The Corry Community Foundation board of trustees wants to be sure that grant money the Foundation awards is being used for its intended purpose. So board members keep in contact with grant recipients and follow up on projects for which the money has been designated.

A lot of nonprofit agencies and organizations that benefit from grants distributed by the Corry Community Foundation display signs with the Foundation’s logo as a show of thanks and appreciation.

Corry Little League, which has received three grants the past few years, took the show of appreciation one step further.

Foundation Board members Phyllis Marchitelli and Mary Alice Hammond were invited to the Beaver Club Complex Little League fields on West Washington Street Extension Friday night so members of Corry Little League could thank the board representatives personally. Little League also showed Marchitelli and Hammond a new sign that will be displayed at the complex. The sign says it all — “Thank-You! Corry Community Foundation.”

“It was very heartfelt,” Marchitelli said about the show of appreciation when Little League players gathered around her and Hammond with the sign.

Marchitelli said the parents deserve a lot of credit for supporting Little League.

“It was the fact that the parents worked hard on helping with improvements that means so much,” Marchitelli said.

The Foundation has awarded almost $62,000 in grant funds during three nonconsecutive years:

• In 2007, two grants totaling $22,000 were designated for Columbus softball field lights, and to help with the Junior Girls’ expenses to Eastern Regionals.

• In 2008, Little League was awarded $33,950 for renovations to the Beaver Club Complex.

• Most recently, in May 2010, Little League was awarded $6,000 for safety equipment.

Tony Shirey is serving his second straight year as president of Corry Little League. Shirey said he thought it was appropriate for the players to say “Thanks.”

“I wanted to thank them for the last few years and for helping up get those fields back up,” Shirey said.

Friday was Little League’s “fun day,” a day after the season ends when players and parents enjoy games and refreshments.

Shirey thought fun day was a good time for Little League to show its “sign” of appreciation. All Little League teams were represented, Shirey said.

Hammond said the invitation to the Little League fields was, most likely, the first time a grant recipient has invited board members to a public event to be thanked.

“It’s a lovely sign and a great way to show thanks,” Hammond said about the thank-you sign. “We were just happy to be there.”

Hammond agrees that a lot of work has been done to make the fields better.

“I just was so impressed with how much they’ve done,” Hammond said. “It’s the parents that have come forward and done the work.”

The $33,950 grant was used to level fields, reclay and reseed the fields, and construct new dugouts.

The $6,000 grant was used to purchase new equipment such as safety masks for pitchers, first basemen and third basemen. Some of the funds also went toward safety bases and catchers’ masks.

Marchitelli said the improvements to the West Washington Street Extension fields are certainly noticeable.

“It was terrible back there before,” Marchitelli said. “Now, it’s very impressive.”

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