The USCA was selected to administer the Darwin Curtis Fund Grant Program on behalf of The Chicago Community Trust in 2012. This is an annual grant program that matches funds for projects designed to “support and encourage participation by the general public in the sport of curling.” Most grants are awarded in amounts of $5,000.00 or less. During the 2016-17 grant cycle, $25,000 is available to be awarded.
Grants may be awarded in two different categories, Growth & Development and Bricks & Mortar. Growth & Development grants are targeted toward programs with the potential to grow the sport in the community. The following are examples of projects considered eligible:
- Recruitment of new customers;
- Retention of current customers;
- Training of novice / intermediate curlers including youth, juniors, or adults; and
- Awareness / marketing campaigns that will promote the sport.
Bricks & Mortar grant awards focus on capital acquisitions necessary to build the business of curling at the community level. The following are examples of projects considered eligible:
- Refrigeration equipment; i.e. compressors, chillers, condensers;
- Ice area; i.e. de-humidifiers, heaters, monitoring equipment, scrapers;
- Renovations; i.e. accessibility; or,
- New construction; i.e. new curling arenas, another sheet of ice.
Applications are not restricted to the examples provided in either category. The USCA is always seeking new and creative ideas for the growth of the sport.
Grant applications are typically available in April of each year and are distributed to all club presidents. Download a copy of the 2016-17 application here. The program is open to any organization possessing 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status. All applications require a commitment of at least 50% of the total cost of the project from the applicant. If you have questions about the program, contact Christy Hering or (715) 344-1199, Ext. 209, with any questions.
A grant from the 2012-13 funding year was used by the San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club to enhance their youth programming.