River Sweep

Alex Pardue, 5, throws leaves into a pile during landscaping activities, which was part of the River Sweep cleanup at the Conowingo boat launch in 2017. Some of the VLT grant funds will support River Sweep’s 20th anniversary, and its local hosting organization, Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway.

ELKTON — Cecil County Executive Alan McCarthy announced 50 applicants will receive funding from the 2019 Video Lottery Terminal grants, each getting a share of the $350,000 set aside under state law from Hollywood Casino Perryville’s revenue.

Applicants include nonprofits like the Cecil County Men’s Shelter or S.T.E.P.S. Recovery Resources, various volunteer fire companies, one municipality and county services.

The amount of VLT money requested continues to grow this year, while the amount of funding awarded stayed at $350,000, officials reported. This year, 66 applicants requested a total of $1.17 million in VLT funding.

“Awarding the VLT grants is always a difficult process because of the many projects in our community that deserve serious consideration,” McCarthy said in a press statement.

The legislation setting up Maryland’s casino industry mandated that 5.5% of gross revenue be returned to the state in local impact grants. From there, the funds are divided amongst counties that have a casino.

Cecil County’s portion is further split, with 35% of the funds given to the town of Perryville, where Hollywood Casino is located, and 65% given to the county. A small portion of the county’s local impact funds is used to fund the VLT grant program.

Each application is evaluated by a review committee, judging each proposal’s merit on where it stacks against the county’s objectives in its strategic plan. In some cases, applicants have received partial funding compared to what was asked.

“This year’s process proved especially challenging and I applaud both the applicants for their creative and inspired proposals as well as the review team for their dedicated and unbiased commitment to the evaluation process,” County Department of Community Services Director David Trolio in a press release.

The Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway received the largest VLT grant this year at $25,000. LSHG, a nonprofit organization that focuses on stimulating the local economy by linking natural, historic and cultural resources with events, will be using the funds to support activities like its 20th anniversary of River Sweep, and projects at the Octoraro Trail, Jacob Tome Gas House and Rodgers Tavern.

Youth Empowerment Source received the second largest VLT grant funding this year, with two successful applications totaling at $20,000. Half of the funds is for YES’s Camp ACTIVATE, which serves 200 children each summer at two Title I elementary schools for recreational activities, projects and math lessons. Additionally, each camper receives a take-home bag of non-perishable food items at the end of the week to assist with food needs over the weekend.

The other half of the VLT funding will be used for YES’s STRIDE, or Students Taking Responsibility in Developing Excellence, program. Established in 2015, that program provides guidance and support for struggling youth lasting generally between nine months to a year.

“I thank the VLT Grant Review Committee for the fair and equitable grant award recommendations. I look forward to hearing about and observing the many positive outcomes supported by these grants,” McCarthy said.

The list of recipients are:

• American Legion Susquehanna Post 135: $6,000

• Bayside Community Network : $5,000

• Bayside Community Network : $10,000

• Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford & Cecil Co.: $8,000

• Cecil County Arts Council: $7,495

• Cecil County Community Mediation Center.: $6,500

• Cecil County Farm Museum: $5,000

• Cecil County Holly Tree Corp.: $4,000

• Cecil County Memorial VFW Post 6027: $5,000

• Cecil County Men’s Shelter: $8,000

• Cecil County Neighborhood Youth Panel: $8,000

• Cecil County Public Library: $8,000

• Cecil Dance Theater: $3,000

• Chesapeake City Ecumenical Association: $10,000

• Chesapeake Feline Association: $11,000

• Christmas In April Cecil County: $5,000

• Community Coalition for Affordable Housing: $8,000

• Community Coalition for Affordable Housing: $4,000

• Community Fire Company of Perryville: $2,500

• Community Fire Company of Rising Sun: $6,120

• Community Services Foundation of Cecil County: $12,805

• Deep Roots Inc.: $12,500

• Elk and North East Rivers Watershed Association: $1,000

• Elk Creeks Preservation Society: $3,500

• Fair Hill Environmental Foundation: $2,500

• Fair Hill International Inc.: $5,000

• Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding Program: $5,000

• Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna: $12,000

• Historical Society of Cecil County: $12,000

• Immaculate Conception/St. Jude Parish Outreach: $15,000

• Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway: $25,000

• Meeting Ground Inc.: $12,000

• Milburn Stone Theatre at Cecil College: $3,000

• North East Fire Company: $6,000

• Perryville High School Band Boosters: $2,651

• PAWS for People: $4,045

• Port Deposit Heritage Corporation: $5,000

• Ray of Hope Mission Center: $4,000

• Singerly Fire Company: $4,660

• Singerly Fire Company: $6,600

• STEPS Recovery Resources: $5,000

• Town of Port Deposit: $7,500

• University of Maryland Extension: $1,000

• University of Maryland Extension: $1,000

• Union Hospital Foundation: $8,000

• Upper Bay Counseling and Support Services : $4,000

• Water Witch Fire Company: $8,624

• West Cecil Health Center: $10,000

• Youth Empowerment Source: $10,000

• Youth Empowerment Source: $10,000

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