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Brunswick Electric now taking grant applications

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Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) is now accepting applications through Feb. 15 for this year’s BEMC Community Grants program.
Now in its 11th year, the BEMC program provides a helping hand to agencies and community organizations. Grants up to $2,500 may be awarded for community services in these key areas: family services, civic and community activities, cultural and arts programs, emergency services and economic development activities.
Applications are accepted through Feb. 15 each year, and the awards are made by early April.
The application process may be completed online this year. To submit an application, visit www.bemc.org/CommunityPrograms or pick up a package at any BEMC office. With the online application, applicants can start the process, save it and return later to finish and submit, or do it all at one time.
A 2011 community grant helped to build a multi-purpose activity pavilion for the Helms Nature Preserve in Columbus County. The pavilion is serving as an outdoor classroom for educational programs, a meeting area and a social center for retreats, picnics and cookouts. The grant funds were used to purchase construction materials for the pavilion, with the labor done through the spring and summer by volunteers for North Carolina Wildlife Action.
Another grant provided materials to build/repair handicap ramps in Columbus County for eight households where individuals had mobility issues. Volunteers from local churches volunteered their skills and labor willingly to build the ramps.
Hope Harbor Home in Brunswick County used its grant funds to update the domestic violence shelter’s handicapped-accessible bathroom, to repair ceiling and floor damage to the shelter office and upgrade the environment for children’s play, study, therapy and relaxation.
Friends of the Library of Southport and Oak Island applied grant money to get matching funds for acquiring large print and books and audiotapes for vision-impaired citizens.
The 2011 grants totaled $28,900 and helped 18 area groups with services for citizens of all ages.
“The community grant program is part of BEMC’s ongoing commitment to helping our community,” said Robert W. Leavitt Jr. CEO of BEMC. “It supplements our Bright Ideas educational grants for teachers, the Warm Homes, Warm Hearts community heating assistance campaign and our support for many other community efforts and events.
“BEMC Community Grants are another way we can extend a helping hand to community groups. In these tough economic times, our strong ties to the community are more important than ever.”