.”
Organizations receiving Mushroom Festival grants included:
ALS Association: Funds will be dedicated to the RoRo Ferranto Fund and used to provide assistance and equipment to Chester County area patients with ALS.
Avondale Fire Co. No. 1: Funds will be used to purchase a thermal imaging camera for use at fire scenes.
The Barn at Spring Brook Farm: Funds will be used for supplies for Camp Geronimo, a summer day camp for children with disabilities
Bournelyf Special Camp: Funds will be used to cover transportation costs associated with their summer camp for people with special needs.
Camp Dreamcatcher: Funds will be used to send three HIV/AIDS impacted children to their therapeutic and educational camp.
Chadds Ford Historical Society: Funds will be used to purchase shelving, boxes and additional archival materials for the care and storage of their historic artifacts collection.
Chenoa Manor Animal Sanctuary: Funds will be used toward the conversion of an existing building into a tropical environment for their tortoise and parrot residents.
Community Volunteers in Medicine: Funds will be used to purchase supplies for their dental outreach programs.
The Crime Victims Center: Funds will be used to print and purchase materials for their Southern Chester County prevention programs.
Delaware Zoological Society: Funds will be used to purchase materials to make enrichment items for the Brandywine Zoo’s animals to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
Friends Home in Kennett: Funds will be used to enhance their Exercise program for residents.
Friends of Penn Township: Funds will be used to restore, enlarge and frame photographs depicting the history of Penn Township.
Good Neighbors: Funds will help pay for a home repair project for a low-income Kennett Square resident, whose house needs extensive repairs to keep from falling down.
Historic Kennett Square: Funds will be used to produce the Kennett Square Memorial Day Parade.
Ingleside Homes: Funds will be used to purchase a laptop computer for the organization’s offsite case management team that works to keep low income senior citizens in their homes in Delaware.
JAM Christian Daycare: Funds will be used to purchase six rubber mushroom climbers for their outdoor playground project.
Kennett After-School Association: Funds will be used for transportation costs associated with taking participants home at the end of each session of After the Bell.
Kennett Area Community Services: Funds will be used to purchase needed items for the Food Cupboard.
Kennett Area Park Authority: Funds will be used to produce the Free Summer Concert Series at Anson B. Nixon Park.
Kennett Area Parks and Recreation Board: Funds will be used for expenses associated with the annual Kids Cross Country Race and for a new shed to store equipment at Herb Pennock Park.
Kennett Area Senior Center: Funds will be used to purchase audio-visual accessories and equipment to facilitate programming that advances the quality of life for older adults living in SCC.
Kennett Education Foundation: Funds will be used to provide innovative educational grants to teachers throughout the school district.
Kennett Fire Co. No. 1: Funds will be used to purchase a Station CAD alerting system for the Fire Station, which will help increase response time to emergencies.
Kennett Flash: Funds will be used for needed equipment and to support We Kids Rock and Open Mic programs.
Kennett Library: Funds will be used to purchase books and educational materials for students and tutors for the English as a Second Language program.
Kennett Symphony: Funds would be used to support the “Beethoven and Bellinis” afternoon concert.
Kennett High School-Walk in Knowledge Program: Funds will be used to support the Walk in Knowledge after school program.
La Comunida Hispana: Funds will be used to purchase supplies such as fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and disposable gloves for their Dental Clinic.
Lighthouse Youth Center: Funds will be used to purchase computer and school supplies for the Homework Assistance and Tutoring after school program. Funds will also be used to provide incentives and rewards.
Longwood Fire Company: Funds will be used to purchase a Styker portable chair extrication device.
Luther House: Funds will be used to create a garden area for residents and to purchase a table saw for the maintenance department.
Maternal and Child Health Consortium: Funds will be used for supplies and bus transportation for their Kindergarten Transition programs.
Meals on Wheels: Funds will be used to help cover the delivery of hot meals to the elderly in the Avon Grove region.
Operation Homefront PA/DE/NJ Field Office: Funds will be used to provide urgent support through their Critical Financial Assistance Program that helps military families with housing, utilities, and food assistance.
Oxford Area Neighborhood Services: Funds will be used to purchase food for the Food Assistance program.
Oxford Arts Alliance: Funds will be used to support their summer camp programs.
Paws for People: Funds will be used to purchase special t-shirts and books to be used as motivational incentives for the Goldie's Gang Summer Reading at Kennett Library.
Quest Therapeutic Services: Funds will be used to purchase an all-abilities outdoor playset.
Reins of Life, for routine veterinary, dental, and farrier services for the horses used in their therapeutic riding program.
Smart Drive Foundation: Funds will be used to upgrade the technology needed to deliver the five Smart Drive Courses presented to teens at local high schools.
Southern Chester County EMS: Funds will be used towards the replacement of an eight-year-old service vehicle stationed at Jennersville Hospital.
Spanish Health Ministry: Funds will be used to support the medical outreach program.
The Garage of Kennett Square and West Grove: Funds will be used to support their Community After School Program at both locations.
Tick Tock Early Learning Center: Funds will be used for field trips and special guest appearances over the 10 weeks of their summer camp program.
Tri-State Bird Rescue: Funds will be used to properly equip teams that respond to oil spills. It includes improvements to species specific housing, and upgrades to medical equipment and supplies.
Volunteer English Program: Funds will be used to purchase instructional books and resources for the students learning English in their tutoring program.
WCU Foundation: Funds will be used to purchase food and local produce for the 13th CampAbilitiesPA program for 33 children with visual impairment and 60 volunteers.
West Grove Fire Company: Funds would be used to purchase two AED's to replace older units in Chief's vehicles
Wings for Success: Funds will be used to support their Kennett Square site.
YMCA Camp Tockwogh: Funds will be used to send deserving Kennett Middle School students to their summer camp.
Young Moms: Funds will be used for supplies for their Mentoring Program, including volunteer orientation and training, parenting education materials and participant resource binders.
In addition, Family Promise of Southern Chester County received a donation in the name of last year’s Honorary Chair, Carol Lowe. A special donation will also be made to a national foundation researching the health benefits of mushrooms.
Carla Lucas contributed to this report.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email email@example.com.