COMEA, Youth Crisis, VA Trolley Project and CALC also receive grants
The Rotary Club of Cheyenne today announced a $43,000 grant to pay for 36 accessible tricycles for students in Laramie County School District 1 who have special needs. This grant is the largest of five grants announced today through the Rotary Club of Cheyenne’s Business Sponsorship Program.
The bikes are adaptive pediatric tricycles, which allow children with various disabilities to ride them. The bikes engage the whole body and offer strap-on pedals as well as a trunk support system and harness. A parking brake and chain guide allow family and friends to guide the bike when needed. The bikes also offer a low transfer step, which makes it easier for children to get on and off the bike.
Last year, the Rotary Club of Cheyenne, Cheyenne Fire Department Local 279, and school district physical therapists worked together to identify students who would benefit and enjoy using the home-adapted tricycles. The Rotary Club then funded the purchase of four bicycles, which were assembled by the Cheyenne Fire Department and delivered to students on January 31, 2022 in downtown Cheyenne.
The Rotary Club of Cheyenne made funding for 32 additional adaptive tricycles a priority for its 2022 corporate sponsorship funding round. When school district physical therapists identified 36 more students who would benefit from the bikes, the Rotary Club of Cheyenne changed their original funding recommendation to fully fund 36 bikes using existing funding outside of the corporate sponsorship program. Once again, the Cheyenne Fire Department Local 279 will assemble and store the bikes until they are ready to show off to the kids.
“Every child, regardless of ability, should have the opportunity to ride a bike,” says Traci Lacock, president of the Rotary Club of Cheyenne. “The Rotary Club of Cheyenne, through its corporate sponsorships, is thrilled to deliver all 36 adaptive tricycles to children in our community and we cannot thank the Cheyenne Fire Department and School District enough for being such great partners in this project. We couldn’t do it without them.
The adaptive tricycles were one of five grants the Rotary Board of Cheyenne approved at its September meetings. Other grants include:
Council approved $4,800 to support the Laramie County Eyeglass Voucher Program Community Action. Laramie County Community Action and area service clubs have long partnered to provide a voucher for an eye exam and basic eyeglasses (frames and lenses) to people in need around Laramie County. Laramie. The program allows those earning up to 200% of the average median income ($27,100 for one person; $55,000 for a family of four) for the county to receive a voucher for $300 for exams and glasses through a memorandum of understanding with various clinics in Cheyenne.
Last year, the program paid for 101 pairs of glasses and contact lenses for adults and 14 for children. The $4,800 will address a backlog of vouchers requiring funding for area adults and children.
“The Rotary Club’s donation will go a long way for 16 adults and/or children,” said CALC CEO Tim Ernst. “The Rotary Club helps those who need eye exams so they can have the tools they need to go to school or work, or even just live day-to-day life without having to struggling to be able to see clearly Community Action is very grateful to the Rotary Club for this generous help!
This is the second collaboration between the Rotary Club of Cheyenne and the CALC in the past two business sponsorship grant cycles. CALC’s Eric Walsh says it’s a relationship he’s very proud of.
“Words cannot express the gratitude Laramie County Community Action has for the great gift we have been given through this collaboration with the Rotary Club,” Walsh said. “Being able to help those in need of corrective vision is truly something the community needs, and again, it started with a conversation with the Rotary Club to address that need.”
The Cheyenne Veterans Administration Hospital will receive $1,600 in corporate sponsorship funds to continue its Veterans Cart project. The Cheyenne VA offers a residential program for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This grant funds a project that takes veterans of the program around Cheyenne by trolley and provides snacks to participants. The rides are meant to provide orientation and welcome veterans new to Cheyenne and new to the program, while giving thanks to veterans for their sacrifice.
The COMEA Shelter will receive a $2,500 grant to use in its Circling the City program, which provides outreach to long-term homeless people in the community through meals and services. COMEA will also use part of this funding to provide items such as socks, underwear and other necessities to its customers.
The Cheyenne Youth Crisis Shelter will receive a $2,500 grant to help purchase clothing, toiletries and pay for activities for children staying at the shelter. The Cheyenne Youth Crisis Shelter, located in the Archer Complex in East Cheyenne, provides a safe and compassionate place for youth and families to deal with crises in Laramie County. Often, young people who reside at the YCC come to the establishment with only the clothes on their backs. This grant will help provide clothing, toiletries, art supplies, and other items for a more home-like environment.
The Cheyenne Botanical Gardens will receive a $10,000 grant to conduct “The Village of Forts” project at the Paul Smith Children’s Village. The project is a competitive program in which the Paul Smith Children’s Village is requesting 10 forts, to be designed, selected, constructed and housed on the land. Selected artists, architects, and tradespeople with experience designing and building functional structures will receive $750 building grants to build forts using natural, repurposed, and sustainable materials. The forts will be displayed and available to be played with and at the Paul Smith Children’s Village during the winter season. The forts built will then be auctioned off at the end of the year to fund the upcoming program.
This year is the second year the Rotary Club of Cheyenne Corporate Sponsorship Program has funded projects around Cheyenne. In 2021, the program funded:
Four adapted tricycles for students identified by LCSD1 physiotherapy staff.
Gratitude packages for CRMC Hospital Screeners who screened visitors for COVID-19 upon entering CRMC.
A year of rides for the Veterans Trolley Project across the Cheyenne VA for military veterans with PTSD.
A project to fund a new deck for an eight-bed fourplex for homeless US military veterans in Cheyenne.
A storage shed for the Unaccompanied Student Initiative, which allows USI to accept more donations of bed frames, backpacks, school supplies and more.