Tonawanda News — The East Hill Foundation in North Tonawanda has awarded a $7,000 grant to the Nor-Ton Red Jacket Club Inc. to be used to complete three projects at Donald F. Miller Park, 1601 Sweeney St., North Tonawanda.
Of the total grant, $2,000 will be used to help purchase new ADA-compliant picnic tables for children with special needs at the park.
The second grant of $5,000 will be used to replace the roof on one cabin and the furnace in another.
Both grants are part of the focused funding directed by the East Hill Foundation to non-profit organizations in North Tonawanda.
The East Hill Foundation considers grant applications from qualified non-profit organizations, which address community needs and opportunities designed to enhance the quality of life of the residents of Western New York.
The Nor-Ton Red Jacket Club Inc., an all volunteer public charity, has as its mission to operate and maintain Donald F. Miller Park in order to provide low cost outdoor educational experiences to area youth.
The members are committed to helping young people develop inner strength through individual health and fitness, leadership and teamwork, and an appreciation for the environment.
Over the years, the Club has established strong affiliations with local schools, Girl and Boy Scouts, and other youth groups, offering the opportunity to use the park, all year for evening meetings, daytime programs and weekend retreats.
Recently the Club began offering free use of the park to groups of children with special needs, many of whom have difficulty with learning and some who struggle with mobility.
Special-needs groups that have visited recently have held picnics, cooked meals, performed service projects, hiked trails, played games, studied nature, and completed regular class work in the "outdoor classroom."
Last year, the Club served 3,351 youth.