Local groups receive visitor center grants

Four organizations recently received grants to promote and fund their community activities.

The checks that were presented during Wednesday’s Jackson County Visitor Center board meeting to these organizations will go toward the their efforts to promote and fund activities for the community through their organization.

“Thank you all for what you do for the community,” Jackson County Visitor Center Executive Director Arann Banks said before handing out the checks.

Grants of $400 each were given to Girls Inc. of Jackson County, Seymour Museum Center, Jackson County Antique Machinery Association and the Freeman Army Airfield Museum.

Each recipient spoke to the board and finance committee about what the grant money will be used for and how it will benefit their cause.

Kelly Royer, program director for Girls Inc., said the money will be used to advertise their annual Turkey Trot 5K walk and 8K run on Thanksgiving morning.

Royer said the event averages more than 300 participants a year, not only from Jackson County and other surrounding areas, but they have come from Florida, Ohio, Michigan and Colorado over the years.

The event will benefit Girls Inc.’s general operating fund.

“Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart and bold,” Royer said. “Thank you again for always supporting our cause.”

Girls Inc. serves girls ages 5 to 18 in after-school and summer camp programs while also providing three prevention programs to boys and girls throughout Jackson County during the school day.

Carol King accepted the grant on behalf of the Seymour Museum Center and its efforts to preserve the past, present and future of Seymour.

The grant money will be used to promote the Parking Lot Pickers event, similar to a large yard sale or flea market, set for April 22 in the Walnut Street and Robertson Feed Mill parking lots. The $400 will go toward the creation of a new banner that will go along the road the week before the event and flyers, brochures and other expenses.

Four years ago, the Seymour Museum Center took over this event from Seymour Main Street; however, COVID-19 canceled the first year.

This year, King plans to bring more people in the community to their event by broadening the brochures to include Spanish text, as well.

“We are hoping for plenty of vendors and shoppers for this year’s event since it will be our 50th,” King said. “We really appreciate this support as we try to grow and make improvements at the museum.”

Melvin and Marjorie Bishop, members of the Jackson County Antique Machinery Association, said the grant they received will be used for advertising and insurance costs of their antique tractor show at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in the summer.

The association works to preserve and exhibit historical farm and agricultural equipment in and around Jackson County.

“We have a lot of people come from out of state, and we put on demonstrations, as well,” Melvin said. “It’s a farming community we live in here, and we try to preserve part of that, and we love seeing people come back year after year.”

Joseph Clegg, president of the Freeman Army Airfield Museum, will use the grant money to advertise new displays in the museum for individuals to come see the history of the airfield.

“Not many people know that we don’t have just the same displays all the time, so I think this will help bring more people out to the museum,” Clegg said.

Three other $400 grants were approved by the finance committee for the Seymour Evening Lions Club golf scramble, Indiana Archaeology Society artifact show and the Houston Church Spring Festival. Checks for these organizations will be presented at the next board meeting.