By Pete Smith
Often times the actions of township government go ignored by most of the public given that its budget and responsibilities are dwarfed by those of city and county governments.
But once a year the Clay Township Trustee, Douglas Callahan, determines the excess revenue the township has collected and the board doles out the money as grants to charitable institutions that improve the lives of Carmel residents in highly impactful – and often times unseen – ways.
This year organizations made requests for about $330,000, but the township didn’t have enough money to go around, board member Matt Snyder said.
“It gets harder and harder every year as more people ask for money,” he said.
For groups that do receive funding, like Meals on Wheels, the grant helps fund critical services such as funding meals service and covering the cost of the food for people unable to afford it.
“We’re so grateful,” said Executive Director Beth Gehlhausen. “We couldn’t do the work we do without the support of the trustee and the board.”
For the Carmel Ambassadors it could mean the difference between a trip to Europe or staying home. The group has a policy where if not all the members can afford to go, then none go.
Ambassadors director Lamont Kuskye said the grants cover a huge percentage of the group’s costs.
“It means a tremendous amount for our summer reading program,” said Ruth Nisenshal, of the Carmel Clay Public Library Foundation, referring to the township grant.
The funding helps provide eight weeks of intense literacy programs that kids tackle on their own time while school is out of session.
Every year Clay Township distributes the excess revenue it collects to various charitable organizations that are required to spend the grants to the betterment of the township.
Carmel Clay Historical Society $6,000
Carmel Dads’ Club $30,000
Promising Futures $5,000
Hamilton County Alliance $1,000
Hamilton County Leadership Academy $1,000
Meals on Wheels $30,000
Booth Tarkington Theatre $2,500
Carmel Exchange Program $2,000
Carmel Clay Public Library $19,300
Carmel Sister Cities $1,000
Carmel Community Players $5,000
Trinity Free Clinic $30,000
National Alliance on Mental Illness $400
Gleaners Food Bank $10,000
Chauncies Place $7,000
Carmel High School Ambassadors $8,000