By Anne Chunko
In 2006, the USTA will offer $5,000 in matching grants to fairs across the US for promotional efforts. Grants of up to $500 per county will be awarded based on originality of the project, prospects for success, need and other factors.
Local fairs should determine their promotional projects, form a budget and secure matching funds to pay for half of the program from another source. Projects could include giveaways, advertising, contests, floats in local parades, handicapping education, publicists fees and any others, limited only by imagination. Then, they can apply for a matching grant of up to $500 through the USTA Matching Funds Grant program. Individual counties or multiple counties, county racing circuits, and/or local harness horsemen’s associations may join together to submit an application. Applications were mailed to all fairs and harness horsemen’s associations on February 17.
Applications must be received by the USTA on or before April 14, 2006 at 4:30 p.m. EST. The USTA Fair Committee will review all applications received by the deadline, and approved applicants will be notified the week of May 8, 2006. The USTA will pay half of the approved funds at the time of notification. The other half will be sent immediately after the USTA receives a “Final Report” documenting the degree of success for the promotion.
“The idea is to assist the fairs at a local level, to promote locally,” T C Lane, USTA Director of Officials, said. Lane, part of the Fair Committee that created the Matching Funds Grant, added, “Through this program, we hope a lot of great ideas will be generated and then they can be shared, so all fairs can benefit from the promotions if they want to use them.”
Groups interested in applying for the USTA Matching Fund Grant may access the application online at http://www.ustrotting.com/trackside/rulings/ustamatchingfundgrant.pdf. For more information or to have an application faxed, contact T C Lane at 1-877-800-8782, ext. 3203, or email email@example.com.