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Each week “At Our Best” highlights the achievements of those in our community. It includes honors, awards and other recognition that is being earned by local residents. Please send or deliver such information, along with pictures of those honored, to the newspaper in care of news clerk Jane Stoltz, 1837 N.W. Circle Blvd., Corvallis, OR 97333 or news@gtconnect.com.

OSU ROTC wins challenge competition

The Army ROTC at Oregon State University took first place in the annual Task Force West Ranger Challenge Competition, which took place Nov. 2 and 3 at Camp Rilea near Warrenton.

This is the first time Oregon State has won the competition.

During the challenge, 10 university teams from Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii and Guam competed in various events across a 12-mile timed course consisting of challenges including marksmanship, an obstacle course, nighttime land navigation and more.

As winners, the OSU ROTC team will go on to compete in the eighth Brigade Ranger Challenge Competition in January at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The overall winner of the January event will move onto the Sandhurst Competition at West Point Military Academy in New York, the world’s premier international academy military skills competition. This year’s competition is a two-day course with 13 day and night events that are individual-, squad skill mastery- and leader-focused.

Local schools receive grant awards

Northwest Community Credit Union recently delivered 2019 Project Community mini-grant awards to 68 Oregon educators.

Sixty schools, including some in Benton and Linn counties, received surprise awards in the form of giant checks.

Educators submitted requests for classroom supplies, technology, books, special classroom projects, programs or field trips. The credit union grants will be used in academic year 2020 to support creative curriculum and classroom experiences varying among elementary, middle and high school levels.

New this year: $11,600 of the total awards fund Financial Reality Grants designed to support projects, programs or curriculum developing skills and habits of children and youth in saving, money handling, personal finance, budget building, safe borrowing, investing, economic principles, digital purchasing or app-driven financial practices.

A total of $76,000 was presented to schools throughout Oregon.

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This is the fifth year of the Project Community mini-grant program.

Local educators receive grants

SELCO Community Credit Union, through its annual SPARK! Creative Learning Grants program, has awarded a program-best $47,238 to 56 educators across Oregon.

The program, which provides funding for innovative educational and extracurricular projects, provides grants of as much as $1,000 to K-12 educators across the 27 Oregon counties SELCO serves.

SPARK! Creative Learning Grants support teachers who have creative classroom ideas but lack the funds to get those projects off the ground. In all, 48 Oregon schools are represented among 56 programs, up from 54 in 2018.

Four programs from Benton and Linn County schools were among this year’s grant recipients. The recipients include Colored Paper for the WIN — Jennifer Bornheimer, West Albany High School; Timber Ridge Food Science: Food Preservation Curriculum — Eleanor Herro Brannon, Timber Ridge School, Albany; ElectroStatic Generator — Derek Michalski, Linus Pauling Middle School, Corvallis; and Book Peddler — Julie Ragan, Hamilton Creek School and Lacomb School, Lebanon.

Mid-valley organizations receive grants

The Oregon Community Foundation's board of directors approved five grants for organizations in Linn and Benton counties totaling $124,000.

Lebanon Community Hospital Foundation received $25,000 for construction costs for the Samaritan Treatment and Recovery Center in Lebanon, which provides treatment services for drug and/or alcohol addiction.

Additional grants provided to mid-valley organizations include: Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis ($20,000 to improve services for youth ages 11 to 14 with behavioral issues); Corvallis Daytime Drop-In Center ($24,000 to support hiring an executive director); Greenbelt Land Trust ($15,000 in continued funding to hire a development director); and Trillium Family Services ($40,000 for a capital campaign to replace a Corvallis building that houses Trillium's Secure Adolescent Program).

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