MOUNT DESERT ISLAND –With grants totaling $154,000, this year’s Hattie A. & Fred C. Lynam Trust recipients from Mount Desert Island say they plan to put the funds to good use across their organizations. For some it means being able to operate in the coming year and for others the funds will be used to expand programming or meet other critical needs.
The recipients were selected by Bar Harbor Trust Services, which helps to support charitable, religious and education organizations that are specifically beneficial to the people of Mount Desert Island.
The bank, through the Lynam Trust awarded grants to 30 organizations, including the Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor Food Pantry, Camp Beech Cliff, Harbor House Community Center, Neighborhood House, Mount Desert Nursing Association and Southwest Harbor Public Library.
This year, the Islander asked organizations what it means to them to be awarded funding during these unprecedented times.
Camp Beech Cliff Executive Director Debra Deal said the Lynam grant will help with 2021 transportation fees for their bus service. After canceling camp in summer 2020, the director shared her plans to reopen for the upcoming season with help from the funds. “We are going to open up camp next summer unless the health department says we can’t,” she said.
The Mount Desert Nursing Association will use the grant to fund a new volunteer program. Executive Director Heather Lewis said she appreciates the $4,300, which will be used to provide supplies to MDI residents in need. “These funds will supply medical equipment for the [lending] closet volunteer project such as commodes, walkers and wheelchairs that anyone is allowed to borrow,” said Lewis.
According to executive director of the Bar Harbor Food Pantry, Jenny Jones, during a recent interview with the Islander, the food pantry is appreciative of any additional funding it receives. Jones said the nonprofit had initially budgeted between $80,000 and $90,000 for food purchases but is now pushing $125,000 so far this year. “Large donations are great, but even $5 helps,” she said.
Erich Reed, the executive director of the Southwest Harbor Public Library, said the grant would help sustain their organization throughout the summer. “We’ve directed the Lynam funds for our summer story camp,” he said.
“We have our kids’ program, community cafes and dances” said Neighborhood House Executive Director Anne-Mart Hart. For 2020, the grant’s maximum amount of $5,000 was given to Neighborhood House and will be used for general operating support. Losing about $45,000 of revenue from fitness room fees this past year, she said how grateful the organization was for the donation. “Especially that our most profitable annual fundraiser was canceled this year, this grant will help us continue to run,” said Hart.
In addition to the grant program, the Lynam Trust has awarded scholarships to graduating seniors of Mount Desert Island High School since 1942. These renewable awards are restricted to graduates of MDI High School who are residents of Mount Desert Island. Recipients must reapply each year. In 2020, $1,000 scholarships were awarded to 127 MDI High School graduates.
A complete list of 2020 Island recipients includes:
Acadia Senior College
Acadian Youth Sports
Bar Harbor Congregational Church
Bar Harbor Food Pantry
Bar Harbor Historical Society
Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association
Camp Beech Cliff
Harbor House Community Service Center
Hulls Cove Neighborhood Assn.
Island Housing Trust
Jesup Memorial Library
Maine Granite Industry Historical Society
MDI Backpack Program
MDI Community Campfire Coalition
MDI Community Sailing Center
MDI Racial Equity Working Group
Mount Desert Nursing Association
Northeast Harbor Library
Open Table MDI
Somesville Library Association
Southwest Harbor Public Library
Summer Festival of the Arts