Local science center uses grant for upgrade

Center to use $1,600 for outdoor signage to increase visibility



The Palouse Discovery Science Center received a $1,600 grant from the pullman Chamber of Commerce that wil be used for new signs that are more colorful to increase their visibility to the community.

SHANEL HAYNES, Evergreen reporter

The Palouse Discovery Science Center will update its outdoor signage for the center after receiving a grant from the Pullman Chamber of Commerce.

Meri Joswiak, director of Discovery Science Center, said the center received $1,600 from the Pullman Chamber of Commerce.

She said the discovery center works with families and community partners across the Palouse to bring hands-on learning and science education to people of all ages.

“This donation will help make sure people can find us and feel welcomed and inspired the moment they set foot on our premises,” she said.

The new signage is designed with cool, clean colors and was printed by Fast Signs of Lewiston, she said.

Marie Dymkoski, executive director for Pullman Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber of Commerce has been fortunate in terms of finances over the past few years. She said this is partially due to new memberships and investment fundraisers.

She said due to the chamber’s recent increase in funds, the board wanted to find a way to invest back into the city of Pullman.

“As a board we sat down and talked about how we could give back to the community, and it started with the idea of the initiative Pullman 2040,” she said.

She said the board started Pullman 2040 to encourage community members to develop a collective vision to better the Pullman community. She said that as part of the initiative there are many projects in Pullman that need financial assistance to grow.

To help those projects get started the board decided to put together a fund of $50,000 a year that would go toward creating a grant for startup funding to help different organizations in the city of Pullman, she said.

The grant opportunity is open to organizations in Pullman, Dymkoski said. It’s in some cases open to for-profit businesses that would have an impact on the community through the Pullman 2040 initiative.

There is a committee made up of several board members who receive the grant proposal and determine the impact on the community the funds would have, she said. The board then votes on whether to accept the grant proposal. She said the board has given out several investment grants over the past year to other organizations in the Pullman community.

The application for the investment fund is located on the chamber’s website, she said. The minimum amount to apply for is $250 and the maximum amount is $10,000. The application then goes to the chamber and is sent to the voting committee of chamber members.

The group then meets to review the application for approval. She said if the organization applying for the grant is asking for more than $5,000, the organization will be asked to give a presentation to the board.

After an organization receives their funding for their project, the Chamber of Commerce asks that the organization makes it known to the community that their project was funded by the chamber.

In many cases there are some small organizations in Pullman that do not have larger investors, but they have great ideas for projects and events that would enhance the community, she said.

She said when businesses join the Pullman Chamber of Commerce as members, they want to see that the board is doing something proactive with their money and putting it toward the community.

“It’s our pleasure to grant people funding to start, finish or even complete an entire project, it’s our way of giving back,” she said.