CAL gives over $100k in grants to local nonprofits

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

It was a good day to be a nonprofit Wednesday. As it does every year about this time, the Community Assistance League, or CAL as it is called, awarded $105,000 in grants to 44 local nonprofit organizations Wednesday at the Sandpoint Center.

CAL grant recipients gather to accept their awards Wednesday at the Sandpoint Center. Photo by Ben Olson.

Grants chair Bobbie Franklin said all of the awarded grant money is generated from sales at CAL’s Bizarre Bazaar thrift shop in Sandpoint.

“To be awarded a CAL grant, they have to be a nonprofit, the project should be something that affects a large number of the community, and it must be a project that will be completed within the year,” Franklin said. “This year, a lot of our grants went to child- related projects.”

Franklin said about two-thirds of the grants were awarded to in-school and out-of-school programs for kids, as well as some to child protective services.

One grant recipient was North Idaho High School Aviation Program, run by Ken Larson.

“This will be our fourth year receiving a CAL grant,” Larson said. “It sustains us. This year we were donated an airplane – a RV-6 model plane which doesn’t have an engine. This project would not happen without a grant like this.”

Two of Larson’s students were on hand to share why they joined the aviation program.

“Initially, my parents sent me,” said Sophie Dignan, 15. “After awhile I really got into it and got to know about aviation in general and I stayed because of the opportunities. I really enjoy being a part of it.”

Fourteen-year-old Kyle Donker said he joined the aviation program because he wants to “join the Air Force and get flight hours to learn how to fly.”

Another grant recipient was Joan Avery with the Sandpoint Youth Center. Avery said she will use the grant money to help fund a popular new program that has seen high school participation skyrocket.

“Since we’ve moved to the bowling alley, we now offer a place for kids to bowl and play pool for free,” Avery said. “We’ve seen an incredible increase of involvement since we’ve added bowling. We used to get 5-10 high schoolers in before when now we’re seeing 70 kids show up to bowl.”

CAL is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. They also annual award scholarships to local students, which will take place soon.

“We’ve given over $1.4 million away to enrich life in this county,” Franklin said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.