September 16, 2021 - Milan, MI – Azalia Solar and Apex Clean Energy have named four local programs and organizations as recipients of Azalia Solar Community Grants.
The program, launched at the beginning of this year, supports community organizations making an impact in the following areas: Building Healthy Communities, Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability, and Promoting Education. Recipients from the programs first round of grants in March included Milan Seniors for Healthy Living, Aid in Milan, Moving Milan Forward, and the Monroe County Opportunity Program.
“As we continue working with the community to design the Azalia Solar project, we are proud to support some of the many incredible organizations that make the Milan area a great place to live,” said Brian O’Shea, Public Engagement Manager with Apex Clean Energy.
The Earl Galdfelter American Legion Post 268 will receive a grant to help prevent erosion and preserve their property located off Wabash Street. The Legion is currently fundraising to install a new seawall fence along the Ford Lake shoreline. Azalia Solar is proud to support Post 268 and its members to ensure they can continue supporting and honoring our military service members and veterans who have protected us and our freedoms.
"Earl Galdfelter American Legion Post 268 is very grateful for Azalia Solar's grant funding. We are a veteran service organization. We exist to serve veterans, their families, and our community through mutual helpfulness,” said Post Commander Josh Wieringa. “We serve our local area through fund raising for various reasons such as helping out local people in need or supporting the school district. We host blood drives and annual event such as Memorial Day Parade and Toys for Milan. We raise most of our funds through hall rentals and our open to the public bar and lounge."
A grant awarded to Symons Elementary School will help students study vermiculture and the importance of worms as natural composters. Using existing food waste from school lunches, students will tend to a colony of worms that will transform that waste into worm castings that can be used to support plant growth in and around the school
“Thank you to Azalia Solar for generously awarding us this grant,” said Elizabeth Miller teacher at Symons Elementary School. “Grant funding will allow us to purchase vermiculture supplies from Urban Worm Company along with picture books about the benefits of composting and vermiculture. Students will care for the worms/bins, document daily observations and interactions, as well as teach peers, staff, families, and the community the benefits of vermiculture. This hands-on science experience will engage students and pique interests in the areas of science, reading, writing, math, and social sciences. The worm bins will also work to make good use of food waste in our school.”
Supporting STEM programs and inspiring the next generation to enter the future STEM workforce is of particular importance in the solar industry, where solar photovoltaic installers are one of the fastest growing jobs in the country according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For this reason, Azalia Solar was excited to support the Milan High School FIRST Responders Robotics Team.
“The FIRST Responders, Team 5567 represents Milan High School, its mission is to engage students in real world activities in the fields of engineering, computer coding, electrical engineering, mechanical design, business, and marketing,” said Jennifer Glushyn Lead Mentor of Code Red Robotics. “The Code Red Robotics Team is supporting STEAM education throughout the Milan Area School District. This year, the high school team hopes to sponsor and support an additional Lego League and Lego League, Jr. FIRST Team at Symons and Paddock Elementary Schools and continue to support the two FTC middle school teams. As you can see, FIRST Robotics is much more than robots.”
In addition to STEM programs, Azalia Solar is proud to support the arts through a grant to the Milan High School Drum Line for the purchase of much-needed drum stands. The drum line has been a part of Milan High for over a decade and offers leadership opportunities for hundreds of Milan students interested in music and spreading community spirit everywhere they perform.
“We greatly appreciate the donation towards the Milan High School Drumline,” said Drumline Captain Devin Glushyn. “I have been an active drumline member for four years and a captain for two. I have loved to see the drumline grow over these few years in both number and experience. My devotion to our high school’s band program stems not only from my interest in music, but from the Milan community. From concerts to parades, the community loves to come out and see us whenever we perform. We would love to continue to make music and expand our program to include more frequent and complex shows. This grant will allow us to purchase drum stands for our instruments, making practices and performances more flexible and enjoyable for both the audience and the drumline. We are very grateful for the generous donation and will keep on making music for our community.”
Azalia Solar’s ongoing commitment is to be a strong community partner to the residents, local governments, and community organizations of the Greater Milan area. The Azalia Solar Community Grant Program will open an additional grant cycle to support community needs and local organizations later this year. To learn more or apply for a future grant, visit Azaliasolar.com/grant.