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Facade Enhancement: $10,000 Grant Awarded
The downtown Tiffin Facade Enhancement Grant Program granted Old Trinity, Tiffin a grant of $10,000. The Grant Program began in 2014. Since then, the program has distributed more than 1.2 million dollars towards revitalizing the town of Tiffin. The grant typically goes to businesses, but this year the committee broke the norm and granted Old Trinity the maximum amount. The grant provides a 50 percent match of funds for eligible exterior improvements throughout the downtown Tiffin historic district. Old Trinity will use their grant money to restore the stained-glass windows and to install storm windows to protect the glass. Currently, the church’s windows are covered with plexiglass. However, some experts are saying that the plexiglass, instead of protecting stainedglass windows, could actually lead to eventual damage of the ornate glass underneath. The rector of the parish, the Rev. Aaron Gerlach, said the key to earning grants such as this is getting involved with the community. Gerlach and others in the parish have been actively involved in the city for years. Gerlach believes the church’s involvement in the community made it far easier for them to be awarded the grant. “The downtown community sees us as an integral part of the community because we’ve been involved,” Gerlach said. He believes that this involvement caused the community to want to improve the facade of everything, not just businesses in downtown Tiffin. “It doesn’t have to and shouldn’t just be the priests out there getting involved with the community.” The head of the program, Amy Reinhart, also recommended a grant for sacred spaces to Gerlach. While Gerlach does not believe that Old Trinity would qualify for this grant, he thinks other parishes in the Diocese of Ohio might. While grant information can be found fairly easily, the best way to be considered for various types of funding, according to Gerlach, is through interpersonal communication and relationships that are built through community involvement. “Try to find synergies in the community that your parish can work with,” Gerlach said. Gerlach and Old Trinity are excited to begin the project on their stained-glass windows.
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