Rescue squad grants to benefit 12 community organizations

Michael HowlettStaff Writer

March 29, 2013

The Hillsville Rescue Squad, which has been inactive since 2006, took the last step in dissolving as a corporation on March 14 by dispensing all its monetary assets in the forms of grants to 12 community organizations.

“The rescue squad was around a long time, and it helped a lot of people. It’s sad it’s gone,” said Larry South, the squad’s president, prior to the presentation of grant checks. “I hope this money helps more folks.”

Receiving grants of $3,000 each were the Carroll County Christmas Fund, Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, Carroll Wellness Center, Galax Volunteer Fire Department, Gospel Light Christian Camp, Hale-Wilkinson-Care Home Foundation, Hope House, Hillsville Lions Club, Tri-area Pregnancy Resource Center, Twin County Humane Society, Twin County Prevention Coalition and Hillsville VFW.

In order to receive a grant, an organization had to be an incorporated non-profit that serves the immediate Hillsville area. Grant proposals were judged by members of the rescue squad and the squad’s ladies auxiliary.

A drawing was then held for the remaining $6.30 in rescue squad assets. The Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Home Foundation was the winner. Elizabeth Huff, the organization’s president, said the grant money would be used to help pay for painting of the third-floor rooms.

“It’ll cost us about $5,000 to get it all done, but this will pay to get part of it done,” said Huff.

Bill Webb, president of the Hillsville Lions Club called the grant “a tremendous boost” to the Lions Eye Clinic of the Twin Counties. The clinic serves needy citizens who are without medical insurance by providing vision testing and a written prescription, as well as financial help in obtaining glasses. The clinic is a joint operating of the Lions Clubs in Hillsville, Galax, Fries and Independence.

“We need $15,000 to purchase two new pieces of eye scanning equipment, and this will put us within $2,000 to $2,500 of our goal,” said Webb.

Presently, the eye clinic provides scanning for just kindergarten through second grade, but the new scanning equipment will allow the clinic to broaden its reach.

“The new equipment will allow us to do kindergarten through all ages,” noted Webb.

Dennis Ward, who has been working with the Carroll County Christmas Fund since 1997 said, “We’re really excited to get the money and appreciate it very much.”

Ward said the fund delivered 630 food boxes last year. In addition, there are toys for children, a Bible furnished by the Gideon’s and coats furnished by different organizations, which the fund cleans before giving them to needy citizens.

“We just try to make Christmas brighter for the less fortunate, and this will be a tremendous help,” he said.

All boxes of food, toys and other items go into families in Carroll County.

According to Betty Sutton of the Twin County Humane Society their grant will be used for educational programs in Carroll County schools, while Dawn Holshouser, vice president of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, said what program will benefit from their grant hasn’t been determined.