KEYSER – The U.S. Wind Force Foundation Inc.has announced the recipients of the second round of grants from its Community Benefit Fund associated with the Pinnacle Wind Farm at NewPage.

KEYSER – The U.S. Wind Force Foundation Inc.has announced the recipients of the second round of grants from its Community Benefit Fund associated with the Pinnacle Wind Farm at NewPage.
Sixteen grants ranging from $250 to $3,000 and totaling $25,000 were allocated to local projects.
Twenty-two grant applications were received and evaluated by a local allocation committee made up of eight members of the community and chaired by Keyser resident Gary Wilson.
"I appreciate the continued commitment and the amount of effort the allocation committee exerted in its review of the grant applications. They did an outstanding job," Wilson said.
"We appreciate that U.S. Wind Force designed a process for allocating grant money that allowed for local decision-making," he added.
The directors and officers of the U.S. Wind Force Foundation extend a special thank you to the members of the allocation committee; Gary Wilson, chairman, Terry Stephens, vice chairman, Polly Hightower, secretary, Tammy Ashby, Bill Boggs, Bill Braithwaite, Patsy Koontz and Jennie Shaffer.
The grant recipients, in alphabetical order, are as follows:
- Burlington Volunteer Fire Department, $1,500, to be used for the purchase of rescue equipment - struts.
- City of Keyser, $3,000, to be used as matching funds for playground structure.
- City of Piedmont, $1,875 to assist with the construction of a pool pavilion.
- The Elk District Volunteer Fire Department Challenged Hunt Fund, $500 for hunting blinds for the physically disabled at Jennings Randolph Lake.
- The Elk Garden School PTO, $2,500 to assist with the construction of a quarter-mile walking track.
- Faith in Action Food Pantry, $1,000 to assist in purchasing food for needy families.
- Fort Ashby VFW Post 6667, $500, to assist with the construction of a youth baseball field.
- Fountain Gospel Chapel Back to School Bash, $250 to help purchase book bags for needy children.
Friends of Jennings Randolph Lake, Inc., $500, to be used toward camp store improvements.
- The Keyser Volunteer Fire Department, $1,500 toward the purchase of a thermal imager and other equipment.
- The Mineral County Campaign for KHS, $1,500 to assist with the payment of the lend/lease agreement with the Mineral County Board of Education.
- The Mineral County Family Resource Network, $2,000 to help support the three Energy Express sites.
- The Mineral County Historical Foundation, Inc., $2,500 to assist with the restoration at the Carskadon Mansion.
- New Creek Primary School, $500 for picnic tables at the outdoor instruction pavilion.
- Fort Ashby Chapter 4057 Daughters of the American Revolution, $2,500 to assist with restoration work at Ashby's Fort Museum in Fort Ashby.
- The Warm the Children Program, $1,875 to assist with the purchase of warm winter clothing for needy children.
Two of the 16 projects to receive grants, the 1755 Ashby's Fort Museum and the Carskadon Mansion, qualified as historic preservation projects and the grant amounts for these projects, totaling $5,000, will be funded from monies earmarked specifically for historic preservation projects. The work will be accomplished in coordination with the West Virginia Historic Preservation Office.
"We are pleased to see these resources going to worthy community projects. The people of Mineral County will continue to see the benefits of this voluntary stream of funding for many years to come," said Jim Cookman, president of U.S. Wind Force Foundation Inc.
Funding for the foundation's Community Benefit Fund comes from Pinnacle Wind, LLC, owner, and operator of the Pinnacle Wind Farm at NewPage. The Pinnacle project was jointly developed by U.S. Wind Force and Edison Mission Energy. The project agreed to provide $50,000 to the Community Benefit Fund when the project reached commercial operation status in early 2012 and an additional $20,000 each year for the life of the project.
Another $10,000 in funding was earmarked for historic preservation projects. Of the $10,000 earmarked for historic preservation projects, $5,000 was granted to the Mineral County Historical Foundation, Inc. during the 2011 grant cycle to fund certain improvements to the Carskadon Mansion, leaving the balance of $5,000 to be distributed for similar worthy projects during the 2012 grant cycle process.
Brad Christopher, site manager of the wind farm for Edison Mission Energy, said, "We are extremely pleased to be part of this community. It's nice to know that we can be of help to such worthy projects". 3
"It is really gratifying to see the community continuing to benefit from hosting a wind farm," noted Janice LaRue, president, Mineral County Commissioners.
U.S. Wind Force Foundation, Inc., a West Virginia nonprofit corporation, is organized exclusively for charitable purposes. Its primary purpose is to enhance the community by providing funding for projects related to education, historic preservation, public safety, economic development, public recreation, parks, playgrounds, athletic facilities, and other similar activities. It will provide funding to select not-for-profit community organizations, and communities, consistent with its char