Making a Difference Close to Home

Making a Difference Close to Home

I loved seeing the smile on Doug Boone, CEO of Premier Communications in Iowa, as he sat between the Governor of Iowa and the CEO of The Boeing Company at an airport opening a few weeks ago. That smile is well earned because as a local community leader, Doug put a fair amount of effort into working statewide to have a small regional airport open in their part of northwest Iowa. It’s evident that this economic development event was significant enough to the state and local economy to bring out the “big guns” for the opening ceremony and Premier Communications had a seat at the head table for it. That’s truly taking ownership of the role that local leading businesses like rural broadband providers can play in making economic development a priority and really making a difference close to home.

The same thought struck me today when I was reading through the Foundation for Rural Service’s recent release of their $50,000 in local community grants that were just awarded. Thanks to the amazing support of Ericsson Inc, NISC, Womble Bond and Dickinson, Mapcom Systems, RTFC, Toly Digital as well as NTCA members who endorsed the applications, these grants will go a long way to supporting the vitality of life in rural America and serves as another piece to the economic development puzzle.

Kudos to the communities noted below:

  • 5 Loaves Food Pantry (Twin Lakes, Tenn.)

Awarded $4,608 for basic technology classes and Wi-Fi access.

Endorsed by Twin Lakes Telephone Cooperative Corporation.

  • Clifton Community Library (Cranberry Lake, N.Y.)

Awarded $1,060 for the creation of a Wi-Fi hot-spot in Newton Falls.

Endorsed by SLIC Network Solutions.

  • Face to Face Recovery (Jesup, Ga.)

Awarded $3,800 for a start-up distance learning GED education program within the Wayne County jail system.

Endorsed by ATC Broadband.

  • Family Resource Center (Lac Du Flambeau, Wis.)

Awarded $4,950 for the creation of a sustainable telehealth program for the Lac Du Flambeau Indian Reservation and Community.

Endorsed by Price County Telephone Company.

  • Gervais High School (Gervais, Ore.)

Awarded $4,944 for the purchase of 12 Google Chromebooks, carrying cases and wall-mounted screens to enhance and further educational programming.

Endorsed by Gervais Telephone Company.

  • Greater West Central Public Library District (Augusta, Ill.)

Awarded $5,000 for the purchase of nine desktop computers and five iPads to be distributed throughout the library district’s five locations.

Endorsed by Adams Telephone Cooperative.

  • Mercer County Ambulance Service (Hazen, N.D.)

Awarded $3,000 to upgrade their four laptops to provide better care to the 8,000 people in their service area.

Endorsed by West River Telecom.

  • Moundridge Public Library (Moundridge, Kan.)

Awarded $3,942 to add three computers to its public computer work station. This will give the library a total of four computers, nearer to the state-recommended six for a library of its size.

Endorsed by Moundridge Communications Network.

  • Oakhurst Community College Outreach Center (OCCC) (Oakhurst, Calif.)

Awarded $5,000 to improve the Center’s distance learning opportunities by installing distance learning equipment for high school enrichment and dual enrollment classes. The new equipment will allow OCCC to link to distance learning programs at other community colleges.

Endorsed by Sierra Telephone.

  • Owsley County Action Team (Booneville, Ky.)

Awarded $5,000 to the Booneville Teleworks Hub. The Teleworks Hub helps train local residents with the intent of finding them telework jobs with companies throughout the world.

Endorsed by Peoples Rural Telephone Company.

  • Screven County Community Collaborative, Inc. (Sylvania, Ga.)

Awarded $5,000 for the purchase of tablets, hotspot equipment, laptops, and a smartboard to be used their “Learning on Wheels” tech bus.

Endorsed by Planters Telephone Cooperative.

  • Toole County Health Foundation (Marias Medical Center) (Shelby, Mont.)

Awarded $3,600 for the purchase of a mobile telemedicine cart.

Endorsed by Three Rivers Communications.

If your community could use an FRS grant, be sure to contact FRS at for more information.

It truly takes a village to maintain a village!


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