Vitale Foundation awards grants to local organizations

Several local organizations are to benefit from funding for major projects thanks to grants from the G.L. Vitale Foundation. An astronomy observatory in Galesburg will be a reality in the next few years. The project at Knox College was awarded $100,000 from the Vitale Foundation. Overall the project is estimated to cost $500,000 altogether. Knox College’s Department of Physics and Astronomy plans to renovate dome on the rooftop of the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center. The renovation will create a larger, permanent observatory that will include classroom space and a viewing platform for a total occupancy of 50 people. Currently, only a few stargazers at a time will fit. The facility will be available to Knox students, local K-12 students, and service organizations. Knox has already raised $200,000 towards the project.
Camp Big Sky in Farmington which provides education, training and skills development to children and adults with disabilities with outdoor activities was awarded $20,000. The funding for the camp will go towards a new concrete walkway and parking area for visitors. Last year, over 2,300 visitors from 12 counties in Illinois came to Camp Big Sky – nearly 500 from Knox County.
Other organizations awarded grants include the Knox County United way with $10,000 going towards the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and $1,000 towards Christmas in Action. Since 2011, the Vitale Foundation has awarded $986,508 to various community organizations.