The Stoughton Area Community Foundation gave $53,460 of grants to 21 organizations for 2019. Board members had the privilege and excitement of accepting every single application they received this year.

All applicants were awarded something, with some organizations receiving the full amount requested. The total requested amount was roughly $65,000.

Grant funds come from individual, recurring and estate donations.

The 11 volunteer SACF board members live or work in Stoughton. They have a connection to the community, grant committee chair Bob Diebel said, and “want to make it a better place.”

The grants are awarded to organizations that focus on arts, children/youth, community development, community wellness, education, health, historic preservation and programs for seniors.

Many grants are recurring and can be designated for a specific project, Diebel said.

Community organizations with in the Stoughton Area School District are invited to submit grant requests annually, with a deadline of Sept. 15 every year.

New grant recipients

The Stoughton Area Community Foundation had four, first-time grant recipients this year.

Foundation BJJ, started in March and provides free Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training to veterans.

According to Foundation BJJ’s application, “studies have shown that Brazilian jiu Jitsu rapidly aids in the recovery process for members of the military with PTSD, sexual trauma and other physical limiting disabilities.”

SHS Orchestra Boosters is a newly established group to help support students in the orchestra program.

According to their grant application, the fees to participate in orchestra are kept low so all students can participate; however, the fees do not cover the cost of upkeep on the instruments.

The grant money will help cover the gap between the fee and the actual cost, in addition to instrument storage, lights for music stands and new sheet-music folders.

Friends of the Badfish Creek Watershed requested $1,000 for a specific water sampling project.

In 2017, the levels of E.coli bacteria in the Badfish Creek rose to levels considered unsafe by the State of Wisconsin.

The Friends group would like to send water samples to the Wisconsin State Hygiene Lab and test for human and ruminant sources. Depending on the results, the group would like to “encourage appropriate policy changes concerning effluent and agricultural runoff,” according to the application.

Aligning Stars Theatre is a local theater production company. The company was established in 2009 to give young actors more opportunities.

The organization requested funds for the 2019 winter season of: one youth production, one high school production and one production for actors post high school.

According to the application, “the biggest expense to putting on a musical is typically paying for the rights to use the materials.”

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