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September 20, 2018 • Headline News
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Versailles is thankful for generous fund
Tyson Fund awards nearly $700,000

Pictured from left, Cassi Hornsby, Bryan Buchanan, Randy Hornsby, and Josh Walston, all firefighters with the Versailles Volunteer Fire Department, stand beside the truck that was purchased by Tyson Fund grant monies. They are thankful for the fund that helps them help others. In the background is the old Tyson School that is now apartments and the Tyson Activity Center (TAC), which is helped greatly by the Tyson Fund as well.

Wanda English Burnett

The annual celebration of “Uncle” Jim Tyson’s 162nd birthday made a lot of people happy in the town of Versailles. Friday night, September 14 it was a full house at the Tyson United Methodist Church fellowship hall as seven entities gathered with their groups to see what amount of the $693,495.00 they would be granted in this cycle.

The South Ripley Elementary School received $64,992.72 to replace the second playground at the elementary school. They received money from this fund for the first playground in 2014. “On behalf of Supt. Rob Moorhead, administration and staff, I want to thank you for this grant,” Amy Linkel noted as she gratefully accepted the check for the school.

The night was full of thankfulness and gratitude to the person who established the fund in 1930, James H. Tyson. Since 1930 the Fund has given out an estimated 15 million dollars to various groups around Versailles as well as another 4-5 million to the Tyson Church and Tyson Library, who both receive guaranteed funds every year as per the wishes of Tyson.

Others receiving money included the Town of Versailles - $374,599 which will go toward the sewer bond payment, crane truck payment, tractor payment, remodel the new town hall, sewer improvements, paving funds with Community Crossings matching dollars, lift station generators, sewer vacuum and jetter, paving the walking trail at the Sports Complex and Mainstreet Versailles.

The Versailles Lions Club received $10,000 to help with the cost of the Pumpkin Show entertainment; Versailles Fire and Rescue received money to make the second payment on a fire truck that was purchased last year in the amount of $29,000; Tyson Activity Center received $65,900 for program funding, possible match money for paving, new entrance steps and new interior upgrades; and the Ripley County Historical Society received $344.31 for binders, sheet protectors for old documents and file folders.

Tyson Library received $148,655 for operating costs for the library and to run programs and services for the patrons.

The Tyson Fund, which is nearly 20 million dollars, continues to be a great gift to the community of Versailles. Each year, the community thanked their benefactor with awarding the grant fund available and having a “birthday party” complete with cake and punch, to thank Tyson for his generosity that is appreciated so much still today.

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