Lowe gifts boost local non-profit groups

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The Huntsville Times

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By Pat Ammons Newcomb
Huntsville Times staff writer

HudsonAlpha, Space Center get $100,000 eachLowe Award

The Jane K. Lowe Charitable Foundation has announced its annual distribution of grants, with almost $660,000 going to local nonprofit organizations.

The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and U.S. Space & Rocket Center received the two top-tier grants of $100,000 each, with $50,000 going to five organizations and a third-level amount of $20,901 each for 10 more programs.

Most of the grants are to help education- and health-related programs, in keeping with Lowe’s interests in her lifetime, said John Wynn, a local attorney and foundation trustee.

"Our emphasis has been primarily in those two areas" over the history of the trust, which was established following Lowe’s death in 1997. Agencies that focus on the arts, animals and science have also been recipients.

Each year, the foundation makes a distribution to six named beneficiaries – the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Randolph School, Agnes Scott College, Vanderbilt University, Huntsville Boys Club Trust and Endowment Fund, and Girls Inc. of Huntsville.

The remaining 40 percent of the amount available for annual distribution goes to organizations chosen by the trustees. This year, the foundation received 88 grant requests.

The International Services Council of Alabama is a first-time recipient, receiving a third-tier grant this year.

The organization will use the money for two educational programs that promote international awareness, said Luba Cehelska, the council’s executive director.

One is a speaker series the council is doing with UAH. The Global Perspectives Institute’s first event will take place Sept. 1, with U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, speaking about the importance of international relationships. The grant will also provide materials to elementary school teachers to help them promote cultural awareness.