The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

Small Town Wins Big!

Dayton Boys and Girls Club receives $25,000 State Farm Grant

 

September 28, 2017

DAYTON- Even little towns can do big things! Dayton and Waitsburg community members pulled together enough popular votes to win the Dayton Boys and Girls Club a $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist national grant. A kick-off celebration is planned for noon on Saturday.

State Farm Insurance office representative Samantha Edwards said the Dayton Boys and Girls Club was one of 40 recipients of the award. State Farm agent Bette Lou Crothers entered the Boys and Girls Club, which will be housed in the former Dayton bowling alley, in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist national grant competition in June. State Farm reviewed and scored 2,000 submissions and narrowed the field to 200 finalists.

"We were notified of the top 200 by e-mail," Edwards said.

That's where the community stepped in. The public, from across the nation, voted on the top 200 projects. Out of the top 200, only 40 were chosen to receive the grants.

"There were only three finalists in Washington State, and one on the east side," Edwards said. "I thought 'how are we going to win a popular vote campaign?'"

Edwards commended Facebook posts for the success of the campaign. Community members solicited support daily and reminded one another to vote.

"I'm pretty amazed at the amount of support," she said.

Edwards said she watched nervously as the leader board voting bounced up and down.

The grant winners were announced on August 29 and Edwards said she has been sitting on that news ever since.

The public is invited to attend a kick-off celebration at the project site at 528 Cameron Street on Saturday at noon, which will also be a work party. People are invited to tour the building and enjoy lunch provided by the Dayton Kiwanis with cake to follow. Those who would like to volunteer can help rip up carpet, tear down dividers, and load trash and debris into trailers.

"This is a great opportunity to get the community involved," said Edwards. "It's not just an idea anymore!"

"I want to thank everyone who voted. For a small town to win a national campaign shows how much can be accomplished by a community for something they believe in," said Edwards.

Those who stay to volunteer on Saturday should bring carpet knives, gloves, and pry bars. Work is planned until 3 p.m. All volunteers will receive a Boys and Girls Club t-shirt.

 

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