By John Toole
---- — PELHAM — Pelham Community Spirit is doing more for the community than ever before.
The group recently announced nine grants for community projects totaling more than $5,000.
“This year, we had anticipated giving $3,000 in grants, but because of the overwhelming amount of requests, we extended that to over $5,000,” Spirit member Charlene Takesian said.
The grants brought to more than $20,000 the amount the Spirit has given through the past five years.
The nine grants are the most awarded by the group. The previous high was five grants in 2009.
“The Pelham Community Spirit group is probably one of the most underappreciated groups in town,” said Lucy Wilkerson, chairman of Pelham ACES.
ACES had asked the Spirit for funds to help replace one missing and one broken bench at the Veterans Park memorial.
Wilkerson also volunteers with Cub Scout Pack 610, which she said asked for a grant to help fund improvements at Raymond Park Lodge, where Scouts have activities.
“They are a driving force behind so many initiatives to raise community pride,” Wilkerson said.
The Spirit announced the grants at the conclusion of the summer concert series it organizes at the Village Green.
The organization is organizing its annual Festival of Trees, the prime benefit for the group held during the Christmas holidays.
Grants from the Spirit also are helping the high school booster club, Razorbacks football and cheer teams, Friends of the Library, the Senior Center, Pelham Community Coalition and John H. Hargreaves Memorial VFW Post 10722.
The VFW got a grant for a canopy and banner to be used at events throughout the year.
The Senior Center asked for a grant to help expand transportation service an extra day.
Takesian, a state representative from Pelham, said the Spirit meets the third Thursday of the month at the VFW Hall on Main Street.
Anyone is welcome to attend the meetings at 7 p.m., she said.