Do-good projects to benefit from NSEDC’s $150,000

The Nome Common Council held its first session on doling out this year’s NSEDC Community Benefit Share to help organizations, who applied for a part of the $150,000 for their programs.
Norton Sound Economic Development Corp. requires the Council collect input on priorities and best uses from the public in an open publicized meeting before dividing and awarding the money to good causes. A dozen organizations improving quality of life and safety got their proposals into Nome City Hall by the deadline last week.
The Council heard presentations on the requests at a work session before their regular meeting on Monday, Jan. 9. The Council expects to announce the successful applications and the amounts at the Jan. 23 regular meeting.
These programs got their name into the hat and almost all made presentations Monday evening:
Nome Northstar Swim Team asked for $18,250 to supplement the swimmers’ dues of $390 each, most of which goes to the City for pool use, leaving only $62 for minimally paying certified coaches and paying a Lifeguard II and travel expenses to attend meets. Last year the team served 25 members and this year, 45 swimmers, in a growing program, according to Brenda Menadelook, treasurer.
Bering Sea Women’s Group applied for $20,000 to help provide a safe haven, meals referral and legal advocacy, to name a few services, for growing numbers of women and children who are victims of violence and sexual assault.
Nome Emergency Shelter Team, N.E. S. T. requested $20,000 to help fund a homeless shelter and continue a homeless prevention program and other social services. Last winter N.E.S.T opened for 180 nights and served 201 individuals.
Nome Community Center sought money for four programs—Children’s Home, $15,000, for state-required storage of emergency supplies and renovations including laundry facility; Food Bank, $15,000, for floor repairs and purchase of bare minimums of essential foods as contributions have been decreasing; Boys &Girls Club, $15,000 for plumbing and drain repairs; and Camp Crave, $10,000, a summer camp at Bear Creek, where activities include tobacco education and prevention, according to Rhonda Schneider, Nome Community Center Executive Director. The Boys and Girls Club serves an average of 60 youth per day for safe activities, homework help and meals, while 77 children attended Camp Crave last year. The Children’s Home can serve 10 individuals, and has taken on additional according to need.
Nome High School Swim Team asked for $5,000. The team, 11 members in 2016, raises funds at the Firemen’s Carnival, Stroke-n-Croak, sports concessions and parent contributions. The swimmers need the $5,000 to transport and provide housing for the team’s trip to the annual Fairbanks regional swim meet, according to Kirsten Bey, volunteer team coach.
Nome Youth Hockey Association applied for $10,000, to hire rink supervisors for 50 hours per week. The rink supervisors maintain the boards, nets and gates, maintain skate inventory, assist in sizing and tying kids’ shoelaces, monitor activities on the rink and the warmup shed, clean the facility and assist with school programs, according to the application filed by Mitch Erickson. The program has used volunteers for 13 years, a good deal as long as persons were available, but the program is growing, with 40 kids attending on weekends and on “no school” days.
Nome Kennel Club applied for $5,000 to supply a  purse for the Nome-Council 200 Sled Dog Race, an Iditarod qualifying race held shortly after the Iditarod race annually. The club hopes that with NSEDC assistance, the club can build greater participation and lure Iditarod mushers to stay to participate, according to Tom Jamgochian, who presented the request.
James Ventress, Nome Covenant Church associate pastor for youth ministry, asked about the same amount as last year, $5,300, for the Checkpoint Youth Center. The meeting place opens three nights a week for homework help, chatting, hanging out in a safe place, and nutritious meals. The center needs a $1,300-match for the same sum received from the church, plus $2,000 for heating and $2,000 for utility costs, according to Ventress.
The Iditarod Trail Committee asked for $10,000 in support for the 1,049-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which runs annually since 1973 and ends in Nome, a boon to local business, according to Councilman Stan Andersen.
NSEDC is a private non-profit corporation that represents 15 member communities and more than 8,700 people in the Bering Strait region of Northwestern Alaska. NSEDC is one of six Community Development Quota organizations in Alaska. CDQs came into existence to bring economic development to local communities from fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.
NSEDC keeps a tight rein on the use of Community Benefit Share funds. Organizations receive installments—50 percent, 40 percent, and 10 percent. After each portion, the organization must provide spending records to City of Nome before receiving another portion of the money.
In turn, the City must turn in all documentation for recipients’ expenditures for 2015 before NSEDC will turn loose the 2016 CBS. Since 2001, Nome organizations have received a total of $1,550,000 in CBS program funds.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

The Nome Nugget

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