July 9, 2008

$500,000 Gift Left to Local Foundation

By Graham Milldrum, The Anniston Star, Ala.

Jul. 9--After many decades of pollution and years of clean up, the cleaners are leaving one last memento.

Foothills Community Partnership handed over $500,000 to the Calhoun County Community Foundation at a reception Tuesday.

The money will be used for grants in three major areas; safety and wellness, environmental and economic benefits and education.

Eula Tatman, the grant and programming director for the foundation, said the gift will allow the foundation to greatly expand its operations. They have major funds devoted to other purposes, such as Christian missionary work and education. Currently, many of the grants are involved in health care, with projects such as AIDS screening, care for the uninsured and purchasing defibrillators.

The program will be operated as an endowment, generating approximately $25,000 annually. This number can vary widely based on market conditions.

CCCF is what Tatman calls a grant maker, giving out grants to local groups that compete through an application process for a total of $650,000 to $850,000 annually.

The Foothills Community Partnership consists of 11 corporations who are cleaning up the lead and PCBs pollution from years of industrial processes. The lead comes primarily from foundry sand that was distributed to the community to help level homes and work into gardens. The PCBs are the responsibility of Solutia, but Foothills has reached an agreement to clean PCBs out of sites they are working on.

This money was set aside at the very beginning of the soil removal process. Tom Potts, chairman of the FCP, said the reason the partnership planned the gift was to leave something behind. He said they decided on $500,000 because it was large enough to make a difference.

All industrial cities suffer from pollution, Chip Howell, mayor of Anniston said. However, not all communities will be as clean as Anniston or Oxford, he said.

About Graham Milldrum Graham Milldrum is a reporter for The Star. He is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill.


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