Whitesburg KY

Cornetts award grants through organization

A Letcher County couple have announced a $5,000 grant to help a Berea College program whose work reaches Letcher County.

Dean and Nina Cornett of Blackey, whose Eco Outpost organization is a not-for-profit 501c3 corporation, awarding the money to Berea College’s Sustainability and Environmental Studies Program.

Students participating in the program have worked in various Letcher County government offices during past summers, and helped develop a web site for the Letcher County Sheriff’s Department.

“Dean and Nina and their organization have been long-standing supporters of Berea’s program,” said Richard K. Olson, director of the Sustainability and The Cornetts say the mission Environmental Studies Program at Berea. “They have been instrumental in helping us to accomplish the goals we strive to reach. Their numerous contributions provide students with the opportunity to participate in hands on projects, travel, and experience first hand many problems and develop solutions. Their direct effort has given us real leverage to our base program. In addition to their monetary contributions, they have allowed our students to experience Letcher County, and through their stories, teaching and guidance they have made Letcher County an early model of sustainability and a worthwhile program. Berea College is fortunate to have them as supporters.” of Eco-Outpost is to promote and highlight the progressive efforts of individuals and organizations who are attempting to serve to the betterment of the Appalachia.

The couple say they expect to annouce soon a $1,000 grant to go toward the restoration of a historic church in Letcher County and a $1,000 grant to help restore a historic Civil War cemetery located here.

The Cornetts say they recognize the importance of historic restoration as a way to attract tourism and further additional economic development efforts in Appalachia.

“We recognize the importance of maintaining and protecting historic sites in Letcher County and the state of Kentucky as a means in which to attract tourists and interest from all over the world,” Dean Cornett said.

The couple earlier this year awarded a $5,000 grant to help pay for the renovation of the Calvary College/Stuart Robinson School campus near Blackey.

Currently under renovation, the campus is being developed to provide an active place for community gatherings. The Calvary campus is one of many programs developed by Lonnie and Belinda Riley, co-directors of Meridzo Center Ministries.

“Thanks cannot express how we feel and the true impact of their gift. It will assist the community and beyond,” said Lonnie Riley.

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