The Danville Life Saving Crew, a fixture in Danville for 67 years, was named this year’s recipient of the B.R. Ashby, M.D. Award for Outstanding Community Service during a ceremony at the Danville Regional Foundation on Thursday.
Danville Regional Foundation CEO Karl Stauber said the Crew responded to more than 5,700 calls in 2012, trained 460 people how to perform CPR and drove more than 80,000 miles helping people in the region in its missions to save lives, administer first aid and teach safety.
The Crew’s board president, E. Budge Kent Jr., said the money will be used to pay off money owed on a crash truck.
Crew Chief Robbie Woodall said paying off the debt will help the organization’s operating budget tremendously.
“We’re paying $1,200 a month just in interest,” Woodall said. “It frees us up to buy other equipment.”
Woodall said the Crew currently has a matching grant through the George and Sarah Buchanan Fund to help pay off the crash truck. As of last May, Woodall said, the Crew owed $430,000, which it and the Buchanan Fund have paid down to $103,000.
“With this and the matching grant from them, it will be paid off,” Woodall said.
Tommy Pruett, the Crew’s executive director, agreed that the impact the award will make on the group’s $800,000 annual budget will be “huge,” and let them focus on replacing other equipment, such as the annual replacement of an ambulance that costs $180,000.
Stauber said the Danville Life Saving Crew was one of 12 eligible nonprofits nominated for this year’s grant.
“Many excellent organizations were nominated, but we can only choose one,” Stauber said. He recommends that any group that was not chosen this year apply again in the next grant cycle.
The award originated in 2009 to both honor Dr. B.R. Ashby, the founding member of the board of the Danville Regional Foundation, and nonprofits that have a “spirit of caring and generosity,” Stauber said, as well as accessibility to its clients and ability to meet community needs of clients in Danville, Pittsylvania County and Caswell County, N.C.
Prior winners of the award have been God’s Pit Crew, Danville Church-Based Tutorial Program and Caswell Parish.
The $50,000 grant differs from many that non-profits receive in that there are no strings attached, Stauber said. Most non-profit grants are awarded for use in specific projects, while this one allows groups to use the money for general operating expenses.
For information about this award and other grant opportunities, contact the foundation’s senior program office, Starling McKenzie, at (434) 483-4273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thibodeau reports for the Danville Register & Bee.