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Keep Victoria Beautiful receives $2,500 grant to fight graffiti

By Victoria Advocate
Oct. 31, 2011 at 5:31 a.m.


Winners of Keep America Beautiful 2011 Graffiti Hurts Grant Program:

$2,500 cash grant recipients:

Keep Victoria Beautiful - Victoria

Casa Grande Police Department - Casa Grande, Ariz.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America of East County - Santee, Calif.

Keep Manatee Beautiful - Bradenton, Fla.

$2,500 Sherwin-Williams paint supply certificate recipients:

Downtown Westfield Corporation - Westfield, N.J.

Downtown Visalians - Visalia, Calif.

Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership - Pittsburgh, Penn.

Q-Star FlashCAM recipient:

Tyler Against Graffiti - Tyler

Keep Victoria Beautiful is $2,500 richer.

The organization was one of eight to receive a Keep America Beautiful 2011 Graffiti Hurts Grant Program award. The grant program was established in 2007 to help support programs that combat graffiti vandalism.

Victoria, until several months ago, faced a daunting challenge with graffiti around the city, said Thomas Yantis, Keep Victoria Beautiful's executive director. With help from the city, Victoria Police Department's crime prevention department and volunteers, however, he said the problem has more or less been wiped out.

Grant money will go to acquire equipment such as paint brushes and pressure washers, and to identify those responsible for the graffiti, he explained.

This year's award recipients presented exceptional plans to educate and engage at-risk youth, and bring communities together to prevent and eradicate graffiti, said Matthew McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful.

Keep Victoria Beautiful turns every $1 it receives into $12 of impact, through a multiplier effect, Yantis said.

"Myself and the board are absolutely excited at the opportunities this grant brings," he said.

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