Thirteen-year-old Alice McKnight won a record $1,397 at the January Awesome Bend Pitch Night with a proposal called Canine Care Kits. Five finalists presented ideas to make Bend more awesome to room full of nearly 100 people at the event held on January 19 at Deschutes Brewery.
McKnight won the $1,000 grant from ten trustees who each donated $100 to make her idea a reality. In addition, she won the audience favorite award of $397. With the money, McKnight will build and distribute canine care kits to homeless people in Bend. The kits will include dog food, dog chews, a leash, a foam sleeping pad and a collapsible water bowl.
McKnight had noticed that many homeless people in Bend have dogs, but she worried about how they were able to care for their dogs. “Caring for a dog can make you feel needed and wanted and can take your mind off your problems,” she said. “These kits will help homeless people keep their dogs healthier and happier, which in turn will keep the humans healthy and happy too.”
McKnight is on a leadership team in her seventh grade class at REALMS. She will likely recruit classmates to help and plans to work with the Bend Community Center to distribute the kits.
Awesome Bend is now accepting applications for proposals that will make Bend an even better place to live, work or play for its next quarterly grant at www.awesomebend.org. The application deadline is April 1. Finalists will be notified and invited to present three-minute pitches at the next Awesome Bend Pitch Night which will be held April 19, 6pm-8:30pm, at the Deschutes Brewery Tap Room, 1044 NW Bond Street in downtown Bend. The event is free and open to the public.
What Is Awesome Bend?
Awesome Bend’s mission is to inspire and support ideas that make Bend an even better place to live, work and play.
The guidelines for grant selection include:
1. The project must be feasible and completed with $1,000 within three months of the award.
2. The money cannot be used for personal expenses or general operating expenses for an established charity.
3. Grantees agree to return to the next Pitch Night and tell the community about their project, thus inspiring future awesomeness.
(Photo above: Alice McKnight | Photo Courtesy of Awesome Bend)