ROXBURY, NJ - The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is asking people to vote daily, through May 12, to help it win up to $100,000 in grant money that will go toward a floating classroom boat.
The non-profit group is hoping to buy a 40-foot, custom-built covered pontoon boat that would be used to teach children about the lake. The grant for the boat would come from a USA Today Network program called "A Community Thrives" (ACT).
Votes can be placed at www.lakehopatcongfoundation.org/vote.
The ACT program "enables community members to act on ideas that improve the people, organizations, government, and businesses around them by equipping them with the resources they need to thrive," according to the foundation.
It said the floating classroom would "hold full classes of students and other groups," and "allow the foundation to bring students and people of all ages onto the lake to provide a hands-on experience to learn about fresh water ecology and how to help protect our lakes. After spending time on the floating classroom participants will gain new knowledge, skills and values that cultivate environmentally responsible behavior."
To be eligible for a grant of either $50,000 or $100,000, the Lake Hopatcong Floating Classroom must be in the top 10 voted submissions in the education category to be considered a finalist.
A panel of judges will then determine the top three applicants in each category who will be awarded grants. The foundation is urging people to vote once daily and to tell those they know to help out.
“Back in 2015 online voters rallied behind the foundation to successfully win a $10,000 grant” said Donna Macalle-Holly, Lake Hopatcong Foundation acting executive director. “Although it was a frenzied voting period, it was a lot of fun for the community because the foundation was running neck and neck with the Lake George Association. This time, however, will be different since online voters will not see how many votes are being cast, but voting is still very important for the foundation to be a grant finalist in the top 10.”