NWFC GRANT PROGRAM (Effective May 3, 2017)
The program offers four tiers of support for the individual athlete:
Class 1: International travel to authorized competitions for fencers ranked in the top 8 in the senior, top 3 in the junior or cadet national point standings.
Class 2: Domestic travel to authorized competitions for fencers ranked 9th through 16th in the senior, 4th through 8th in the junior and cadet, and 1st in the Y14 national point standings.
Class 3: Domestic travel to authorized competitions for fencers ranked 17th through 24th in the senior, 7th through 12th in the junior or cadet, and 2nd in the Y14 national point standings the national point standings.
Eligible applicants must meet the following requirements:
• Be a US citizen or a permanent resident alien.
• Be a current and active member of NWFC for at least one year.
• Member’s account must be in good standing. Members whose accounts are in arrears (3 months or more) must make arrangements to repay the arrears before applying for a grant and must be current with their payments under any repayment plan to receive funds.
• Member must have volunteered within the past year.
• Completion of the grant application and submission of required documents.
Primary award criteria include the following:
• Letter of recommendation by fencing coach with endorsement from head coach or letter of recommendation by head coach.
• Current national standing.
• Results from the previous year.
• Fencing accomplishments and goals.
• Training and competition schedules for the grant year.
• Financial wherewithal.
• Grants are not carried forward from one season to the next.
• Any subsidies or grants the recipient receives from any other organization (e.g., USA Fencing, any public benefit corporation, foundation or business) for traveling to competitions must be disclosed and any additional monies received must be returned to the grant committee.
• Bills or receipts must be tendered to the chairperson of the grant committee for approval.
• Program funding level.
• Grant value.
• Number of grants per year.
Applicants must be prepared to provide the following documentation:
1. If employed, a copy of pay stub(s) covering the most recent 30 days.
2. Copy of W-2 forms for the prior year.
3. Copy of first two pages of latest personal federal tax return.
4. If a minor, a copy of the parents’ or guardians’ first two pages of their latest personal federal tax returns.
5. If you are not a U.S. citizen, a copy of your current passport or INS paperwork indicating current status.
6. Resume, including your results from the previous year, fencing accomplishments and goals, and current national standing.
7. Letter of recommendation from the head coach or a letter from your fencing coach with an endorsement by the head coach.
8. Training and competition schedules for the grant year.
Note: Social security numbers, financial account numbers, full names of minors (list initials only), and month and day of birth should be removed or otherwise redacted from all documents submitted to the Committee.
The grant application can be obtained in paper at the front desk or downloaded and completed here.
All applications should be directed to the attention of the grant committee in a sealed envelope. You may mail or deliver the completed application to the front desk. The application must be completed in full and must be legible. The application authorizes said committee to verify the information contained therein and to verify the fencing credentials and references. A determination is generally made by the committee within 30 days after receipt of the application. Submission of an application is in no way a guarantee that a grant will be awarded.
Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Grants are not carried forward from one season to the next. Members must reapply every season, if further assistance is needed.
History of the Grant Program
Une Touche de Portland, Inc. (“UTDP”) merged with Northwest Fencing Center (“NWFC”) in December 2009. UTDP was a qualified amateur sports organization, whose purposes were to foster regional, national or international amateur fencing competitions and to support and develop amateur athletes for such competitions. Prior to the merger, UTDP sponsored weekly training sessions, camps, and tournaments that benefitted NWFC and the Oregon Division. It also raised funds and procured services and supplies for the construction and provisioning of the Northwest Fencing Center and the Pit of Despair. UTDP leased NWFC’s facility for its tournaments and subsidized NWFC’s rent for its first three years of operation at the center. With the merger, UTDP brought over its assets, two of its officers, its tournaments, and its grant program, which program offered grants to elite athletes for tuition assistance, training, competitions, and other miscellaneous projects (e.g., outreach programs, scoring machines, reel systems, wheelchair frames, etc.).
Pursuant to the merger, a permanent and independent committee was established to administer the grant program. Why this type of committee? Because NWFC is operated to benefit the public, not private, interests. Its income or assets are not permitted to unduly benefit a person who has a close relationship to NWFC. Accordingly, the committee was set up to not have an insider serving on the committee. An insider is a person who has a personal or private interest in the activities of the organization such as an officer, director, or a key employee.
In 2011, the committee developed NWFC’s first-ever scholarship program, which was set up to be a tuition assistance program. In 2015, the committee also assisted with the development of the application and criteria for the reduced pricing program.
Composition, Role, and Duties of the Grant Committee
The committee is currently composed of the following individuals:
Suzanne Marx, Chairperson (former officer of UTDP and current member of NWFC)
Julia Leszko (former officer of UTDP and former member of NWFC)
Raoul Rodriguez (former president and member of NWFC)
Archie Cates (former member of NWFC)
The chairperson serves as the primary point of contact for the committee. Direct inquiries to: Suzmarx1@comcast.net.
All members of the committee are volunteers. They are not employed by nor do they have any conflict of interest with NWFC. Committee members are not eligible or entitled to receive grants. The committee has overall responsibility for the management and disbursement of grant funds. It conducts most of its meetings by e-mail. Board liaisons have served on the committee, but they are not allowed to vote on any of the applications. The chairperson does not vote unless there is a tie. The committee consults with the board periodically on its forms and policies and prepares regular reports of its activities, as appropriate, to the board. An annual report is provided at the annual meeting.
Purpose of Grants
As fencers progress in the sport, the committee understands that their associated costs for training and competition increase substantially. The committee has undertaken and is committed to supporting the growth of world-class fencers at NWFC by offering financial assistance to promising athletes and assisting the coaches and NWFC with special projects to help fulfill its missions.
Confidentiality and Records
The committee takes confidentiality very seriously and has mechanisms in place to safeguard the personal and sensitive information of the applicants. Each committee member has signed a non-disclosure and confidentiality policy.
Any financial or nationality documents submitted with the grant application are reviewed first by the chairperson for no other purpose but to determine eligibility of consideration for support from the grant fund. Any sensitive or confidential information is then redacted, if not already done so by the applicant, before it is shared with the other members of the committee. No such information is ever shared with anyone outside of the committee. Once a determination is made by the committee, the chairperson destroys or returns the financial and nationality documents to the applicant.
In order for NWFC to properly account for the grants and to comply with applicable laws, a copy of the award notification letter is provided by the committee to the president and executive director of NFWC. The executive director will also receive check requests from the committee.
The chairperson maintains all records of the committee. Records may include, but are not limited, to correspondence, applications, award and disbursement documentation, selection criteria, minutes, and related materials. The committee is developing a document retention and destruction policy, which will be available upon request shortly.
The committee is proud of its accomplishments and the impact it has made for promising and deserving athletes vying for world teams as well as the other grants it has made to NWFC in the form of wheelchair frames, reel systems, and other special projects. Some words of praise from past recipients are provided below:
“Thank You, Thank You, So much for your wonderful work and patience!” 2009-10 Award Recipient
“Thank you so much for your help and support of my application for funding for this year. I’m immensely grateful for it, and it means a lot. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities NWFC has given me….” 2012-13 Award Recipient