Champlin awards grants to local non-profits

Champlin awards grants to local non-profits

SMITHFIELD – Three nonprofit organizations in Smithfield are among the recpients of $18.1 million in grants from the Champlin Foundation. The organizations are the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Bryant University and Special Olympics Rhode Island.

Audubon Executive Director Larry Taft said the organization use the $115,000 in grant funds to make improvements to the Caratunk Wild Life Refuge in Seekonk, Mass.

Plans to put in a gravel parking lot including off street parking will be completed in the spring. Taft described “green technology,” installing pollinator plants in a rain garden to catch water drainage, as a new addition to be installed in the spring as well.

He said although it is not a huge project, the improvement will greatly benefit the community and allow easier access to the refuge.

Special Olympics Rhode Island, at 370 George Washington Highway, received grant funds to launch a “new look” in its television studio.

Special Olympics received $25,045 for a new TV set used to produce the “Special Olympics Magazine” program, a half-hour show produced and hosted by athletes. PEG (public, education and government) RI-TV provided equipment and studio space for the production, but leaders felt renovations were needed.

“Basically, the old set is over 10 years old, and needed a facelift,” said Patricia Kirby, grant writer for Special Olympics.

Located at 670 Narragansett Park Drive in Pawtucket, the Special Olympics “Magazine Show” airs on the Ocean State Network on Saturday and Sunday at noon, or can be viewed online.

Bryant University received $75,000 in foundation funds to equip a business incubator at the school to assist students with start-up companies.