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TransCanada's philanthropy touches a range of East Texas organizations


Keystone XL pipeline builder TransCanada will begin accepting grant applications later this month in the second year of its charitable fund earmarked for East Texas organizations. 

TransCanada’s $125,000 fund is donor-advised and administered through the East Texas Communities Foundation in Tyler. Foundation program officer Mary Lynn Smith said organizations in 18 East Texas counties are eligible for the grants.

“It’s all the counties that are touched by the pipeline, where the pipeline traverses their county,” Smith said.

TransCanada recently announced that 15 organizations had received funding in the first grant cycle, totaling $50,000. Smith said the grants fall into three categories: safety, environmental, and community. The grant awards touch a wide variety of organizations – from master gardeners to daycare centers.

The East Texas Communities Foundation has 215 funds that are mostly donor-advised, according to Smith, but this one stands apart.

“We have enjoyed at the Communities Foundation working with a large corporation like this. We have contact with a number of employees within TransCanada. They seem genuinely interested in the community where they are working, and that’s been pleasant,” Smith said.

Smith will open up the online grant application form on Feb. 17. She expects TransCanada to award $25,000 in this second grant cycle, and the application deadline is in May.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.