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Visit Highlands, NC awards grants to two local organizations; More than $250,000 invested during the past fiscal year

Last updated on September 7, 2022

HIGHLANDS, N.C. – Visit Highlands, NC today announced its latest round of grants – $18,000 to support local nonprofit organizations.

Each year, Visit Highlands, NC supports local nonprofit organizations through its Tourism Grant Program and sponsorships. The grants are funded by occupancy taxes collected from guests staying in Highlands’ accommodations. A committee of volunteers, along with staff, reviews the grant applications and recommends approval to the Highlands Chamber of Commerce/Visit Highlands, NC Board of Directors.

On Sept. 7, the organization announced two new grants – the first to be awarded during the current fiscal year:

  • $6,000 to the Rotary Club of Highlands – Mountaintop to support and promote its Mountaintop Art and Craft Shows, and
  • $12,000 to the Highlands Biological Foundation to support and promote educational programming and outreach at the Highlands Nature Center.

    “It’s a privilege and an honor to invest these funds back into our community,” says Kaye McHan, executive director of the Highlands Chamber of Commerce/Visit Highlands, NC. “All of our grant recipients provide residents and visitors with important educational and cultural experiences that are vital to a thriving community. Together, we share a common goal of making Highlands a great place to live, work, do business and visit.”

    Between July 2021 and June 2022, this past fiscal year, Visit Highlands, NC awarded more than $256,521 to local nonprofit organizations through its Tourism Grant Program and sponsorships.

    Representatives from both grant recipient organizations were on hand this past Tuesday to receive the funds.

“This tourism grant from Visit Highlands, NC makes such an impact, by allowing the Highlands Biological Foundation to draw residents and visitors in the doors of the Highlands Nature Center for free, year-round educational programming focused on the natural history and incredible biodiversity of our region,” says Winter Gary, marketing manager of the Highlands Biological Foundation.

“This grant gives us the opportunity to bring people to our Mountaintop Art and Craft Shows who, in turn, support local businesses,” says Michael Lanzilotta, president of the Highlands Mountaintop Rotary Club, which hosts the two events each year. “Additionally, we invest back into our community funds raised through our shows. So, it’s a win-win-win.”

For more information about the Highlands Chamber of Commerce/Visit Highlands, NC or its Tourism Grant Program, call 828-526-5841 or visit highlandschamber.org.

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